Movie: Udta Punjab
Direction: Abhishek Chaubey
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh
Music: Benedict Taylor, Naren Chandavarkar
Cinematographer: Rajeev Ravi
Editor: Meghna Sen
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
What is it about: The film focuses on the trivial issue of illegal drugs consumed by the youth in the state of Punjab. Udta Punjab, moves around few characters who are victims of this vicious thing. How this trivial issue unfolds in their lives form the crux of the story directed by Abhishek Chaubey.
Why it’s disappointing: This section definitely stays put, one of the intense film of the year.
What to watch out for: Abhishek who gave the “Ishqiya” series have come out with this extremely intense film, which ponders the nuances of illegal drug usage, and how it not only affects the person but also victimizes the people surrounding it. Sudip Sharma and Abhishek together spun a great screenplay, which keeps your glued to the screen without any qualms. And the dialogues by Sudip Sharma were one of the highlights of the film. It has the local slang and body language, making it very interesting.
The filmmakers chose an amazing cast support such an intense film, which is pretty intense but has a puff of a humour in it, which when hits you definitely makes you laugh.
Let’s lead with Shahid Kapoor, a spectacular performer who sometimes under play but in Udta Punjab, he tears it apart. An amazing performance, which has quite a layers but meticulously comes off making it one of the best. The character of “Tommy” was perfectly etched out for him, which he wore it like a RockStar. Shahid you’re the man.
Then it’s Alia Bhatt, my god did we just witness one of the stellar performance of her career till date. The attire given to her in Udta Punjab is far from what she has done until now. She just proved that Alia can churn out a performance which can be on the cards of National Award. Her slang, body language and her charismatic performance. Alia just stole the show in Udta Punjab.
Now let’s move to the new kid on the block, Diljit Dosanjh. A great singer and a wonderful actor, it never felt he’s debuting in Bollywood. Because he was that comfortable with the premise set up for him. He made the ensemble complete by his commendable performance.
Kareena Kapoor, many would argue on the time length of the character, but I would say she was one character which was pit against the ensemble with great caution. And she did it with great poise, which was required for a character of that stature.
Then comes the supporting characters who were designed perfectly to compliment the leading cast. For starters the character “Balli” played by Prabhjyot Singh. He was a boy of few words, but one amazing actor. Then it’s Harpeet Singh as Samsheer, who plays the senior police officer. He was right on target and gave a commendable performance. Satish Kaushik, a seasoned actor, who can pull off a serious and comic role together with élan.
The film had amazing cinematography by Rajeev Ravi, who captured the nook and corners of the Punjab with great diligence and has great sense of light. And it was meticulously edited by Meghna Sen. Music by Amit Trivedi was fantastic, which had tracks for every mood of the film and just sinks with it. Loved the opening song, was a great spectacle. The background score by Benedict Taylor & Naren Chandavarkar was gripping.
Verdict: Abhishek Chaubey flew right from “Ishqiya” to “Udta Punjab” in jiffy and created a benchmark for himself to compete with. Direction was tight and the characters were well etched. The narration was solid, which pans right amount of exposure to every character keeping the integrity. Udta Punjab is a well packaged drama which has its heart at right place, and a climax which was really interesting. Definitely worth a watch.