Release Date: June 17, 2016
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Duration: 2 hours 28 minutes
After being mired in controversy over the cuts ordered by the censor board and the subsequent relief provided by the Bombay High Court, Udta Punjab finally hit the screens on June 17. A huge response from the public was expected since the movie has been in the news for quite some time. Irrespective of the controversies, the film has been receiving rave reviews from viewers and critics alike. The film highlights the menacing drug problem in the State of Punjab, which is resulting in socio-economic decline.
Udta Punjab is based around four people, each of whose lives, in a way, is connected through drugs. Each of these belongs to varied social strata – Tommy Singh (Shahid), the Punjabi rockstar; Kumari Pinky (Alia), a migrant from Bihar; Sartaj (Diljit), a Sikh cop; and Preet (Kareena), a doctor. Tommy Singh is a youth icon, but the other truth about his life is that he is a junkie who can work wonders only when he is high on cocaine. Kumari Pinky gets into the world of drugs by misfortune, and once she is in, it’s difficult to get out. The movie also highlights the role of corrupt cops like Sartaj, who will choose to ignore the drug menace, as long as they have their pockets full. Then there’s Preet, who understand the gravity of the drug problem and is doing her best to help put an end to this demon.
While we have long been told about the grandeur of Punjab, its fertile lands, lassis and paranthas, and the quintessential ‘makki di roti sarso da saag’, director Abhishek Chaubey takes us on the murkier roads and alleys that are flush with drugs. Chaubey artfully creates a near perfect concoction of documentary and mainstream cinema, which is something to watch out for. All the actors have also performed well in their respective roles.
Anyone can get involved and trapped in the deadly world of drugs. Udta Punjab brings us closer to the grim realities of the world of drugs. You may want to watch it to understand how drugs can influence and wreck lives and what can be done to put an end to the drug problem.
By: Satya Singh