Thursday, July 14, 2016

Udta Punjab - Abhishek Chaubey

Found it mostly pedestrian.

4 stories intersect to show the drug problem in punjab. or as a whatsapp forward narrated the story.  A fellow tells his friend , 'udta punjab is about the drug problem in punjab.' Friend retorts, ' what nonsense, there is no drug problem in punjab, sab aasaani se milta hai' . 

Anyway, coming back to the movie, it left no impact, barring a few scenes. There's an arresting ,stylish beginning, and a  pretty good last half an hour ( although it breaks off from the main narrative of a sanskari documentary to move almost into fantasy zone) . What happens in the middle though? The high on drugs tommy-the-singer, the do-good-and-fight-the-system-doctor, the good-but-realistic-policeman, and the caught-in-the-middle-alia-bhatt , why does the whole thing leave no impact? I think a big part is the screenplay. I mean it all just looks like a simplistic story with caricatures, strung together with banality.

The only thing that left any impact was alia bhat, not because it was an exceptional performance, ( for that scenes from 'highway' keep intruding). But perhaps I haven't seen this very often before- all that dark foundation, the exact opposite of the fairness creams. The fight scene which ties back with that little scene you had seen earlier as you saw her traveling. This brilliance of course subsequently loses most of its sheen as you have to see everything explained in a dialogue. But perhaps that standalone spunk is so rare to see on screen, that it leaves an impact, even if its not brilliantly written or enacted.

But what exactly was there in this for the censor board to get its knickers in a twist beats me. I mean it can only be a case of chor ki daadi mein tinka if mr nihalani thought this was an indictment of his hero. If you have a little common sense, its shouldn't be that hard to see the gazillion times his hero's opponents have done their own share of deeds dark and ugly, and dozens of films would need to be censored to whitewash them.

But then these are the times we live in. Watch the censored scenes from angry indian goddesses and then travel in a dtc bus in delhi, and then laugh and laugh and laugh till your tummy hurts.



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