Tuesday, 25 July 2017 »  Login
in
»
Movies » Udta Punjab Movie Review
I am at

Udta Punjab Review

Udta Punjab
Josh / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
7.5
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Suggestions
Can watch again
Yes
Good for kids
No
Good for dates
Yes
Wait to rent it
No
Udta Punjab is no Trainspotting. Nor is it a Requiem For A Dream. What's common to all these films is, of course, that they are all movies on drug abuse. The two films we just mentioned are particularly well-known for the way they get the viewer to see, and perhaps even feel, what the drug user experiences. Boyle and Arronofsky (and even Kashyap to an extent, with Dev D) successfully construct a visual and aural, and even emotional, projection of psychotropic experiences. Udta Punjab doesn't manage to be that kind of an overwhelming cinematic experience, but you can't deny that it is a screamingly good film.

That, we believe, justifies the 7.5. Superb, but not quite there.

There are many more intriguing concerns, too. Like how the plot is actually two unrelated distinct stories. One with a drug-addict popstar (Shahid Kapoor) who may have to start looking for redemption and a Bihari girl (Alia Bhatt) who comes to Punjab as agricultural labour and chances upon heroin falling from the sky. The other story has to do with a jovially corrupt cop (Diljit Dosanjh) who soon stops seeing the humour in corruption and a doctor (Kareena Kapoor Khan) who runs rehab clinics for addicts such as the younger brother of the aforementioned cop.

The intriguing part is how these stories never feel like they are unrelated. Their coming together isn't like the confluence of multiple plots a la Amores Perros (or closer home, Yuva) because these stories practically never meet or fuse together. They still come out to be the same film, though. Like strangers who bond on a train, they are different stories but theirs is a single journey. This is a little feat of direction that Chaubey can demand a hat tip for.

Moving on, a bit of marvel is the casting of Alia Bhatt as a Bihari farm labourer. And the generally bubbly and urban-chic star more than vindicates this decision. We knew she was a natural actor but all her roles so far had her feel at home. However, her turn here as the freckled, tanned, accented village girl is a revelation as exciting as watching her stand up to Hooda in Highway. Just the way she holds the chunni wrapped around her head tells you she's comfortably settled in her character. Fitting into the role aside, she emotes without restraint. But that's something we have come to expect of Bhatt anyway.

Not far behind, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, too, snugly occupy their characters and emote likewise. Dosanjh, a big star in Punjab, gives us the vibes we got from Parambrata Chatterjee (another regional star from the other end of the country) in Kahaani. Affable, energetic and talented both these actors seem, but we can assure you Dosanjh is the better of the two. Kareena Kapoor Khan, on the other hand, gives you enough reason to empathize with Dosanjh's character on why he gets so smitten with her. In one scene he embarrassedly proclaims "Aap itna perfect ho...".

It is the Shahid Kapoor portion, though, that lets us understand why Udta Punjab didn't come out to be what it could have been. His is the part where the actual drug use is represented but it all seems surprisingly ordinary. We are informed that drugs cause intense hallucinatory experiences but at no point does the viewer get a glimpse into this experience. Kapoor can act and has acted brilliantly, but the overall effect is one of observing him from a distance and not one of being there with him, and certainly not one of entering his psyche.

The music in these portions, too, is tepid. The trance like psychedelic experience that music can achieve is not exploited. It becomes more of a satire on Yo Yo Honey Singh when it really should have been an exploration into why and how people like this music. The pulsating catchy beats in this score can catch anyone unawares but the film doesn't give you such fare. If their point was to show this culture as unattractive, they have made a mistake. The true problem with this culture is that it is attractive. It is so attractive that it could feel disgusting. But perhaps, that is a very difficult aspect to film.

But when Udta Punjab moves to the stories of its characters, when it lets tenderness take over, it becomes a complete triumph. Everything works. The actors, like we mentioned before, beautifully convey their emotions. The music pulses its way into your heart, and the visuals serve the movie faithfully. Chaubey, who made the one and one-and-a-half Ishqiyas, still retains that capacity to compose a stirring moment of human emotions. Watch out for that scene with Shahid Kapoor meeting two of his fans in jail. The half-lit face of his truly signals the beginning of his remorse.

However, possibly the most intriguing thing about Udta Punjab is that it got released. With the kind of choking censoring environment in this country, it is a miracle that filmmakers still want to and try to make movies like this. At the beginning of this review we commented on films like Trainspotting and Requiem For A Dream. But Danny Boyle is treated like national treasure in the UK and Arronofsky has no less adulation in the US. These people can fear nothing when they conceive a script and execute it. To do the same in a country where films could outright be banned for realistic portrayals of society is a victory in itself.

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.
Share. Save. Connect.
  EMAIL
  PRINT
  SAVE
UDTA PUNJAB SNAPSHOT
Udta Punjab (hindi) reviews
USER RATING
4.0
1 USER
RATE
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
TOP COMMENT
The Common Movie Goer on 18th Jun 2016, 11:06am | Permalink
TL;DR Underwhelming movie with brilliant performances. Don't think it will be a winner at the box office, but I would love to watch Anurag Kashyap make some money.

My Review:

I was extremely confused just after I had watched the movie. I wasn't sure if I had liked it or not. Some aspects were brilliant, but some parts were below average stuff.

I'll start with the good part - the performances. They were spot on. You can see the sheer effort that Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor have put in to portray their respective characters. You're only watching a Bihari immigrant and a doped out Rockstar/Rapper on screen, not some clueless star kids. They completely sold their act and I was blown away by them. Diljit and Kareena have amazing screen presence, Kareena Kapoor seems to be ageing like wine. The climax is an absolute clusterf*** and I mean it in a good way. It's so crazy, it's good. This is where the good news end.

Coming to the bad parts, I still am not sure what went wrong for me. The stories seemed disjointed, the screenplay did not have gravitas, and the movie seems to be going on and on at places. In spite of the brilliant performances, I wasn't really sucked in and failed to empathize with any of the characters. I am not sure if the editing is to be blamed for that. The authenticity is there, but you just seem disconnected from the proceedings.

The screenplay isn't Anurag Kashyap-esque (fair enough, he was only a producer), the movie isn't riveting like the cult classic Gangs of Wasseypur (I don't think it is possible to replicate the quirky awesomeness of that movie).

At the end, things felt either dragged out or hurried, and left me largely underwhelmed. I think the critics and reviewers are heaping undeserved praise and giving it too much credit. I agree with Josh on every point except the fact that it deserves a 7.5 in spite of its flaws. The movie just isn't hard hitting enough.

If you want to watch a truly hard hitting and extremely well-acted movie, watch Sicario. You will actually feel the confusion and pain of Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro respectively.

Overall, the movie was not that great and feel this will be a polarizing movie. Reactions to this movie will be all over the place. Go with low expectations and you just might enjoy it.

P.S. The controversy and the leak seem totally staged to me. Could it be that Nihlani's son is involved with a production house.

P.P.S. I've seen a bunch of good movies recently and if any fullhyd reviewers are looking for recommendations, I would suggest The Big Short, Moneyball, Wreck it Ralph, Zootopia, The Intern, Carol, What If (Extremely good performances by Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan) and Liberal Arts ( Must Watch). I also loved X-Men Apocalypse - give it a chance.

That apart, I also liked poorly rated movies like Our brand is crisis, London has fallen, and Never Back Down 3. I'll update this list in my next review.
6
0
USER RATING
4.0
UDTA PUNJAB USER REVIEWS
1 - 2 OF 2 COMMENTS
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
4.0
1 USER
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
The Common Movie Goer on 18th Jun 2016, 11:06am | Permalink
TL;DR Underwhelming movie with brilliant performances. Don't think it will be a winner at the box office, but I would love to watch Anurag Kashyap make some money.

My Review:

I was extremely confused just after I had watched the movie. I wasn't sure if I had liked it or not. Some aspects were brilliant, but some parts were below average stuff.

I'll start with the good part - the performances. They were spot on. You can see the sheer effort that Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor have put in to portray their respective characters. You're only watching a Bihari immigrant and a doped out Rockstar/Rapper on screen, not some clueless star kids. They completely sold their act and I was blown away by them. Diljit and Kareena have amazing screen presence, Kareena Kapoor seems to be ageing like wine. The climax is an absolute clusterf*** and I mean it in a good way. It's so crazy, it's good. This is where the good news end.

Coming to the bad parts, I still am not sure what went wrong for me. The stories seemed disjointed, the screenplay did not have gravitas, and the movie seems to be going on and on at places. In spite of the brilliant performances, I wasn't really sucked in and failed to empathize with any of the characters. I am not sure if the editing is to be blamed for that. The authenticity is there, but you just seem disconnected from the proceedings.

The screenplay isn't Anurag Kashyap-esque (fair enough, he was only a producer), the movie isn't riveting like the cult classic Gangs of Wasseypur (I don't think it is possible to replicate the quirky awesomeness of that movie).

At the end, things felt either dragged out or hurried, and left me largely underwhelmed. I think the critics and reviewers are heaping undeserved praise and giving it too much credit. I agree with Josh on every point except the fact that it deserves a 7.5 in spite of its flaws. The movie just isn't hard hitting enough.

If you want to watch a truly hard hitting and extremely well-acted movie, watch Sicario. You will actually feel the confusion and pain of Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro respectively.

Overall, the movie was not that great and feel this will be a polarizing movie. Reactions to this movie will be all over the place. Go with low expectations and you just might enjoy it.

P.S. The controversy and the leak seem totally staged to me. Could it be that Nihlani's son is involved with a production house.

P.P.S. I've seen a bunch of good movies recently and if any fullhyd reviewers are looking for recommendations, I would suggest The Big Short, Moneyball, Wreck it Ralph, Zootopia, The Intern, Carol, What If (Extremely good performances by Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan) and Liberal Arts ( Must Watch). I also loved X-Men Apocalypse - give it a chance.

That apart, I also liked poorly rated movies like Our brand is crisis, London has fallen, and Never Back Down 3. I'll update this list in my next review.
RATING
4
Josh on 18th Jun 2016, 11:19am | Permalink
I think I know where we deviate in opinion. I stopped wanting a hard hitting film after the first song got done. I let the film work its way and it was essentially making its way towards being a soft emotional film.

I loved the two emotional tracks and how the lead pairs connect. By that point drugs were not even in my mind. As a backdrop, yes. But not as a part of the plot itself.

I'm guessing you wanted a hard hitting film. Your disappointment makes full sense that way.
The Common Movie Goer on 18th Jun 2016, 11:31am | Permalink
Right on, Josh. I usually look for full on mass elements or seriously twisted movies. Not sure if the makers got their target audience right. I am not a big fan of romantic mush except for a few well made films which focus more on the dynamics than the actions of those involved (What If and Liberal Arts that I mentioned did exceedingly well in the dynamics department). Coming to this movie, the Shahid-Alia bonding felt completely out of place. Kareena-Diljit arc was really good, but you know how that turned out.

I wish Anurag had seriously meddled in this one.
Josh on 18th Jun 2016, 11:48am | Permalink
I love my mass and twisted stuff, too. But I'm quite a sucker for good drama and emotional stuff.

The Kapoor-Bhat portion clicked for me on the angle of how Kapoor is a self-centred guy who cares for only himself and for the first time he cares for someone else. A little heart wringing happened.

And I loved the gender role turn when Bhat saves Kapoor from those guys. Unrealistic maybe, but very satisfying.
The Common Movie Goer on 18th Jun 2016, 11:09am | Permalink
Correction: I meant fullhyd readers, not fullhyd reviewers, in the PPS. My bad.
JayZ on 17th Jun 2016, 10:11pm | Permalink
We missed you guys,Josh....where have u been these past 2 weeks???Many Marvel's have come and gone in that time ( read House full,Do lafzon,oka ammay tappa, right right) and we missed your reviews of those gems
Josh on 18th Jun 2016, 11:14am | Permalink
Hi JayZ! As someone commented earlier all the reviewers are slightly under the weather right now.

I actually watched Right Right to review but fell ill that night itself. However, I liked the film. I'd have given it a 5.5 or 6.
Kanye on 18th Jun 2016, 10:26am | Permalink
On top of that, where is the review for Gentleman?
Josh on 18th Jun 2016, 11:10am | Permalink
On the way. Just finished the review.
LEAVE A COMMENT
fullhyd.com has 700,000+ monthly visits. Tell Hyderabad what you feel about Udta Punjab!
Rate Movie
[no link to your name will appear, overriding global settings]
To preserve integrity, fullhyd.com allows ratings/comments only with a valid email. Your comments will be accepted once you give your email, and will be deleted if the email is not authenticated within 24 hours.
My name:

Dissatisfied with the results? Report a problem or error, or add a listing.
ADVERTISEMENT
SHOUTBOX!
ADVERTISEMENT
This page was tagged for
Udta Punjab hindi movie
Udta Punjab reviews
release date
Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt
theatres list
Follow fullhyd.com on
© Copyright 1999-2009 LRR Technologies (Hyderabad), Pvt Ltd. All rights reserved. fullhyd, fullhyderabad, Welcome To The Neighbourhood are trademarks of LRR Technologies (Hyderabad) Pvt Ltd. The textual, graphic, audio and audiovisual material in this site is protected by copyright law. You may not copy, distribute, or use this material except as necessary for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. More on Hyderabad, India. Jobs in Hyderabad.