Udaan : Movie Review


Udaan created a turbulence inside me and I am sure everyone who saw it saw some of of his/ her life reflected there. The simplicity and stark  treatment of subject is the beauty of the film.

I vote Udaan is the best film of this decade.

The coming of age , a celebration of spirit rebellious is a genre normally not dealt with in Indian Cinema. Debutant director, Vikramaditya Motwane has done an exceptionally good job with it. The screen play shared  by Motwane and the film’s producer, Anurag Kashyap is terrific .

It was slightly disturbing to see parts of our own life come alive on screen but then that’s what makes a film worth appreciating. It surely touched a deep cord somewhere.

I am sure many kids of this age group , even my elder son,  connected with the character of Rohan , the main protagonist.

Udaan is a deeply affecting story of Rohan( played by newcomer Rajat Barbecha ), his fears and aspirations, his vulnerability as a seventeen year old boy trying to find his roots. Rajat’s brilliant performance conveys that intense loneliness and frustration of a free spirited young boy torn  by his inner turmoil. His hatred, claustrophobia deeply resonates in everyone who watches it.

My son who studied for 6 years in boarding always told about boys who did not want to go back home or dreaded returning to parents who never understood them. Some longed and were homesick but their parents too busy with their lives to think of the child they had abandoned.

Rohan is thrown out of boarding school and packed off to Jamshedpur, his home town. His first visit in eight years. A motherless child , he is about to face some naked truths of life. A half-brother he is unaware of, a hostile , authoritative ice-cold father, the smothering environment of  a small industrial town.

Rohan’s dreams of being a writer are crushed brutally by his dad who wants him to follow family tradition and join his steel plant. Caged in a small house with a younger half-brother for whom he has no affection and facing his father’s hostile outbursts his depression becomes more intense .  His angst is felt very strongly throughout the movie.

The dialogs between father and son are razor-sharp. It is not uncommon to find  emotionally stunted, disciplinarian fathers who   are boggled down middle class fears and obsessions of a ‘secure’ future for their sons. The film is a complete character study of an  Indian middle class family. Stuck up father, emotional rebellious son who wants to escape the social bondage and routine to follow his dreams is representative of many such teenagers who run away from authority and uninspiring future. even Rohan’s sympathetic uncle (played by Ram Kapoor) , his petrified younger step brother who is a victim of  home abuse and his bunch of edgy friends ( from school and neighborhood) can be anyone from our dead society.

Rohan’s friends sing a parody of an old Bollywood song ” ‘Sab chote shaher ka baap ek jaisa hota hai. Family business? Very good, very good. Dream business? Very bad, very bad.’…. over gallons of rum. A pungent and pertinent remark.

I loved the way Rohan’s freewheeling poetry is incorporated in the film. Each of his poems is a mirror of his inner. Exceptionally brilliant.

Ronit Roy’s performance is mind-blowing to say the least and it is a performance based film. I wasn’t a big fan of his till now. Simple stories are hard to narrate and here each character has put life into the plot.

I loved that for the first time  the protagonist is not a run on the mill film teenager but a boy with more realistic problems than finding girlfriends and discovering sex and romance. In one of the scenes his dad even asks him ” sex kiye ho?”

India’s Neo wave cinema has come of age  with this exceptional film. Life is not all bed of roses. There is a dark liquid running beneath the nicely swept streets. definitely poignant, unyielding , very refreshing , beautifully penned story Udaan is a sheer pleasure to watch if you are a cinema lover.

The sugar-coated image of parents is shredded to uncover the dark side of parenting.  Udaan to me seemed a very confidant début. He never loses track of the main story even when dealing with crucial scenes or its ultimate goal.

Overall an enriching experience of self realization and  a lesson for all to learn. To let children be. We as parents are not controllers and our children are not puppets neither are they slaves of our expectations.

10/10 for Udaan.

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