• 4.5/5

I saw Udta Punjab on my birthday which may not have been the best idea. Because it's a very dark film. It's taken me some time to process it and mull it over. I'm really impressed with the film making of writer/director Abhishek Chaubey. I enjoyed his film Ishquiya, and he was also a writer on Kaminey and Omkara. This film straddles the issue of drugs in the Punjab (the title means Punjab's High or Punjab's Flying) by telling the stories of four people affected by it. Alia Bhatt is a field worker who comes across a packet of drugs from Pakistan. Shahid Kapoor is a coke addicted rapper rock star who sings about drugs. Kareena Kapoor is a saintly doctor who runs a drug clinic, hands out needles and speaks out against the drug problem. And then there's Diljit Dosanjh who plays a cop, complicit in looking the other way and taking bribes until he realizes that his younger brother is an addict. his reminded me immediately of the Hollywood film Traffic that told the story of how the Mexican drug cartels impact four people. I actually have not seen that Oscar winning film, but I did see the BBC series it was based on, Traffik which dealt with drugs from Pakistan in the UK, and it's a British politician's daughter who is the addict. The story of Traffic/Traffik and Udta Punjab are not the exact same plot, but the intention is the same -- show the impact through four different characters involved in the drug crisis in different levels. And show how the problem is very political. That is overt in Udta Punjab, and that's why the Indian Censor Board demanded 89 cuts. Read the rest of my review here: https://moviemavengal.com/2016/06/20/udta-punjab-a-triumph-a-triumph-of-film-making-acting-and-most-importantly-over-the-censor-board/

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