I saw Udaan in two shifts. The first time left me unimpressed because the acting seemed amateur. But for the lack of anything to do today, I decided to give it another try. And I am blown away. I haven’t seen a Hindi movie that made me sob like a baby, in months. This one did. For sometime you even begin to forgive the fake Bihari accent, and the very amateur acting. This movie really touches a chord with everyone who has, at some point, felt weighed under the pressure of high expectations of having to study something they have little or no aptitude for, or interest in. The frustration, the desperation to run for life, really brought back memories of a 21 year old fighting to prove that writing could actually be a career. Now I thank my parents for not letting me follow my fancy, and making me finish getting educated first. They always told me I could do what I wanted to once I earn the degree. I did, I am doing, and I am glad. Having said that, I remember how suffocating it had been then, to live to prove a point. Mostly to myself.
Add to that parental pressure, some peer pressure, and an abusive parent, and you have this really beautiful movie called Udaan. Ronit Roy, although not completely convincing as a frustrated, drunkard father, does make you hate him for what he brings upon his children. At my age, I can probably try to find reason in his behavior, but I can never really justify it. Rajat Barmecha is the quintessential small town kid with aspirations of becoming a writer, one that not too many people understand, definitely not his father. He makes you fall in love with him only because of his innocence and sensitivity. I hope there really are more 17 year olds like him, ones that actually have a dream that goes beyond driving at 150 kmph or getting to drink for the first time. But the protagonist’s 6 year old step brother was the one I cried for the most. A child at that age can get scarred for life if he has to see the things this child did. It was obvious in his sadness ridden smiles in the entire movie. Ram Kapoor, the cool chachu, was adorable. I guess we have all had that one grown up that always told us what the right thing to do is, without telling us what we were doing was wrong. And I guess we have all ran to these people with a lot of our growing up pangs.
Udaan reminds one of the decade gone by, when we were growing up. Parents these days seem to have become more open to the idea of their children following their dreams. Or I may have come too far from my roots to notice it around me now. I say every parent that has not spared the thrashing after a math exam, or has taken the child to IIT coaching without a second though to what the child really wants from his life, should see this movie. I will not speak of abusive parenting, because that is one thing I don’t know about except the fact that it’s ugly.
Surprisingly, for a low budget movie, this one is made beautifully. The cinematography is a class apart. It is like seeing beautiful photographs, only they are videos. Whatever that means. The music, although not memorable, is very apt. Something one would listen to, to forget the worries of adulthood for a while.
I must warn you though, that movie leaves you a little depressed in spite of seeing the protagonist run for his life, take his kid brother, and leave the father behind. I wish they could find common ground and put their troubles behind them. But what do I know of having to live with bad fathers. Mine rocks, in spite and because :-)