31 December, 2010

Udaan (Hindi)


I've just finished watching Udaan and I'm angry. I'm angry at the fact that Indian film makers no longer have confidence in their own movies. The advice whispered by Ram Kapoor’s character Jimmy in such a way that the audience cannot hear it is such a blatant copy from Lost in Translation that it just spoilt the whole movie for me. Was it so important to put that in there? Let's face it; the only reason it was done was so that people would talk about it later. It takes away everything that the main character has worked for throughout the film. I would have been happy if they both would have just sat there without talking for a couple of minutes.

The other thing I'm angry about is the fact that it is crystal clear that we have such amazing young talent in India and yet most of the movies consist of 40+ actors dancing around trees with girls half their age. Seriously, it's about time the younger generation (and I'm not talking about the Ranbir Kapoors and Imran Khans) were given due credit and more chances to shine.

I'm also angry at the fact that big movie banners continue to make run of the mill love stories, which are copies of Hollywood films, when gems like this take ages to be made. I say cut out a couple of your overseas location songs from one of your multi-starrers and spend that money on financing one movie like this every now and then.

On a separate note, the movie is simply brilliant. It's a coming of age film wherein our protagonist Rohan (Rajat Barmecha) returns home after 8 years in a boarding school. This is the first time he meets his authoritative father Bhairav (played by Ronit Roy) in 8 years (his mother having expired early on). He is introduced to his half brother Arjun (Ayaan Barodia) who he did not know existed. This is where his rebellion starts. He is full of subdued anger towards his father for not being there for him and this anger is diverted towards his half brother, initially. His father likes things his way. He wants his son to study engineering and work in the family business, something a whole lot of Indians can relate to. He expects his sons to call him "Sir". The movie is a combination of small events that eventually leads to an expected yet uplifting conclusion.

Supporting the main characters is Ram Kapoor playing Rohan's Chacha (Uncle). Ram has recently emerged as an interesting character actor and I look forward to seeing him in more movies. Rohan's friends, both from school and college, are more examples of outstanding young talent available to the Indian Film Industry.

So, the acting and the actors are perfect. The camerawork, direction, and music are excellent. Most importantly the story is touching and very realistic (in fact I know of people who have been through similar situations). The Director and Writers deserve all the credit for making a movie with a heart and soul.

Now, please go ahead and watch the movie. I watched it on Pay-Per-View today (okay a few days back. I took my time with posting the review) and plan to buy the DVD when it comes out to show my support for the movie. I don't expect a movie like this to feature in the numerous award functions that India has, but would like it to at least be nominated for the National Award (although I'm sure something like Peepli [Live] will get more coverage due to obvious reasons, but to be fair I am yet to watch it). Lastly, Udaan also has one of the nicest posters i've seen of late.

Rating : 4/5 (I took off 0.5 because of the whole whispering advice thing towards the end.)

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