Ujda Chaman

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

So, I am supposed to find people laughing at perceived body flaws funny? Thank goodness for some great supporting cast, and decent lead cast performances.

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Director: Abhishek Pathak
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Social
More Movie Info

Shaming body-shaming is necessary. Mainstream media and pop culture talking about it is a great start. Making a full-blown, feature-length film about it is a super-brave step. But, ultimately philosophising body image issues with asking the shamed to be confident and not care about the world is shifting the onus on them. Sure, it helps if they are comfortable in their skin. But, letting the shamers go with one piddly, boring lecture by a teacher in a classroom setting clearly shows what the makers think of the whole situation.

To highlight a man’s simple-mindedness by showing the woman as a user and manipulator is tiring.

This set-up clubbed with lukewarm writing makes Ujda Chaman worth considering only for the courage in choosing the subject. Beyond that, there isn’t any depth even though the protagonist spends a lot of screen-time in introspection.

I am not sure if the character is written so or if Sunny Nijjar Singh is incapable of creating an expression other than that of sullen mulling, but he does that a lot. At times, it did feel like the non-talkative, simple character was written to mask the fact that he was spineless and a general prick. Same emotion on the face, so difficult to tell.

In terms of performances, the film is made because of the actors who do their bit parts with conviction. Right from the 5-second role of a student who spots Sunny Singh ogling at his teacher to Saurabh Shukla is highly uncomfortable being unethical. While Karishma Sharma and Aishwarya Sakhuja convince us with their bits, the only time the screen lights up from its coming-of-age-of-a-balding-man monotony is when Maanvi Gagroo is in frame. Which unfortunately happens only in the second half.

In any case, not like she could have saved the misguided writing. Following women, even if it doesn’t lead to anything is not cool. To highlight a man’s simple-mindedness by showing the woman as a user and manipulator is tiring. Showing a woman who could be insecure because of her weight as clingy is either top-class, insightful writing or rubbing in a stereotype with lazy writing. You know which one I think it is.

And these are beyond the random references like the unacceptability of a Hindu-Muslim match. It becomes even more laughable when a mute woman insists on eating after her guests because she can’t speak! And while I am at it, why not mention the paper plane that loses all its creases when unfolded.

Even though the film cut to the chase from the word go and builds up the bald man’s frustration, it is exhausting. The loud, weird background sounds make the 120-minute film even more of a chore to be done with.

- meeta, a part of the audience

28 reviewers(?) - 2 yays 10 so-so 16 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...Debutant director Abhishek Pathak handles his cast well. Most of the actors leave a lasting impression. The film says a lot about body shaming without diving into the deep-end. Pathak keep the proceedings equanimous and agreeable even while letting us know that there is more to a marriage than meets the aisle.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...UJDA CHAMAN has flaws and so do we, nobody is perfect. The greatest USP of Abhishek Pathak’s directorial is its ability to lend a shoulder to the tears caused by the narrow minded mindset that discriminates people on looks. The movie also points a finger on the right and authority of people who gets judgmental, have prejudices – be it hair, body, skin etc. Plus the movie also makes an attempt to make an evocative comment on the quintessential feel good Bollywood rom com, its pairing and the understanding of love. Going with an extra for having the ‘open mind’ to explore such themes in mainstream.... full review

So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, UJDA CHAMAN has a promising and relatable story but the inconsistent execution and predictable narrative spoils the show. At the box office, thanks to limited buzz and lack of popular names, the film will have a difficult time.... full review

So-So, by Russel D'silva, Bollywood Life : ...Ujda Chaman is well intentioned and does its best to make a point at a mainstream level, but a sloppy second half and expressionless leading man deflate the noble points the film tries to make. I'm going with 2 stars... full review

So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Overall, while the film does raise some important issues, it suffers from faulty execution. It comes across as a missed opportunity at best...... full review

So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...While Sunny Singh's 'Ujda Chaman' has its intention in the right place, it's the bleak screenplay and direction which fail to not make it a memorable watch. I am going with 2.5 stars.... full review

So-So, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...Overall, Ujda Chaman is an average film that is watchable for its subject but you wish it was made with slightly more focus and quirk so that it would have left an impact. It won’t be wrong to say that Ujda Chaman has the right intentions but fails to strike a chord with the audience.... full review

So-So, by Ambika Sachin, Khaleej Times : ...Ujda Chaman might have missed its mark as far as evoking empathy towards those who suffer from hair loss is concerned but what really works for the movie is that it provides some genuine laughs along the way and the supporting cast does an admirable job and that together with an authentic Delhi setting gives you a pleasant enough 2 and a half hours at the movie.... full review

So-So, by Karan Singh Chilotreeepa, Movie Talkies : ...The first half of the film moves at a very slow pace with overemphasis on Sunny Singh been ridiculed by the society. Even though the story picks up its pace in the second half, the climax and conclusion becomes predictive. The story with the bold concept lacks proper execution and a crisp screenplay.... full review

So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...Eventually, Ujda Chaman turns out to be a film which isn’t extraordinary or a must watch. However, as a decent entertainer with some nice and breezy moments peppered during the two hour narrative, it can be given a dekko.... full review

So-So, by Kriti Tulsiani, Times Now : ...A dialogue from the film - “Dilo ki baat karta hai zamaana, par aaj bhi mohabbat chehre se hi shuru hoti hai” sums up Ujda Chaman aptly. The film is well-intentioned and has its heart in the right place but offers only little to go beyond that.... full review

So-So, by Sreeparna Sengupta,, Times of India : ...Overall, 'Ujda Chaman' carries a relevant message, but the ride to finally get to it is a wobbly one.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, Deepa Gahlot : ...Ujda Chaman tries to ram home the message that people should see the inner beauty of a person, but how Chaman hits upon this realization is ridiculous. For a comedy, this film has very little humour, and aggravates more than it amuses.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...The script isn’t sharp enough to make the lead character, who has the personality of a doorknob, interesting... full review

Thumbs down, by Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post : ...This is a film with the kind of subtlety one associates with a Ganesh visarjan. Just when you feel you’ve wasted two precious hours of your life, Ujda Chaman pulls its ultimate trump card, one featuring a subplot about the peon (Sharib Hashmi) and his wife which is so cruelly patronising, it’s simply unwatchable.... full review

Thumbs down, by Jyoti Kanyal, india today : ...Ujda Chaman has four songs with none of them being remarkable. One good thing about the film is the way it shows Delhi. The Capital city looks beautiful as the camera pans over Shah Rukh Khan's alma mater Hansraj College, India Gate, Hauz Khas and Dilli Haat, among several other popular spots. A true blue Delhiite will surely connect with the film because of this.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonal Gera, India TV : ...'Ujda Chaman', at best, is a missed opportunity -- of taking a potentially good concept, originally written by Raj B Shetty, further and making a socially relevant film. What Abhishek Pathak, the director, does instead is misuse and abuse the novelty factor the script had, and dole out a borderline cringey narrative of a 30-year old who hasn't yet got the "opportunity" to get laid because of premature balding.... full review

Thumbs down, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...This film is the ‘Hair today, gone tomorrow’ kind, and we suggest that if you like bald people on screen, watch the best of Anupam Kher’s, Amrish Puri’s or veteran David’s movies. And then there is no harm in watching Bala, the bald Akshay Kumar in last week’s “Housefull 4,” or waiting to see if the third bald man in three weeks, Ayushmann Khurrana in “Bala” is up to the mark.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...The dialogues are questionable. ‘Ladka pure hai’ is taken to mean that the lad has had no sex, and repeating it several times over is meant to funny. ‘Virgin’ kya hota hai’, is another sample. If that kind of crass, tasteless stuff makes you laugh, well, here’s the perfect film for you.... full review

Thumbs down, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Ujda Chaman lacks what it takes to be an entertaining film. The humour falls flat, no strong supporting cast to keep you hooked, a story that can be done with in a single line – all of this is churned and processed for 120 minutes frustrating the life out of you.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...Wow! What he suffers from, namely 'Incel' (Involuntary celibacy) isn't particularly different from what Joaquin Phoenix's character does in Joker. Why am I making this insane comparison? Just feel like it! The film itself is an official remake of the Kannada movie, Ondu Motteya Kathe (2017). Haven't seen that film. Have no intentions of after this anyway.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...‘Losing hair or being of a certain shape may not be a handicap unless we want it to be’ is the film’s tediously delivered moral. But it’s surely enough to alter one’s self worth. Ujda Chaman could’ve been a comic account that captures this peculiar sentiment by drawing hilarity from itts socially awkward circumstances. But it barely scrapes beneath the surface and lacks depth in depiction.... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Avoid. Spare yourself a bad hair day at the multiplex.... full review

Thumbs down, by Priyanka Sinha Jha, News18.com : ...There are too many missed opportunities here. An oddball romance between two unlikely partners would have proved a far better bet for Ujda Chaman than focussing on the list of socially embarrassing situations premature baldness can cause. This could have been one of those rambunctious rib-tickling comedies, but alas, it turns out to be as much a retro-fit as a toupee on a bald head.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...The women in director Pathak and his writer Danish Singh's world are so desperate to tie the knot, they'll accept any carrot dangled their way.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Udja Chaman recommends, but does Chaman deserve Apsara? The answer is as apparent as Chaman’s exposed pate... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Sunny Singh makes the bland Chaman worse with his insipid, sepulchral presence. The high nobility of Maanvi Gagroo’s character Apsara nothwithstanding, she is the only one who manages to salvage things a bit and holds her own, even though the film tries hard to reduce her to a weeping doormat.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ankita Chakravarti, Zee News : ...The film benefits from a foot-tapping soundtrack (Guru Randhawa and Gourav-Roshin) but the loud background score to underline its comedy quotient robs the fun factor.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: A few harsh words, but no profanity
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A cleavage being leched at in one scene
  • Concept: A balding man being harassed and being faced with his own double standards
  • General Look and Feel: A middle-class Delhi family setting

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Ujda Chaman - Cast, crew, links

Action Choreography:
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Running time:
120 minutes

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