Udta Punjab  – Movie Review
Bollywood has explored the taboo topic of substance abuse right from Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1972) days , until recently in Rohan Sippy’s Dum Maro Dum(2011) but then the drug mafia was never really the central point of discussion in any movies with several other candyfloss subplots to overshadow the same. Abhishek Chaubey pushes the envelope far enough to expose the dark reality prevailing in Punjab in his movie Udta Punjab where the youth is entangled in the deadly cobweb of Drug abuse. [ Read: Yes Its true : #UdtaPunjab Uncensored Copy Leaks Online Two Days before the Release ]
Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Alia Bhatt & Shahid Kapoor
Set in Punjab the movie is chronicled through the eyes of Three Protagonists. There is a Rock star Tejinder aka Tommy Singh[Shahid Kapoor] who promotes drugs through his music in order to gain popularity among the fans and seeks redemption when he gets acquainted with the bitter reality. Then we have a Sikh Cop [Diljit Singh] who conveniently turns a blind eye to the drug dealings until his own teenage brother is addicted to substance abuse. And the third track involves a young Bihari migrant [Alia Bhatt] whose unintentionally opportunistic blunder results in her being gangraped and subsequent drug addiction & prostitution. [ Read: TE3N (2016) Movie Review
Full points to the Director Chaubey for dealing with the relevant topic of Drug Mafia so openly and without any clichés. He’s dared to depict the Drug Scenario in a realistic and factual manner on screen. It’s extremely disturbing and painful to watch scenes showing innocent youth in the movie involved in drug abuse and the Director deserves accolades for making these scenes appear realistic.
Shahid Kapoor gives his 100 percent to the loud and boisterous singer’s role almost appearing comical in majority of the scenes, his role does seem inspired by a Singer who was recently diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Diljit Dosanjh is excellent in his Bollywood debut and strikes an impressive balance appearing aggressive in some scenes and sensitive in others as required. Satish Kaushik is at his hilarious best and Prabhjot Singh is spot on in his role. Kareena Kapoor adds Grace and dignity to her role of a selfless and philanthropist Doctor. [ Read: Housefull 3 (2016): Movie Review by Sumeet Nadkarni ]
The best performance in the movie is unbelievably and surprisingly by Alia Bhatt who’s outstanding in her role of the doomed young migrant who after being pushed to the corner doesn’t give up or succumb to the male dominance,instead she faces the Abusers headstrong and fights her battle on her own. In a scene where some inebriated fans attack the hero it’s Alia who bashes them up with full power to protect him. This is by far her best performance and nobody [ Not even the celebrated performers like Kangana or Radhika Apte] could have played it better than her.
Udta Punjab is a welcome change in Bollywood wherein the maverick director has managed to combine harsh reality with a dash of entertainment. And this time he’s got his act right.
Watch Udta Punjab Censored – Censor Wants 89 Cuts : The Newshour Debate (6th June 2016)