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Freshly returned from the prestigious Cannes Film Festival - Udaan which carries Anurag Kashyaps stamp as a producer doesnt come without a trace of the Dev D directors shadow. Though it develops its own striking individuality with its take on the coming of age issues of young adults, does Udaan take a flight and soar high? Well yes, because it would be perfectly unfair to call it just another venture in the line of teenage crisis.
The reason is, it simply isnt just another. After you step out, theres a piquant feeling lingering in your mind that youve watched some cinema. Rohan (Rajat Barmecha) is kicked out of his hi-profile boarding school from the hills (hes caught watching a semi-porn) and is forced back by his monster dad to the sleepy town of Jamshedpur barred by his middle-class guidelines. The Dad (Ronit Roy) is ruthless, beats up the other little kid (Arjun, Rohans step-brother) and has instructions to be addressed only as Sir. The truant teens desires of being a writer gets no ground at the Jamshedpur land as hes made to work in his Sirs steel factory merely as another manual worker & post work comprehend the complex physics in Engineering. The daily regime becomes an unbearable confinement for Rohan who decides to break-free & live his dreams, catch-up with his boarding school pallies who decently fetch for themselves in Bombay, also take the responsibility of his kid step-brother away from his neurotic father whos contemplating (and does) a third marriage.
Though the script has been kept straight- plain, it doesnt show the slightest stance of being obscure. Udaan scores mainly because of intense characterization, top-notch comic timings, just the right use of hand-held cams at instances and most of all with the entire narrative that make you stand up in the penultimate scenes and applaud as it comes to a pleasantly unfaltering climax Since, Udaan cannot be attributed with a particular genre;in such cases, it gets increasingly difficult to carry the story forward. At times during post-interval, I actually started being a bit wary of how would the end credits start rolling or where does it conclude? There, the debutante Vikramaditya Motwane (director) shows some terrific skills. Keeping the climax a little vague to a certain extent, he brilliantly shows that break-free situation wherein the father, armed with years of morning stretches & jogs, fails to get hold of his son, who has very well realised where is headed and what is it that he wants to pursue. The film is an epitome of an exhilarating screenplay watch out for the confrontation scenes between Rohan & his father over the little kids hospitalisation, the dinner table sequence wherein Rohan declares his aspirational dreams, the bar scene of Rohan and his senior-friends, when they roam around streets at well past midnight simply like hooligans, scene in which Ronit Roy makes his son show him smoke qualify for a supreme level of cinema. These all, compiled beautifully makes Udaan stand apex, the dialogues are witty and sharply penned closely with each character. The birds and the bees arent replaced with other unapt adjectives. Sex is Sex, on your face. And mind you, that has a strong effect.
Flaws are inevitable. And here its just one - the stretched timing towards the end. A little correction on that part was required. Handled as carefully as a skilful craftsman, the director gets double thumbs up; music plays a pivotal role and is in complete form (Amit Trivedi). Complimented with just the right selection of actors, Rajat Barmecha (Rohan) is a talent-house whereas Aayan Boradia (Arjun) is soulfully innocent with his gestures. Ram Kapoor gives such a terrific performance, you hate him for not doing so many films. Ronit Roy is at his level best with a tremendously effective neurotic, alcoholic, frustrated father battling his own demons. The accent, the raw expressions, and the cruelty he bags full points. A special mention of the supporting cast who dutifully match the others standards. Take a birds eye-view; Udaan flies parallel, an engaging narration, not a least bit dim, its a film that brings back your own adolescent period and leaves you bewildered with its utter-simplicity. Now, how many mediocre budgeted films potently qualify for all this? Go, watch.