Friday, January 26, 2018

Udta Punjab (2016)

Disappointed to say that a somewhat muddled second half makes a good film out of something that could have been so much more.
The flow up to the interval is a fascinating mixture of dark and comic elements, well balanced and well-timed for the sequences to not feel abrupt or unnecessary- two flaws that abundantly plague the run time post intermission.
Same goes for the editing.
The acting is competent though.
Alia Bhat, if we ignore a few unintentionally funny moments of dialogue delivery, leads the lot. I thought the subplot revolving around her unnamed character was the best of the three. 
I'm not saying some other equally competent actress couldn't have done the job, but Bhat justifies her selection well enough.
Shahid Kapoor is in top form. He rocks the stage as Tommy Singh, a rockstar whose songs are, for lack of a better term, pro-drugs. But his role is mostly restricted to humor and little else (except for a scene where he is brought face to face with the effect his songs have on his fans)
Kareena Kapoor feels totally out of place in the scenes where she is emoting glee. 
I mean, 'happy' is still fine, but glee! The fuck! One doesn't feel 'glee' when one has succeeded in partially uncovering a drug racket involving political parties during election time. 
One just doesn't.
(Unless one has read the script and knows beforehand that one is going to be killed off by the end and one wants the audience to cry more than what one's character getting killed off genuinely deserves)
Diljit is a find. He plays his role with zero overt-ness and makes us care for his fate. 
Would definitely want to see more of him in future.
Mind you, I would still recommend you watch it, but only because there's a lot here to learn about how to (and how not to) deal with multiple plot-lines and mingle humor in dark tales.
A generous 3 out of 5.
I repeat, I'm disappointed.
PS: Kick-ass soundtrack though. Amit Trivedi is a genius.
Catch trailer here:

No comments: