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After being abandoned for eight straight years in boarding school, Rohan returns to the small industrial town of Jamshedpur and finds himself closeted with an authoritarian father and a younger half brother who he didn't even know existed. Forced to work in his father's steel factory and study engineering against his wishes, he strives to forge his own life out of his given circumstances and pursue his dream of being a writer. Written by
Udaan First time director Vikramaditya Motwane has done a brilliant job with Udaan. This film was truly worthy of a screening at Cannes. The simplicity of this movie is probably what makes this movie wonderful. Its a story which is not too uncommon in India, but the way its been shown, is what brings the freshness in the film.
Rohan(Rajat Barmecha) has just been rusticated from his boarding school along with his 3 friends for they were caught watching an adult film of sorts(Kanti Shah ke Angoor) by their dean. As it turns out, Rohan has to go back to his home in the small industrial town of Jamshedpur, To add to his woes we find out that he hasn't met his father(Ronit Roy as Bhairav) in 8 years and he doesn't even know of the existence of a step-brother(Aayan Boradia as Arjun) at his home. Reaching there he learns that he has to work with his father at his factory and enroll in engineering college. And the disciplinarian his father is, he can't even question him. As he is stuck there with his dream of becoming a writer seemingly getting shattered, he learns to cope with life. He learns to love his kid step-brother, manages to write between work and college, sneaks out for a drink or two at night, but inspite of all this, he is getting suffocated. He wants to escape. He wants to fly.
Udaan is a simple, emotional story about a boy in a small town, learning to live with his disciplinarian of a father. It is actually as simple as that. It might not sound interesting like this but the fact is that the way this normal coming of age story has been showed is just brilliant. There is nothing 'bollywood' about this film, its as if this movie was shot with a handy-cam, capturing the lives of a real family. But that doesn't make this one bit boring, because obviously there are some exaggerations, some gags, some drama but all in all its very real and believable. I'm sure everyone one of us would be able to relate to this film in some way or the other.
The high point of the movie is the performances by the leading men(there are hardly any women in this film). Ronit Roy as a single father has done his job with perfection. He drinks, smokes, but still goes for a jog every morning, which also turns out to be a very important aspect in the story. He sometimes loses his cool, uses force in teaching his kids a lesson, but at times we also see that he is caring and probably a little vulnerable. He's acted so well, that you can feel it when he is drunk, you even get scared when he is angry, that good is his screen presence. I was wrong to write off this TV actor. Rajat Barmecha too has done an impeccable job in portraying a kid, who has lived his life in one of the best boarding schools of India and now is stuck in a small town. He does the usual, sneaks out at night for drinks and smoke, steals his fathers cars for doing so, but still makes it on time in the morning for his daily run with his dad. His writings are beautiful too, so credit must go to the original writer as well. But the award must go to Aayan Boradia who is one of the best child actors I have ever come across in Indian cinema. He is so real, so cute and you will just fall in love with him. He is somewhat aware of what is going on but obviously at his age he just can;t do anything about it as his understanding does not go that deep. And then lastly Ram Kapoor as Jimmy, Bhairav's younger brother brings a very good contrast between his authoritarian brother and his practical chilled out of sorts character. He understands Rohan's dreams and aspirations but he can only do so much to convince his big brother to change his mind. A very intriguing relationship between the two brothers I must say.
Running time of over 2 hours, this might at times seem a little slow, but you gradually understand the importance of those long silent shots as the film progresses to its climax. There are scenes that will send chills down your spine. There scenes that will inspire you to 'fly out of a cage' if you are in one, metaphorically speaking of course. Its just filled with those moments that will be with you for sometime to come. It won't be easy to forget this movie soon. And let me assure you, you will come out highly satisfied after watching this movie. A big thumbs up for Motwane! Looking forward for more! Cheers to all the actors as well!
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