Shah Rukh Khan
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We at Follo were a part of the small group of people who got to watch Udta Punjab a day before the film hit silver screens. And let us tell you this is one film that completely floored us. Here are the reasons why…
Udta Punjab effectively delves into two very important aspects of the drug menace in Punjab – how it is happening and also the fight against addiction. While it shows the struggle of addicts, it does not shy away from showing, albeit fictionalized, how the trade is actually being carried out. It shows how crisis of its magnanimity is unlikely to have no political influence. It is a film that also shows how pop culture icons could be behind youngsters getting into substance abuse.
Udta Punjab is replete with memorable characters and remarkable performances. Shahid Kapoor unleashes his mad streak to make Tommy Singh real and effective. The usually effervescent Kareena Kapoor plays it down and Punjabi superstar Diljit Dosanjh comes up with an impressive Bollywood debut act. Actors with smaller characters like Satish Kaushik also add to the impact.
Alia Bhatt deserves a special mention simply because of her remarkable performance. It is not an easy role and definitely not one that most other actresses may have even dared to take up. Alia not just accepted the challenges, she added nuances that makes a her delight to watch. Her character, despite having the starkest subplot in the film, offers the much needed picture of hope. A particular scene where she comes face to face with Tommy (Shahid) for the first time has her erupting into something not seen in Hindi cinema for the longest while. This is Alia’s best so far and this means she has outdone her Highway act. Speaks a lot?
It is not easy to break the larger than life image that the run-of-the-mill Bollywood fare has built of Punjab over the years with Bhangra, mustard fields and loud characters. Udta Punjab successfully swims against that stereotype. Director Abhishek Chaubey teamed with Sudeep Sharma, writer of last year’s gritty hit NH10 to build a screenplay that effectively brings out the biggest challenge, one of India’s most prominent and richest state faces today.
Amit Trivedi had delivered songs that are so powerful that most of his compositions were not lip synced in the film, and yet weaved beautifully in the story. From the mad Chitta Ve to soothing Ikk Kudi, his music speaks for much of the characters in the film, almost adding to the screenplay.
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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