Title: Udta Punjab (IMDB)
*ing: Diljit Dosanjh, Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt
Language: Punjabi with bits of Hindi
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Genre: Social Issues
With all the controversy before its release, the Censor Board itself did all the publicity for the movie. Censor Board wanted the movie to have 89 cuts, which the producers resisted. Matter goes to court and the movie is released. And then someone releases the Censor copy online.
Udta Punjab tells the story of 4 individuals - a migrant farm-worker, a rockstar, a police officer and a drugs rehabilitation doctor - whose lives get intertwined because of the prevailing drugs situation in the state of Punjab.
Highlights - A slick storyline with good all around acting and an authentic Punjabi setting. Shahid Kapoor is good as Tommy Singh while Alia Bhatt does a great job as a migrant worker (though her attempt at Bihari accent is jarring).
The movie doesn't glorify drugs usage. It just shows how harmful the addiction can be for the individual as well as the family. And once someone is in the trap it is not an easy task to come out.
The Punjabi music industry has contributed its share to propagating drug use. Tommy Singh's "Gabru" lifestyle is shown as having motivated his fans towards drugs use. But when the same Tommy Singh tries to give an anti-drugs message in his show, he is abused by his own fans and has to run for his life.
For a Punjabi, his truck is very important. Beat up the person, but don't touch his truck. That's one clear-cut message from the movie.
Funniest Scene - The discus thrower warming up before sending a drugs packet flying across the border from Pakistan to India.
Useless Factoid - the name " Mary Jane" is a euphemism for marijuana.
The depiction of drugs trafficking in Punjab and the politician-police-suppliers nexus has clearly rattled the CBFC chairman and his political masters. While certain other political parties are using the pre-release hoopla for their own gains. Making one believe that there must be some degree of truth in the story.
Rating - 8/10. Not for family viewing (after all every fourth word is an expletive) but does present a grim picture of a social problem.
Previously on MovieNotes - Te3n