'Udta Punjab' - Movie Review - 'Dark And Brutal But It Is Amazingly Good' - (***1/2) - (3.5/5)

So much happened before this movie hit the movie screens. So much was said, discussed, debated and vehemently argued. Whatever the reasons the movie has been in news since long time. Anurag Kashyap and other producers of this film should donate little money to CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani for his amazing free publicity. Well after facing lot of hurdles at last the film is released now. The real testing time begins now because fans and critics will have super check on each and every scene.

After having such huge media hype it is almost impossible to satisfy or justify the level of hype but this film has certainly passed the test. It has real guts and amazing stuff to startle you and puzzle you to give a damn to it's haters. It does have BIG HEART. Performances are marvellous and astonishing. Big stars like Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor opted to do such off beat roles is a wonderful change in Bollywood.

In fact guys like Anurag Kashyap and Sriram Raghavan changed the definition of Bollywood cinema and now with this film director Abishek Chaubey took this to different level. He did prove his stuff in his film 'Ishqiya' which was path breaking film in 2010. This movie has an unique quality as it has powerful message to youth and particularly for the state of Punjab. The nexus between politicians and drug suppliers with the protection from police is superbly executed.

This kind of thought provoking films India should watch. After watching this film when you hear the news that film censor board tried to stop this film then I am sure you will curse the system. If this is the standard of a censor board then we can predict the future but Kudos to Bollywood Industry which stood and got united to fight for the protection of their freedom of creativity. Kudos to Anurag Kashyap who stood like a rock and succeeded.

UDTA PUNJAB starts off with a scene at the India-Pakistan border wherein a Pakistani man throws a mysterious drug packet onto the Indian side. This is followed by a 'rocking' introduction of the rockstar Tommy 'Gabru' Singh (Shahid Kapoor) and a glimpse into his 'addictive' lifestyle. One day, Tommy Singh gets fired by his producers for delaying their recordings. If that wasn't enough, Tommy Singh also gets arrested by the Punjab police amidst his birthday party, on grounds of drug abuse. When he gets released from jail, despite the jitters, he somehow manages to gear up to perform before an eagerly awaiting audience. Just before the performance, he does something extremely awkward that irks a handful of audience, who, then, run after him for his blood. On the other hand, Pinky Kumari aka Mary Jane (Alia Bhatt) migrates from Uttar Pradesh to Punjab. Her background reveals that, she was an exceptional hockey player, who, because of lack of financial support, landed up becoming a labourer. And since then, she is trying to find her place under the sun in Punjab.

One day, when she finds a 3 kg drug packet, she tries to sell it off to make a fast buck. While doing so, for reasons best known to her, she dumps the whole 3 kg of drugs into a well, thus invoking the wrath of the drug peddlers, for whom, the entire packet meant heavenly profits. Angered by her action, the peddlers not just land up raping the helpless Pinky Kumari, but also keep her as captive with them. Repeated attempts to run away from their clutches, yields no results for Pinky. The third angle to the story is that of Dr. Preet Sahani (Kareena Kapoor Khan), under whom Balli Singh, the younger brother of Inspector Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is getting treated for being a victim of drug overdose. Amidst the course of Balli's treatment, Sartaj Singh analyses and realises the harm that these banned substances cause to people. He, then, joins Preet Sahani in her crusade against drugs and exposing the drug mafias.

what happens when Tommy Singh and Pinky Kumari cross each other's path, and does Dr.Preet Sahani and Inspector Sartaj Singh succeed in their crusade of exposing the drug mafias of Punjab you have to see on screen only.

Shahid Kapoor is spectacular as Tommy, a coke-addled fool who wins us over with slack-jawed grace and makes the songs credibly appear his own. Alia Bhatt, the show stealer, carries no baggage and delivers the performance of a life time. From accent to body language, she has got almost all of it right. Diljit Dosanjh is nuanced and likeable and carries his ambiguous morality with ease.

Overall it is a matured and a different cinema. Every Indian should watch and appreciate the great efforts of director

- Parvez Chowdhary