Saturday, June 18, 2016

Udta Punjab (2016)

Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Writers:  Sudip Sharma, Abhishek Chaubey
Cinematographer: Rajeev Ravi
Cast:        Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanj 
Language: Hindi 

I really don't think a synopsis is necessary for the film because of all the controversies surrounding it due to Pahlaj Nihlani's infamous 89 cuts. It is set in Punjab which is facing a severe drug crisis with an estimate that 70% of its youth is affected by it.

Rather than having the drug problem as a backdrop for the story, the film is just about it in the most unsubtle way. Then it becomes a big problem if you don't have any depth. You have a drug fueled rock star, who sings about the stuff he takes, getting reformed of sorts when he meets a couple of his fans who killed their mother for drugs. Then there is the hilariously naïve police officer who also grows a conscious after he finds out that his brother is also hopelessly addicted. He has got for company, a very blandly portrayed doctor character played by Kareena Kapoor who also moonlights as an exposition device. Then there is this tremendously irritating, whenever she has to deliver more than two lines together, Alia Bhatt as the token representation from the lower economic strata. The best way to describe the film would be is that it is incredibly sterile. It works like a Doordarshan sermon with very high production quality. The tone doesn't change as we move from the tobacco warning ads, sanitation advise etc to the actual fucking film.

I was not planning to watch this film but decided to give it a go after the certification body copy of it was leaked, presumably deliberately to sabotage it. Guess, I've another reason to hate Pahlaj Nihlani for. A friend of mine, with whom I watched it, quipped that Nihlani might have done it a favour with the 89 cuts of his. I agreed.

PS: I hate the fact that I was able to watch it in my hometown when I have to travel 35Kms tomorrow to catch the Malayalam film that was deemed the best from last year by the state jury. It is a sad state of affairs.

Rating: 1.5/5