Movie Review: ‘Unnchai’

Unnchai scales high to connect the mundane to the deeper self!

‘Unnchai’ connotes scaling high, be it the mountain peaks in your external world or evolving into your greater self, while you touch base with the depths of your real self. The film Unnchai has a great philosophical relevance than religious, with its central theme of climbing the Himalayas, and treading to the Everest Base Camp…writes Dr.Priyaankaa Mathur.

Unnchai is yet another feather in the cap for Sooraj Barjatiya, who succeeded this time not just to create another sing-and-dance family drama, but to showcase a more mature side of life and its different colors.

The film not only celebrates Rajshri’s 75 years in the business of enchanting audiences with the best of cinema over the years but also a league of veterans in the industry who have been the priceless gems that the Indian film industry possesses. The lead protagonist being Amitabh Bachhan, the film also stars Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Neena Gupta, and Sarika.

It’s a tale of 4 best buddies who have shared life and grown old together -an Author Amit Srivastava (Bachchan), a garment merchant Javed (Boman Irani), a book store owner Om (Anupam Kher)while they reunite for Bhupen’s (Danny Denzongpa) a retired IRS veteran. Unfortunately, Bhupen passes away early in the film, who has a long cherished dream to take the Everest trek with his best friends, who are his only family. Danny is pleasant to watch after many years on screen in this short positive role.

Eventually, Amit succeeds to convince Om and Javed with his quick wits, to take a brave call to honor their late friend and travel to Mount Everest, Nepal, to submit his ashes to his (Biren’s) mountain maiden, which he believed awaited him. Then begins their rigorous yet fun training under a young mountain instructor ( Shraddha) Parineeti Chopra, who seems more concerned over the well-being of the old lot from beginning to end.

The journey begins by road from Delhi to Kathmandu, and they decide to break the journey to meet their families en route between Kanpur and Gorakpur. The film brings a roller coaster of nerve recking emotions, while they get to introspect the reality of their relationships and how they are distanced and misunderstood by their own respective families.

The fun part of the film is the jovial husband-wife tiffs between the free-spirited Javed (Boman Irani) and Shabina( Neena Gupta), who together make such an adorable couple, bestowing amazing chemistry. Shabina gets jealous of this new en-route female passenger, Maladevi (Sarika) who joins them for the Everest base camp trek. Om is another funny character, a cranky old widower well-played by Anupam Kher, who’s often irritated and childlike, while the other three buddies rejoice in his company. The film is indeed a heartfelt saga of friendship, while they accept each other the way they are.

In its final phase, the film is more about the fighting spirit and camaraderie between the three characters Amit, Om, and Javed who undergo this impossible trek despite all the hurdles they faced to the top. Amitabh Bacchan as always is a viewer’s delight on-screen, while he grips his character once again proving his metal. Amit who’s known for his Bestselling yet shallow Marketing Novels as per Biren, after traveling to the Himalayas touched the depths of his real self, to understand his responsibility as an author and as a husband towards his wife.

The most spectacular aspects of the film are its exotic locations, and the cinematography by Manoj Kumar Khatoi, along with the script which gives it a philosophical edge in the climax. The film is indeed a treat to watch while it touches on relationship dynamics with family and friends. It is indeed a heartwarming saga to watch, which will not only make you laugh but also leave you tear-eyed at many moments!

FF Ratings: ****