Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh
Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey
‘UDTA PUNJAB SOARS ON THE STRENGTH OF STRONG PERFORMANCES AND MANY HIGH NOTES’
Story: Different tracks of four lives that of a Punjabi Rock-star, a Bihari Migrant, a Sikh Policeman, and a Doctor of how they personally address and fight against the drug-abuse menace that is causing a crisis in Punjab.
‘The Land Of Five Rivers’, merely a description in a travelling brochure or a geography textbook. In reality, it is a state ruled by cocaine, drug cartels, and corrupt policemen. Now, the state serves up heroin and cocaine quicker than it’s famous beverage – lassi.
A Bihari migrant (Alia Bhatt) comes across a powder package in the middle of the night on the fields she is working in. She tries selling the same to make some money, but the plan backfires.
A famous Punjabi Rock-star, Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), a role model for the youth. Unfortunately he has succumbed to the drugs, and sing songs praising the substances. It doesn’t takes much time when his musical hits, are sung by each and every drug-headed youth.
Next, there is Inspector Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh), who has no problem taking bribes along with his higher officer for the contraband. He only realizes the menace of substance-abuse when he finds out that his younger brother, Balli is a victim.
Finally, a doctor, Preet(Kareena Kapoor) who rehabilitates drug addicts, hopes that her reports on narcotics, will abolish this crisis.
This is not your mainstream, ‘cheerful’ movie. It is hard-hitting and makes you cringe. The movie captures the emotions and struggles of the characters perfectly. It makes you symphatise and shed a silent tear for them. And, there lies the film’s victory. Shahid performs his role perfectly, Kareena and Diljit have done justice to their roles, but Alia beats everyone with her performance. The music multiplies the impact of the scenes. The film does get a bit sluggish in the second act, but then it won’t make you restless in your seats.
There was unnecessary controversy prior to its release. After all, this is real and happening in the affluent state of Punjab, where the youth have succumbed to substance, that is resulting in a socio-economic decline. This issue cannot be ignored.
Kudos to Chaubey and team for ‘coking’ up a ‘high’-grade film. Support the film, watch it in cinemas.
Note: A lot of the dialogues are in Punjabi, but subtitles help.
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