Director - Vikramaditya Motvane
Producer - Ronnie Screwvala, Anurag Kashyap, Sanjay Singh
Cast - Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Aayan Boradia, Manjot Singh, Anand Tiwari
Music - Amit Trivedi
Cinematography - Mahendra Shetty
Editor - Dipika Karla
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - Vikramaditya Motvane, Anurag Kashyap
Lyrics - Amitabh Bhattacharya, Anurag Kashyap
Release Date - 16th July 2010
The poster above shows words ranging from Superman to Lingerie, a boy breaking free and the title, Udaan (meaning 'flight'). Which is exactly what we get while watching Udaan, a gritty, realistic and inspiring account of a young boy coming into his own and finally flying towards achieving his dreams. The previous such movie from Hindi, Wake Up Sid, was a rich guy's coming of age movie, which I thought was really good, looks shallow and overrated now, after seeing Udaan. Udaan is the first Indian film in 7 years to be selected to the competition category of the Cannes film festival, and it totally justifies its nomination. And with the name Anurag Kashyap credited as producer and co-writer, fans of sensible Indian cinema have been waiting with bated breath for this movie.
Synopsis - After being abandoned for eight straight years in boarding school, Rohan returns to the small industrial town of Jamshedpur and finds himself closeted with an authoritarian father and a younger half brother who he didn’t even know existed. Forced to work in his father’s steel factory and study engineering against his wishes, he tries to forge his own life out of his given circumstances and pursue his dream of being a writer.
Vikramaditya Motvane makes an explosive debut as a writer-director and makes sure that each and everyone sits up and takes notice of him. Vikramaditya is a protege of Sanjay Leela Bhansali (HDDCS and Devdas) and also one among the writers of the path-breaking Dev.D. (Interesting that he has worked on both Devdas and Dev.D) Here, he takes the simplest of plots and narrates it with many predictable events, but still delivers a brilliant movie. It is the nuances that he brings to each scene that makes the movie a great experience. The film flows seamlessly from one beautifully written scene to the next, each one connecting with the audience in some way or the other. Udaan is about the youth, its about parents, its about the generation gaps, its about frustration, its about rebellion, about breaking free, about love and the director conveys all these emotions in less than 2.5 hours. The maturity with which he has handled relationships in the movie should be reference material to many other filmmakers. Be it Rohan's relationship with his father, or his friends, his uncle and finally with his 6 year old stepbrother, everything is so real and convincing, that it is hard to believe that we are watching a film.
Rajat Barmecha can give all our young superstars a run for their money with his acting skills. He resembles Imran Khan a little in his looks, but is a far more superior actor than Imran. He plays the dreamy-eyed, rebellious Rohan to perfection. He carries the entire film on his young and able shoulder. Ronit Roy is a revelation. The actor who used to act in silly television soaps gives an extraordinary performance as the part-rakshas, part-human father to Rohan and Arjun. He succeeds in making the audience absolutely hate him, yet understand him at points, which means that his performance was bang on. Ram Kapoor, another TV actor as Rohan's chacha was again brilliant, with the right amount of underplay in his performance. He resembles Anurag Kashyap a lot in his looks. For a while, I was thinking if Anurag was the one who was acting in that role. Aayan Boradia, the child who plays Rohan's kid brother Arjun is the cutest thing to have appeared on screen in a long while. And kudos to Vikramaditya for his perfect casting and extracting an endearing performance out of the child. Manjot Singh, the stud surd from Oye Lucky!! Lucky Oye!! comes in a very short role but makes his presence felt throughout the movie. He was as usual, bindaas!! The rest of the cast were also extremely natural and ably supported the main cast.
Picking the best scenes from the movie is a tough job and it is better that the audience enjoys those scenes as they come in the movie, rather than already being aware of them through this review or any other reviews. There are some brilliant dialogues written which are both realistic and cinematic at the same time. And it is the small small things in each scene that makes Udaan work big time. And dont go with an opinion that this would be a dull drama between a father and son, Udaan has plenty of humorous moments which will make you laugh out loud. The interesting fact is that there are only 2 female characters in the film - Rohan's aunt and his dad's new girlfriend. But both of them hardly appear in more than a scene. Apart from that, there is a fat lady running in a swimsuit on the beach in Kanti Shah Ke Angoor, the adult film that Rohan and friends watch in a local theater. There is no romantic angle, because it simply aint a love story. And a million thanks to the director for not trying to squeeze in a love story for the sake of having one, like every other Hindi film.
Mahendra Shetty's cinematography is certainly one of the best things about the film. He has framed the movie in such a way that the audience is also a part of Rohan's claustrophobic life. And the outdoor shots are a sheer joy to watch. Amit Trivedi's music speaks for the characters almost as much as the dialogues of the movie do. He has come up with yet another fantastic soundtrack which has enhanced the narrative like anything. The songs 'Kahani Khatam Hai' and 'Aazadiyaan' are the picks of the lot. Amitabh Bhattacharya has also contributed a lot through his inspiring lyrics. Rohan's poems in the movie are absolute gems, especially the one he recites to his dad at a park. Dipika Karla's editing was perfect for the movie.
Udaan is sensitive, intelligent, inspiring and poignant. Vikramaditya Motvane in his debut has been absolutely true to his heart and has made a brave film without any compromises, proving that he is a craftsman to look out for. The Cannes nomination is just a beginning. This film is bound to go places and has the emotional quotient to connect with each and every person who watches the film. Easily the best Hindi film of the year so far.
So its time for boys/guys to get all emotional and moist-eyed inside the darkness of the theatre once again after Taare Zameen Par. Udaan is certainly a must watch coming of age film, and it would be a grave loss if any of us miss it. It makes you laugh, it pulls at your heartstrings, it gets you inspired and in the end, leaves you in high spirits!!
Rating - 4.5/5