Udaan: Movie Review

The weekends are the time we catch up on all that we have missed on the working days. I did too by accompanying my friend to watch the recently released movie ‘Udaan’.  It was screened at the Cannes film festival and was well appreciated. The story circulates around the lives of teenage boys, sent away to a hostel! Four friends, share a room, sneak out at night, followed by  the usual ‘getting caught’ scene. They leave the premises of the college to go to a low budget theatre and watch some porn, only to find their school warden canoodling with an unknown lady. They then escape and try to get back into the hostel before time but predictably,  they don’t have a say in the matter. The humorous camaraderie amongst the friends is something most teenage boys can relate to. The spontaneity in the scene makes it look as natural as possible. From amongst the four young boys, the main protagonist Rohan (played by Rajat Barmecha), is sent home, a home where he is treated like a prisoner by a father whom he hasn’t met in the last 8 years. A motherless child, ill- treated by the father, isn’t a new concept. However, the film depicts an egoistic father (Ronit Roy) dealing with the difficulties of bringing up a teenage boy. When Rohan gets home, he finds an addition to his family, a small boy, born out of his father’s secret second marriage while Rohan is away at school. Rohan has problems adjusting with the small boy but their father leaves them no other option. They have to live together and learn to deal with the situation. .
Rohan,  17, has a mind of his own and is highly ambitious. He wants to pursue his dreams but his father comes in the way of his dreams and has himself dreamt something for him which he supposed to follow no matter what. He insists that Rohan works in his factory and simultaneously, go to college to study engineering. The movie gets slow during this time with the typical father-son rifts. It is hard to catch where all this is going, judging by the pace of it. The dialogues including the constant nagging and abusing is a little monotonous, until Rohan finds a new set of friends at the bar, who have dealt with similar life incidents and somewhere down the line, the help him muster the courage to give it back to his father. The father on the other hand decides to marry again and his new wife comes with another addition to the family, her daughter. Rohan however realizes that his talent of writing and his dream of becoming a writer are never going to be fulfilled as long as he is under his Hitler-like father.. So, he decides to consult his uncle (Ram Kapoor), who understands his situation and pities him, for bearing the brunt of someone else’s frustrations. And then Rohan decides on something that will benefit him in the near future. Of course, Rohan thinks of his half brother as well, hoping to give him a better future than being sent to a hostel and feeling neglected just like he did. But what decision? You’ll have to watch the movie for that!
We could say that this was a mature version of Taare zameen par’ as it runs on the same lines negligence of children- children who bear all the insulting remarks. Later this same child suddenly shines, and has a better life only because he tried to break the law, only difference being there it was a dyslexic boy and here it was a teenager who looked more like a girl, as he had no facial hair (signs of puberty) and yet his uncle claims that his voice had cracked!

It is shot well, there is no denying that, but the story could’ve had some more variations to it,  especially a few more female characters would have added to the appeal of the film. The locations and the cinematography get a thumbs up, and the acting of all involved in the movie must be given full credits for fitting the character so well. It is a one- time watch but you can give it a miss in the theatre as it will soon be telecast on TV! So cheers!

Sunaina Machmanda

Image Source: [http://blog.taragana.com/e/2010/07/23/i-was-locked-away-without-phone-or-television-udaan-actor-speaks-about-the-trauma-of-playing-an-isolated-teenager-151152/]