Friday, March 18, 2011

Movie recommendation - Udaan

Image source: Indiabuzzblog

Udaan is a 2010 hindi movie directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, written in collaboration with Anurag Kashyap. I watched Udaan recently, having never even heard about it until the awards season began. After noticing that it was bagging awards left, right and center, my curiosity got the better of me and I has to see what it was all about. Udaan is a small budget movie with no star cast (most of the actors are from television or newcomers), no exotic locales and no song and dance routine. In other words, it is anything but your typical bollywood fare. That is exactly what makes the movie work! The lack of stereotypes and cliches makes it refreshingly different from all the run of the mill movies that are churned out every year. The simple and realistic approach that the film makers have taken in showcasing the story of an adolescent boy who attempts to break free of all the shackles preventing him from living the life he had always dreamed of is incredibly relatable and heart-warming.

The film opens with Rohan (Rajat Barmecha), a rebellious teenager and his rambunctious friends getting into another one of their many shenanigans in their boarding school leading to their expulsion. Rohan considers himself to be an orphan having lost his mother at a young age and being deprived of a relationship with his estranged father. He faces a serious predicament as he realizes that he has to go back and live with the man whose face he has almost forgotten. The main story unfolds following a terse and strained first encounter with his father Bhairav Singh (Ronit Roy) after a span of several years. Bhairav Singh is a deeply flawed human being with pathological control issues frequently manifesting as verbal and physical abuse. After his wife's death, he abandons his only son at a boarding school to re-marry, only to become a widower again with a young son Arjun (Aayan Boradia) who solely bears the brunt of his tyranny. Rohan is stunned to discover that he has a six-year old half brother and tries to ignore him most of the time. Arjun is a serious and timid child who obediently does what he is told to by his father and brother without question. The lack of family dynamic is powerfully depicted. Bhairav Singh insists his sons address him as 'Sir' and blindly obey his irrational decisions and rules irrespective of whether they like it or not. He constantly bullies, criticizes and taunts them, dismisses anything they have to say and if displeased, punishes them in beastly ways. His sons in turn, resent him but find themselves incapable of doing anything about it. Rohan vents out his frustration by miserably failing his exams and sneaking out at night to visit seedy bars while Arjun acts out at school which frequently lands him in trouble with his teachers and principal. In spite of all Bhairav's short-comings though, we do get to see some fleeting glimpses of his softer side where it seems like he wants the best for his sons and feels remorse when he has wronged them. You don't relate to him even for a second though as he returns to his hateful self almost instantly! Even his affable younger brother, Jimmy (Ram Kapoor) who seems to be the only person he is very close to is not spared from his sour disposition.

The story takes a turn when Bhairav, in a fit of rage, punishes Arjun and inadvertently lands him in the hospital. Such a circumstance makes Rohan step up to the role of a big brother and assume the role of protector. A bond of love and trust slowly begins to develop between the two boys. Rohan, who dreams of being a writer but is forced to attend engineering college in order to join his father's business, starts spending time sharing his beautifully written stories and poems with Arjun. Rohan slowly begins to realize that he can break free if he really wants to but just has to muster enough courage. After a series of unpleasant incidents with his father, it is the last straw for Rohan. The ending of the movie is just wonderful and I wouldn't want to elaborate on it. You have to watch it!

The performances are top notch. Ronit Roy is menacing as Bhairav Singh and deserves all the accolades coming his way. Rajat Barmecha as Rohan is the epitome of teenage angst and does complete justice to his character. Ram Kapoor is convincing as the nice uncle. But all said and done, the highlight of this movie is Aayan Boradia as the tormented Arjun. The child actor displays a complex range of emotions much beyond his years. He is innocent, timid, endearing, frustrated, angry, scared and even a bit cheeky. That he has such an angelic face makes him all the more adorable. Check him out in the shower scene holding his little bow and arrow (aka the real Arjun)....cuteness personified!

That wraps up my review of Udaan. Go watch it if you want to see some sensible cinema. I hope you like it as much as I did :) 

1 comment:

  1. I have the CD lying at home for several months. It will be off the rack soon:)

    ReplyDelete

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