Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Ayaan Barodia, Ram Kapur
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Music: Amit Trivedi
Verdict: Teenage angst, real problems, Hitler’s clone for a father and beautiful treatment aligned with great performances. To be watched for all the right reasons.
Almost as if it were a new trend, everyone – critics, masses and even the film fraternity keep talking of parallel cinema. Udaan – as parallel as parallel cinema can be; as real as realistic cinema can be. A film which holds true to its name, Udaan takes off, step by step and takes you along. A film that talks differently of father-son relationships, friendships, teenage angst avoiding the mush and other such things Bollywood loves to miss. It will slowly absorb you, with its poetry, script, acting, music and silent moments – each, which make you uncomfortable and empathise with the protagonist.
Rajat Barmecha’s portrayal of Rohan Singh – the teenager who gets expelled from school for tapping the wall and watching a porno, only having to return to his Hitler of a father, Ronit Roy in the industrial town of Jamshedpur – exhibits the real problems teenagers face. With a storyline that is firmly grounded, the film with its great cinematic moments makes you feel a part of these issues intensely. The lyrical quotient of the film is sky high, so much so that it makes you go wow, almost every single time any poetry is uttered. With a great screenplay and equally good dialogues, Vikramaditya Motwane not only scores with direction but also compliments Anurag Kashyap’s mastery with the pen.
Ronit Roy delivers a power packed, fearful performance as the father – who confesses to doing the things he does because of work pressure, frustration and loneliness. Ram Kapoor was inevitably the best choice to portray the only light in the domestic life of Rohan, which is down in the dumps, as his Chaachu and Bhairav’s (Ronit Roy) younger brother, Jimmy. The film showcases the different life Rohan led at boarding school and now leads in his father’s steel workshop, oscillating between attending college in the evenings and sneaking out to drink at night, with a bunch of new found friends. And, without much to say, the younger step brother, Arjun (Aayan Barodia) steals your heart away – with just smiles and his eyes.
The film goes on to prove how life is not always only about happy endings, happy families, elaborate dance sequences and Manish Malhotra clothing. There’s one particular scene at the park, during a family picnic which has Rohan recite one of his poems upon the insistence of his Chaachu – the setting and lines of which will not only leave you spellbound, but want it played over and over again. With a perfectly blending soundtrack, which is a masterpiece in itself, shows the skill of Amit Trivedi who weaves dreams once again – after scoring well with Dev D. The songs, non obstructive help in setting the mood and maintain the pace.
With great, picturesque cinematography and crisp editing – which compliments the leisurely pace of the narrative – don’t be surprised if the film makes you cry, more than just once. Not aimed to be a tearjerker, the film has already won several accolades being India’s first entry to The 2010 International Cannes Film Festival under the UN Certain Regard Category – credit to which must go to Anurag Kashyap and Ronnie Screwvala for being such supportive producers to a wave of cinema that needs this kind of recognition. All in all – go watch Udaan, for all the reasons you can think of. It’s a film for the Bollywood buff, who likes to think and take home a little more than just entertainment.