Friday, July 01, 2016

Udta Punjab | The corny movie review by Navin

Udta Punjab: Yet another proof that any publicity (even unwelcome publicity from senile old uncles and aunties at the Censor Board) is good publicity.

Put simply, Udta Punjab is about how ingrained drugs are in Punjab. This is old (cheap) wine repackaged in new plastic bottles. There are a couple of songs and Alia running and braying (aka crying) and then Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. You'd be forgiven if you see similarities between Jab We Met and Udta Punjab. 
While I'll give brownie points for even making a movie like this, I think there is a lot of reasons why this will be a movie that you can wait to watch when it comes on the 'Worldwide Television Premiere' on Hindi cable TV. 

The most important of them is - they have got the technicalities so wrong, anyone who has worked even remotely with deaddiction and rehab centers will cringe at how drug addiction is portrayed. Heroin/cocaine and its sister drugs are extremely potent and evil. Getting addicted to these will affect the way you appear, speak, think and basically function. Withdrawal is even worse. Alia's character is shown to be addicted to the drug but when she is 'hunting' for it, there isn't the craving and the 'urgent insanity' that addicts will go through. She looks disheveled and bruised and that's about it. Shahid looks dapper and fit and while he does the part of the raving drug addict well, where he fails miserably is the post-jail/rehab. For a guy who couldn't perform if he wasn't coked up to his cock, one night at the slammer does what years at a rehab cannot do - Kick the habit. His 'clean' act fails so bad, I feel pity at the guy for even trying. 
This movie has so many other glaring inconsistencies, continuity issues, and factual errors, I doubt if they even tried to edit. 
Kareena Kapoor was only there to add some glamor to the movie. For an actress who could carry a movie on her shoulders, Udta Punjab was definitely the wrong choice.

Infact I felt the makers confused drug addiction with alcoholism because none of the people who are seen taking drugs in the movie resemble what an actual drug addict would do, say or think. 
I found the part where Kareena's and Diljit's character go snooping around in the godown in the middle of the night unbelievably amateur and without any foresight. I find it unbelievable drug lords would let their godowns unsecured the way it is being portrayed. I found the many songs and the hint of romance between Kareena's character and Diljit Dosanjh's character distracting. 

Would I recommend it?
Udta Punjab is a wonderful example of what happens when its makers (and actors) don't do their homework. 
Apart from growing a mane and working up a leaner body, Shahid doesn't seem to be getting inside the skin of his character. Apart from Prabhjyot Singh, who plays Diljit's brother, none of the other actors appear committed to the cause. Diljit appears authentic but gets watered down with too much gooey stuff 40 minutes into the movie. Some of the metaphors are deep, like the one where Alia is falling and then swimming towards a light. Technically, this movie is a bust and didn't deserve one bit of the publicity it got.
Udta Punjab doesn't tell you anything different that other movies of the same genre haven't told better. Any premise of promise is diluted to the point where you can guess the climax of the movie right by the time you are packed off for popcorn at the interval. 
This is a bad waste of good money but hey, you get free air-conditioning and an eyeful of Shahid's abs, so the girls won't be complaining. 

My Rating: 2

What does the rating mean? 
0-4  : Not worth your presence in the same zip code as the TV/Theater.
5-7  : Err... the movie is pretty, but it's definitely missing something. A storyline, that is.
8-10: 'Drop-the-dishes, stop-the-sex, jaw-dropping, that-is-incredible' 2 hours of movie experience

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