Movie: Udta Punjab
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Cast: Aalia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh
Genre: Crime Drama
Amidst undying controversies, Udta Punjab finally released on 17th June. Censor Board had decided to be the big daddy and had demanded close to 89 cuts in the original screenplay as the movie sought to openly discuss the rampant drug abuse in Punjab. However, the Bombay high court struck down the Censor Board’s stay and passed the movie with only one cut. Udta Punjab is a social-crime drama based on the brutal reality of Punjab haranguing the youth of the state.
Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor) is a very popular rockstar in Punjab whose lyrics are representative of his drug addicted lifestyle. Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is a police officer who makes a good cut out of letting drug suppliers make deliveries without legal issues. Dr. Preet Sahni (Kareena Kapoor) runs a drug rehabilitation centre and is fighting a losing case against the drug mafias. A Bihari Immigrant ( Alia Bhatt) has come to Punjab in search of better times and lands up with a packet of heroine worth crores. These four characters find their life intricately caught in a web of drug addicts and suppliers, where their every step will change their life forever.
Each of these four characters have delivered phenomenal performances. Shahid Kapoor however is a show stealer as the rockstar Tommy Singh. Shahid takes you through a drug addict’s roller coaster ride with an intensity that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Alia Bhatt is increasingly proving herself to be one of Bollywood’s genius discoveries. As a Bihari migrant, she has impeccably copied the accent, body language and constantly moulds her character to meet the demands of the script. Kareena and Diljit share an adorable on screen chemistry which will make your heart flutter and will have you wishing to have seen more of them together. Diljit is undoubtedly going to be a Bollywood heartthrob with a smile that will have his competitors running for their money.
Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi takes you down the rustic lanes of Punjab and into the heart of the state. Music by Amit Trivedi accompanied by the lyrics by late Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Shellee and Varun Grover is a lethal combination. My personal favourite are Chitta ve by Shahid Mallya, Bhanu Pratap and Babu Haabi and Ikk Kudi by Shahid Mallya. listen to these tracks, if you haven’t already. Udta Punjab leaves no stone unturned in establishing the grave situation in Punjab. This movie will leave you feeling deeply disturbed and agitated at how things could have unravelled right under the noses of the higher authorities. I left the hall with a very queasy feeling in my stomach and was reminded of a statement made by a friend, ” If the book you are reading or the movie you are watching arouses emotions that stubbornly make way into your everyday, know that the time spent on the book/ movie was worth it.”
Udta Punjab is a must watch for this weekend. I hope this good run of movies will continue next week as well.
My verdict: ****