Tripling on a motor cycle, three men stop by a cultivated field and one of them asks the other to get ready for something. For a minute you feel a bit odd because that person starts warming up and exercises his arms like a bowler! But, when he's handed a packet of drugs, he throws it on to the other side of a barbed border like a pro! And then, Udta Punjab takes off with an impressive start!
This scene sounds quite boring on paper, but the person who catches the drug packet on the receiving end, governs the story of Udta Punjab. The trajectory of the packet and its impact on the people very aptly symbolizes at the very beginning how drugs can make you fly and followed by an unfortunate downfall.
I salute the spirit of Balaji and Phantom to have dared to attempt something that sensitive and bigger congratulations on successfully weaving the story with great aesthetic sense. I had this presumption that it might be very complex and high funda movie, but, what I love the most about Udta Punjab is the simplicity of its narrative. Sudip Sharma definitely joins the league of amazing writers in Bollywood.
For a person who knows nothing about drugs, to an encyclopedia of drugs, everyone has something to take away from the film. The fact that the makers have cautiously exposed the dark reality of the state of Punjab and migrants in general, it leaves no doubt that Udta Punjab will be marked as one of the most successful movies which actually contributed in spreading awareness in the society! And what better medium than films and splendid stars could have done that?
Kareena Kapoor Khan & Diljit Dosanj - The backbone of the movie
Kareena Kapoor Khan inevitably gives you a slight glimpse of Geet from Jab We Met with sparkling eyes and blushing cheeks as a Punjabi doctor, Preet Sahani. Her voice overs for the anti-drug campaigns and general dialogue delivery are commendable, and the actor Kareena is back! Diljit Dosanj is a treat to watch! A film that drives totally on intense drama and events gets its much needed warmth and softness, all thanks to the incredibly talented Diljit. You cannot imagine this movie without these two!
Shahid Kapoor aka Tommy Singh
It wouldn't be wrong if we'd say that Haider is back!
Shahid Kapoor gives yet another highly impressive and clap-worthy performance with Udta Punjab. His diction in Punjabi, costumes, make up and dialogue delivery, as well as the body language, is EXCELLENT!
From snorting the drugs to bringing comic timing to the most intense scenes, Tommy Singh flies high!
Alia Bhatt - The star of the show!
You will not remember Alia from Udta Punjab, because she's not there in the movie! You will completely forget that you're watching Alia Bhatt on screen. She will put all old - young actors to shame with her flawless performance. One can say without a doubt that this is her career best performance. Brilliant will be an understatement for her! Really! The Bihari migrant in Punjab who is a fantastic hockey player ends up in the web of drugs and molestation. She hardly has a page of dialogues but her silence, her eyes and actions are class apart! While I say 'outstanding' I wish there was a better adjective that could describe this girl's caliber as an actress. Her own contemporaries are nowhere in the league!
Satish Kaushik and others
It's a pleasant surprise for all Satish Kaushik fans, our good old Calendar from Mr. India. He's back and how! He adds the much needed humour in Udta Punjab and he's adorable while he abuses and accuses in Punjabi and handles the hyper active Tommy Singh.
Surprise package in the movie is Shahid's little brother Ishaan Khattar who makes an appearance in one of the most viral scenes of the film during Tommy's birthday when the police comes to arrest him.
Besides them, the chief of police played by Manav Vij and the person who's obsessed with Alia when she's in a house arrest are characters to watch out for!
The casting director deserves a pat on his back for beautifully casting the best people in the movie. Every character is hands down brilliant!
Should you watch or not?
Hell Yes! You should! But yes, it's not for the faint hearted because it does have some really explicit, graphic and jittery content. You ears will bleed after hearing the cuss words countless times, but you've got to watch it! Udta Punjab can easily be the best movie of 2016 so far!
The two boys who start rapping Tommy's song in front of him when he's in jail, Diljit Dosanj's younger brother and Shahid's cousin in the film, everyone delivers a great performance.
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!