Sajid Nadiadwala’s Highway was Imtiaz Ali’s attempt to have more creative freedom

Imtiaz Ali did not make Highway with an intension of making money. He and the entire cast and crew knew that the film is not going to have blockbuster collections at the box office. The film has however done better than they expected. Sajid Nadiadwala’s Highway was made on a budget of 18.25 crore. Even before the film was released, it earned Rs. 15.50 crore. In the first week of its release, Highway’s box office collections were recorded as Rs. 22.38 crores. The cast is hoping that the turnout for the film will increase in the coming days because of the word of mouth publicity the film is receiving.

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This movie was Imtiaz’s attempt to have more creative freedom to make the movies that he wants to. “With ‘Highway’ I was trying to plant a seed. How else do you create an elbow room for yourself? I want to direct what I feel is interesting not what is supposed to be my zone. I don’t want it to be narrow. It was a huge risk as I was into completely uncharted territory but luckily it paid off,” he said. He even told Sajid Nadiadwala, who has presented the movie worldwide under his banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd, that he would that he will abandon the project midway if the story did not come together as it was an open script. “I took money from Sajid bhai hoping that I will manage to return it and if I don’t, I will pay him by working. I have always tried to make profitable films because people’s offices shut down if films fail and I will do everything to avoid that. This is why I wanted ‘Highway’ to be my risk alone,” says Imtiaz.

Since the release of this Sajid Nadiadwala movie on the 21st of February 2014, Imtiaz has been touring different cities and visiting cinema halls to gauge the audience response. He said, “The audience has responded and connected with the story on an emotional level with both Alia and Randeep’s characters. It is very important to have honest feedback and that comes directly from those who have just watched your film. This is why I have been travelling even now.”

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