Definitely not for the faint-hearted, the film opens with Shahid Kapoor's rather confusing, but fantastically portrayed Tommy Singh (similarities between him and a certain rapper whose name rhymes with Shmoney? You're not the only one who noticed) singing praise to cocaine- a fitting prelude to what is about to be 2 hours and 18 minutes of drugs, sex and quite honestly, pain.
Kareena Kapoor's work takes your breath away and Diljit Dosanjh's performance, although not the brightest star shining in Udta Punjab, was commendable.
Fortunately, Shahid Kapoor also takes on the role of being the only comic relief, in an otherwise bleak film. Comic, in the sense, really distressing but funny nonetheless- in a pathetically drug-induced, morbid and humorless kind of way.
In contrast to the stellar cast and direction, the cinematography was, at best, average and the plot doesn't do justice to its actors. The climax heavily disappoints, but the story is worth telling. It sheds invaluable light on Punjab's war on drugs. If the situation is even half as dire as shown, this film had to be made.
Udta Punjab was in the media for weeks before its release for several reasons. Even before its release, the film tested our country's democracy, showed the Indian youth what we're really capable of, and the real meaning of freedom of expression.
And as the hype built, my hopes for this film rose dramatically. I walked into that theater with colossal expectations and can happily report that I walked out feeling like I'd gotten my money's worth.
After the abysmal box office success of Tamasha, a brilliantly conceptualized film, although lacking in plot, Udta Punjab is proof that the Indian audience is still deserving of movies that don't just revolve around beating up thugs. But, if all of this is not for you, they also have thugs.
Folks, this is one worth watching.
Written by Jyotsna Shiv Kumar
Eater of the cupcakes. Art nerd. Lov...er, reeeally liker of psychological horror novels. Your friendly neighborhood tumblr expert.