wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
Gritty film that makes you uncomfortable enough for it to stay long after you leave the theater. Yes, that makes for a good film.Read more
The first I heard about Udta Punjab was from the Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor's Twitter feeds. The first poster I saw made me curious. Then they gave Shahid Kapoor's look which seemed a little over the top and then I was taken aback by Alia Bhatt's look and was pleasantly surprised to see Kareena Kapoor feature in this one. Then came the who's who of Bollywood going gaga over the trailer.
Sure, the trailer is good and doubles up the curiosity. But, it also brings along a sense that it could all fall flat after the shock value has settled in. It is about a very pertinent issue and from the trailer, it doesn't look like it will get into 'preach' mode. Yet, if there is not much of a story that keeps it all together, it could be well be banking on just foul languaged mouthed with full intensity.
I am out of connectivity again for this one and will get to it only by first week of July. By then, the verdict would have been out and forgotten too. Or hopefully not.
(This preview was written in the second week of May and has been auto-published.)
- meeta, a part of the audience
Movies about drug abuse is not new to us. Affect of drug abuse and how it takes deep roots is not news either. You might or might not be surprised that this is rampant in Punjab. You might be taken aback by the influence even though the state is merely a stop to the drugs' ultimate destination. Yet, none of these can be the sole reason for Udta Punjab to suck you into its spiraling story. It is the confluence of a quirky narrative style, matching performances and the mood created by the camerawork, sound, editing, art direction – yes, pretty much the entire team.
Sure, the narration uses editing as a very obvious tool to create connection between characters. Some times, it is a little too in the face, but at most other times it works to retain your attention. The intermingling of the stories itself works well as the unlikely dots connect in the last half hour.
Of course, each of the four protagonists are very obvious representations of the social strata they come from. Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor) is the local rockstar who is as expected full of himself. A nameless, petite lass (Alia Bhatt) represents the small village girl with huge aspirations who is just at all the wrong places at all the wrong times. She makes you wonder about the quantity and quality of inner strength a human being could possibly have. Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is the quintessential corrupt cop with threadbare ethics. And Dr. Sahni (Kareena Kapoor) is the conscience of a deteriorating society who wants to set things right.
Despite these stereotypical, more-or-less predictable descriptions, each of the characters has a little something in them which connects you to them – will to do good, remorse, need for redemption, fear of unknown, need to be fearless and more.
Each character's actions and reactions are brought out perfectly by the actors. However, Alia Bhatt held the film together. It is as much the character and her situation, as it is the actor who absorbs all your attention, sympathy and goodwill. So much so that, it takes the light away from capable performances by each of the other actors, including Shahid Kapoor's madcap rockstar do, Kareena Kapoor's elegance and Diljit Dosanjh's quiet demeanour.
Yet, it is these put together along with great contributions from each of the other departments that keep Udta Punjab from being yet another foul-mouthed, typical “Don't do drugs” film.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Sreeju Sudhakaran, Bollywood Life : ...Udta Punjab is definitely Bollywood cinema at its bravest, and also works as an eye-opener for people ignorant of the evils that’s plaguing our youth. Everyone involved in the making of the film should be lauded for backing such a film, when our viewers are still not able to get over the blockbuster fever. Yes, the film is very dark and mature, needed a tighter narrative and might not even be a 100-crore grosser, but still…it is a film our society desperately needs! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Krish Sripada, Desi Martini : ...The icing on the cake is the scene of an injured once-rockstar, now-hunted Gabru, who confesses how there is a tune in his head conjured after he met a girl and how he could only get salvation by saving her. The cinematography doesn't glamorise the verdancy of Punjab. Instead it flips between the beautiful and rustic and the dilapidated and ugly. A brilliant watch, sans the pardonable compromises!... full review
Thumbs up, by Ameet Bhuvan , Desi Martini : ...Resolving it self into an oversimpliefied climax, the film also could have benefitted with a shorter running length. Nonetheless, with brilliant performances by the lead four, Udta Punjab is a film that needed to be made and more improtantly needs to be seen. More power to such cinema. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Shefali Saxena, Desi Martini : ...It’s a great watch for people who understand philosophy and symbolic stuff. Udta Punjab is a perfect blend of symbolic scenes, especially where Alia Bhatt fades out after a joint and swims towards a light, which signifies she’s yearning for help and hopeful that she’ll be free of this menace one day. It’s amazing how the director Abhishek Chaubey manages to sync all the characters together, even though some of them don’t’ share screen time at all. Kudos to the writer Sudip Sharma! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Smita Vyas Kumar, Desi Martini : ... This is a must see movie. It has been saved from the Censor’s knife for you to appreciate. You owe it to the film maker’s to see this movie. Do not miss. ... full review
Thumbs up, by MiHika SenGupta, Desi Martini : ...Is it a must watch? Yes! Of course! For sure! Even if you don’t plan a two time watch for this film, one time watch is deserved by it. Very aptly can be termed as one of the best films of 2016, Udta Punjab will surely take you along in its flight and land you safely. Don’t forget to put on the safety belts, though.... full review
Thumbs up, by Aakriti Anand, Filmfare : ...Over and above, Udta Punjab is not just a winner in Court but also a cracker of a film. It certainly makes you think. While the film is bound to start a dialogue about substance use and abuse, it might even spark off a solution. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Renila Abraham, FirstPost : ...If you were thinking of downloading the torrent and watching it, don't. Watch this review instead, and then go to the theatre to watch the movie. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Josh, fullhyd.com : ...Udta Punjab isn't particularly hard-hitting but is, nonetheless, a tender film which ably narrates two engaging stories. Just make sure to pitch your expectations right when you walk into the hall. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...The film is entirely Chaubey’s. Bringing in inspiration from Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers and Vishal Bhardwaj, he showcases the paradox of Punjab in Bollywood films. The land of lassi and mustard fields isn’t about a romantic duet anymore, and if you don’t act fast… well, watch the movie to find out. There are no reasons not to. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Divya Pal, IBN Live : ...Chaubey’s Punjab has nothing to do with what we have seen for years in popular, entertaining YRF projects. The Punjab in the film isn’t about green fields, local fairs, and petty women. It is different and creepier, and that's why it is real and haunting. ... full review
Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Conclusion: If you were expecting a Kahaani level of thriller, then your wishes have come true. Well, almost. Te3n is one of the best thrillers that has been made in Bollywood but the slow initial pace lets it down a tad bit. The main actors are in some of their best form and carry the film on their able shoulders. Te3n is one of best remakes/adaptations of a foreign movie and deserves to be seen by everyone with a finer taste in movies. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Chaubey and co-screenwriter Sudip Sharma move these four characters and a host of minor ones around like chess pieces, some of them running defence, others making sudden attacks. That the writing is profane is common knowledge after the censor troubles of the past few weeks, but the harshness of speech makes perfect sense, for this is a harsh film. In prison, Tommy comes across two fans of his. They rap a few lines from his first hit track, tell Tommy they idolize him, then reveal that they’re in jail for killing their mother. After a scene like this, it’s difficult not to curse, even if you’re an audience member. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Walking out of the theatre, one is grateful that the filmmakers fought for this film. This had to be served undistilled, and untouched by people who don't see or choose not to see the gravity of the situation. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The liberal use of cuss words may be too grating for some ears. Udta Punjab is not family entertainment, but it is an undeniably magnificent - and purposeful - commercial Hindi film. Do not miss it. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...It stands for everything that is opposite of what it was accused of. The extreme nature of its actions strives to stress on the absolutely pathetic state of Punjab’s affairs, perfectly encapsulated in a scene featuring a stoned gatekeeper who can neither guard nor confront. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Oh, and a word about that music: Woof. Amit Trivedi is a master, Chaubey has a gift for placing music and adding context to moments, and the decision to use Shiv Kumar Batalvi's dazzling poem Ikk Kudi as a literal part of the narrative is a marvellous one. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Yes, it’s gritty, but it is the other leave-your -brains-at-home “family entertainers” that one should be more careful of. This is a film to be encouraged, not silenced. Not only do I recommend Udta Punjab as mandatory viewing, I also urge that the film be made tax-free. Very few films touch a cord such that they can actually make a difference. The question is, do we want a difference? ... full review
Thumbs up, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...The authenticity is not just in the issue or the locale but in the expletive-loaded lingo and lyrics as well. The film’s music matches the mood and the messaging. Much of the dialogue and songs are in Punjabi. Most of all the dark theme also echoes in the wry humour that is so typically Punjabi, like a cop calling the drug problem Green Revolution Part 2. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...Chaubey uses a part-documentary-part-mainstream approach here. Post interval, the film is sometimes too indulgent and sluggish. Also this is not your sunny-side up cinema. It is stark and makes you cringe.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...‘Udta Punjab’ is definitely a must-watch, but for a film that is tackling so real an issue even the minor indulgences seem a bit much. This film is not a fun ride and for serious film buffs, the fact that the director seems to lose his grip a little is disappointing. ... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...It is hard to believe that this uneven treatment of a grave issue has come to us from the director who delivered Vidya Balan to us in all her electrifying glory in the otherwise mixed bag that was Ishqiya (2010), from the man who gave us the genteel Dedh Ishqiya (2014) starring Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Huma Qureshi. ... full review
So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, UDTA PUNJAB is a dark and serious film that does not offer the traditional entertainment that audiences seek from Bollywood movies. At the same time, it is bold and brave in parts with strong performances by all actors. ... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...This Abhishek(Ishqiya) Chaubey helmed film is in fact a cry for help – so that a reversal of fortunes can be engineered in a once robust state that was the heart of the green revolution in India. This may not be a film for the faint-hearted but those who are willing to go the extra mile for a rare experience, it’s a must watch – on the big screen of course! ... full review
So-So, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...All said and done, UDTA PUNJAB is certainly bold, highlights a critical issue and is powered by prize acts, though it makes the 'thinking' audience show a sign of concern, it fails to make the 'aam junta' react the way they should have. But for those who look for something out of the box, dark, with a 'kick' of realisms, UDTA PUNJAB is your shot. Take it. ... full review
So-So, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Written by Abhishek Chaubey and Sudip Sharma, Udta Punjab is not the most comprehensive film on the state's vicious drug crisis. What it tries to be, with varying success, is a humane drama about the damaging consequences of drugs on the youth, and how the politicians and police forces are partners in crime as they facilitate the illegal industry for their own profit. There's a reason the state's ruling parties are laying low and distancing themselves from the film for it genuinely has you worried for the state which is losing a generation to drugs. ... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Amit Trivedi's soundtrack delivers psychedelic tunes like Chitta Ve, the title track and soulful Da Da Dasse. The use of a calming track to complement extremely violent visuals has been done time and again, from Snatch ( Golden Brown) to Shaitan ( Khoya Khoya Chand) and this film uses the old trope competently. ... full review
So-So, Sify Movies : ...Overall, Udta Punjab, with all the hype it created in the media for its “expression of creative freedom” is worth a watch, only for the performances and social message. ... full review
So-So, by Karan Bali, Upper Stall : ...All in all, while one applauds Udta Punjab’s courage and victory in the larger battle for freedom of expression of filmmakers against the tyranny of the CBFC, the icing on the cake would have been had the film lived up to its potential. As it is, Udta Punjab just about takes off but thereafter fails to soar. ... full review
So-So, by Dhriti Sharma, Zee News : ...A story this intense, a reality so appalling was beautifully cast upon the mind of audiences, transporting them to the land of drugs.The war with drugs, could have been a little stronger with its punch, to uncover the undercover. ... full review
thearavinds: Watched UDTA PUNJAB. Important movie.Lots of drama,pathos and what not.Serious subject crudely handled.Not good cinema.But a must watch
TanuJatin: Udta punjab ..good movie..everyone must watch..!!
tabassum_b: Just three words: Watch Udta Punjab.
SoKneeOh: Udta Punjab was actually pretty damn good. Everyone fit just perfectly. I have no complaints.
Shanavbarca: On Wednesday at this very time, I thought everything was over. I forgot how powerful a brilliant movie can be. UNSTOPPABLE UDTA PUNJAB
SatanicPope: Udta Punjab was dark and hard hitting.
ruchikabillo: Udta Punjab. Wow.
RishiCh04322561: Awsome movie udta punjab must watch.
Rahul_bill: UDTA PUNJAB !!!!! WONDERFUL MOVIE..... SUCH A POWERFUL PERFORMANCE BY ALIA BATT
Radheism10: Watched Udta Punjab. Movie didn't disappoint at all. Just loved it. You can experience all sorts of emotions and feels in one movie.
Piyush_dube: Drugs Di maa Di Udta Punjab awesome movie #UdtaPunjab
NashiliAnkhein: Udta Punjab was nice
IamShaandaar: UNSTOPPABLE UDTA PUNJAB
hershkinnu: A battle against censorship was never fought like this before # Udta Punjab # must watch frnds
FreelyChained: Udta Punjab is a fantastic movie & should be seen at theaters. So full of content & provoking. Great work by @aliaa08 & @shahidkapoor.
dhillon_satti: Loved Udta Punjab movie,I have seen actually much more than this in Punjab, drugs r openly available to ruin young generation beyond control
DashYourHopes: Entertaining, awesome and trippy, #UdtaPunjab is a triumph for cinema, censorship, and audiences. ☺
asal_pradhan: Udta Punjab is awesome movie
518292dcef304a3: Super movie # udta punjab.
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