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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Udta Punjab

Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey
Produced by: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Aman Gill, Vikas Bahl and Sameer Nair
Written by: Sudip Sharma (Dialogues)
Screenplay by: Sudip Sharma and Abhishek Chaubey
Story by: Sudip Sharma and Abhishek Chaubey
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh
Music by: Amit Trivedi
Background Score: Benedict Taylor and Naren Chandavarkar
Cinematography: Rajeev Ravi
Edited by: Meghna Sen
Production company: Balaji Motion Pictures and Phantom Films
Distributed by: Balaji Motion Pictures
Release dates: 17 June 2016

Storyline:
The movie will revolve at the increasing problem of drug abuse in Punjab. It is a story of four different people merged together. There are four different stories and four different perspectives. It is the first Hindi film to deal with the drug issue.
Actors Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt will be seen together once again after Shandaar movie. Kareena Kapoor Khan will play the role as Dr. Shivangi Gupta romancing Punjabi heart-throb Diljit Dosanj in the film. Alia Bhatt to be seen as a professional Hockey player. To fit the role she is doing a lot of background work.  Shahid Kapoor will be seen portraying the character of Rockstar. He has transformed from Shahid to Tommy Singh. He will be seen in the role as a drug-addicted person.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:

Abhishek Chaubey started his career as an associate director and co-writer with film director, Vishal Bhardwaj, starting with Vishal's debut Makdee (2002). He went on to assist him in all his subsequent films, and most notably co-wrote Vishal's trendsetting Omkara (2006) based on Othello, and Kaminey (2009).

Eventually, he debuted as a film director with Ishqiya (2010), starring Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi, the film was produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and won rave reviews for him.

His second film Dedh Ishqiya starring Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Huma Qureshi and Vijay Raaz released on 10 January 2014.


Controversy :

The row over the film being drug-themed slated for release on June 17 escalated with co-producer Anurag Kashyap hitting out at Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, calling him "oligarch" and "dictator" and that it was like living in North Korea. The makers of the film are said to have been asked by the Revising Committee of the Censor Board to remove all references to Punjab and to make 89 cuts. Kashyap got the support of several filmmakers including Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, Aamir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Varun Dhawan and Mukesh Bhatt. "It is a dark day for freedom of expression and creativity in the country," Mukesh Bhatt said, calling Pahlaj Nihalani a "stooge" of the government.  It was finally cleared by bombay high court with the cuts reduced from 89 to 1 in which tommy singh was seen urinating. 'A' certificate was given and scheduled release is expected.

My Gut Feel and comments:

“You can find anyone that will tell you what you want to hear, but the only one worth valuing is the one that tells you what you need to learn.”
Above seems true in case of Udta Punjab as it appears to be too blunt to handle by one section of society who protested the release of movie and people like Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani tried hard to do as much damage as possible to the movie however finally film releasing in its original form and shape with minor cuts here and there.
It’s a  difficult and complex subject to handle as screenplay doing justice to all four pivotal characters and bringing them on one platform  covering the critical problem of drug abuse in Punjab is a daunting task.

Going by the work Abhishek Chaubey done in the past higher is the chance that he handled everything well and pulled out a dark entertaining movie which is influenced by Vishal Bhardwaj’s still of cinema as Abhishek worked under him for many movies and followed the footsteps with his two movies as director which are  Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya. 

The movie is backed by strong production houses like Balaji Motion Pictures and Phantom Films which add additional punch to the overall presentation and marketing of this movie.  The overall film looks fresh and promising although still it is not meant for a typical family audience as youth is the prime target audience for this movie as dealing with a very relevant issue of drug abuse among youth in India and even globally.

Going by my gut feeling I am giving this movie 3.5 stars out of 5, two days before the release.