At last! A slice of real India in a Hindi movie



Enough has been written about the bloodbath at the Mumbai box office this year.

Mexican heroines, painted American presidents, songs shot in pretty places, heroines based on US sitcom clichés (Thou shalt eat a tub of ice cream when dumped) failed utterly to help matters.

As we yawned through one “Let’s-sell-our-film-to-the-world” attempt after another, we even began to wonder if we were better off with those tacky old themes and all-too-convenient storylines.

If the Roshans had fed their heroine to the crocs a la Khoon Bhaari Maang, and of course, ensured the heroine slid out of the water, picture-pretty with cosmetic surgery, would Kites have worked?

This weekend, though, a coming-of-age film about a teenager (A real teenager; not 40-plus men playing teenagers) shook off the boredom and cynicism.

There are many reasons why you should watch Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan.

Sonia Chopra’s review on calls it a  a film worth savouring.

Times of India’s Nikhat Kazmi calls it “a moody, introspective and ekdum different look at teenage angst”.

Anurag Kashyap sees it as a metaphor for the brave new cinema that can rid itself off the baggage of old-world filmmakers and cliches.

Udaan has its powerful performances, its silences, the sounds of the night it captures, its sensitivity in dealing with abusive parents.

You should also watch it for its hero (Rajat Barmecha). And for its two talented actors – Ronit Roy & Ram Kapoor. Such a shame that we associate them only with saas-bahu serials.

But most of all, Udaan gives a voice to the adolescent: The ones who’ve been too awkward for mainstream Hindi cinema.

We’ve caught glimpses of a young Lucky in Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.

And fans of Malayalam cinema will remember the glory days of the very young on screen (The Hariharan-MT team’s Nakakshathangal & Aaranyakam are personal favourites).

But when was the last time you saw a bunch of gawky teenagers who look and speak like gawky teenagers throughout a Hindi film?

Udaan must also be commended for daring to tell a universal story rooted in an Indian town. For bringing alive the best and worst of Jamshedpur: Its steel factories, the garish buses, the seedy bars, statues, secrets, dinner parties loaded with the unsaid…

It’s not often that you catch a slice of the real India at the movies.

Don’t miss this one!

Sarita Ravindranath

10 responses to “At last! A slice of real India in a Hindi movie

  1. I hope the movie marks the coming of age of Hindi movies on the adolescents. Taare Zameen Par and now, Udaan – the young have reason to cheer in India.

  2. Paid article. Horrible movie

  3. horrible ! which real India are you talking about?
    Clear your head…………… 43% Indian living on a dollar a day.

    • Sanju baba,

      The real india lives in villages and small cities, like Jamshedpur. And Udaan shows that. What dollar are you talking off? Dollar club under wear and banian?

  4. Well ! Whad did you expect? A miracle! Ain’t gonna happen. I haven’t seen the movie, just basing my comments on sanju’s and Sandeep’s comments. When one only knows to copy, one will always just copy! Indian film world is mired with utter lack of creative imagination. All they do is COPY! I remember “Sholey”, the water tank scene of Dharmendra was stolen from the movie “Secrets of Santa Vittoria”, music in the song “Itana na mujh se too pyaar badha” was a ditto of english symphony, and the list goes on. These were not coincidences either. Oh! and BOLLYWOOD !!!! We couldn’t find a decent original name?? And generally speaking, Indian actors/actresses are mostly “Bhands”. All they know is to do “Thumka”. There is no depth or understanding of acting. Just shooting at grand foreign locales or cheap, shody copy of western artists (one of the Khans coping croch grabing of Michael Jackson immediately jumped out) is not ART! So, if Indian cinema is incapable of producing any award winning (western awards) show, it is no surprize. It’s not that it is impossible, because there were some good artists in Hindi cine-world, like Sanjeev Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar. Although, movie “Angoor” was a copy of “Comedy of Errors”, but Sanjeev Kumar had his own contribution in it, or another movie (the name escapes me ) was a copy of French movie “Irma la Duce”, but again Sanjeev Kumar had his own contribution in it. But mindless copying and then adding thumkas to it, well, pardon me, but it ain’t ART.

    • Angrez ki aulad…we indians are enough to bring this country down. Appreciate good stuff man, copies will always be there. And BTW, whatever jobs we have today is because of copy + paste. So don’t crib.

    • Very well said. Thank you.

  5. Big Yawn, how do these guys, without knowing ABC about films & acting, get a column to write? Ram Kapoor & good acting – in the same breath? Which planet is this guy living – certainly not in an intelligent planet called EARTH!

    • Sid, my dear friend. Don’t talk like a baby lost in a topless bar!

      Intelligent planet? What’s wrong with your intelligence? When did planets become intelligent? And with fools like you living on Earth…I am sure planet Earth can never be called intelligent. Ram Kapoor can’t act? You watch too many saans-bahu serials. And I am wondering if you actually know about films and acting?

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