Udaan: A sincere, heartfelt and moving masterpiece
Meaning of the word ?Udaan? translates in English to mean a take-off or a flight. Udaan is real, heartfelt and a movie to cherish and remember dearly. A deeply personal film, Udaan strikes just the right chords. Vikramaditya Motwane?s debut in directing a film proves to be an unconventional Bollywood movie, which talks about the most relatable topics like dreams, friendship, freedom and brotherhood. With a splendid cast, giving astounding performances, a most suiting soundtrack, and powerful and intricately thoughtful dialogues, Udaan is one of the best movies of Bollywood in 2010.
The plot begins when four teenagers sneak out of their hostel campus to watch an adult film at night and get caught but the warden in the same theatre. This act gets them expelled from a well-respected school. We follow the trail of Rohan, played by Rajat Barmecha, as he is sent back to his uncaring, abusive and disciplinarian father named Bhairav, played by Ronit Roy. We gather the knowledge of Bhairav?s despise for his son from his first wife, in the scene where he stares down at him with a disgusted expression, dragging his huge trunk on the platform. Rohan hadn?t seen his father for eight whole years and still, he doesn?t get a pinch of attention from his dominant, Hitler-like father. Rohan had not seen his father for 8 whole years. Soon Rohan discovers he also has a little step-brother named Arjun from his father?s second wife. Rohan denies Arjun from using his things, striking a rivalry with his little step-brother. The story unfolds revealing hurtful outbursts of Rohan?s father.
Rohan aspires to become a writer and study arts but his father denies this, commanding him to study engineering and to do a part-time job at his own small steel factory. ?Udna band karo. Pao ko jameen pe rakho? he tells his son. Rohan?s life becomes miserable in Jamshedpur with early morning jogs around the city, harsh labour at his dad?s factory and studying at an engineering college with no friends. Rajat Barmecha has beautifully portrayed an honest character of Rohan. He gives the character a sense of loneliness and a longing for his dreams. Rohan is shown taking whiffs of freedom at night by sneaking off from his house, drinking, smoking with his new friends at a local bar.
Rohan?s father makes him call him as ?sir?, dominates and abuses him saying ?ladka nahi, ladki hai tu sala?. Ronit Roy is brilliant in a self-centred, dangerously strict and hurtful role of Bhairav. He steals your attention and absorbs you into his character. In a particular scene, he reveals his tenderness after getting drunk. ?Bohot pyaar karti thi tumhari maa tumse. Mujhse se bhi jyaada?, he says to Rohan. He even explains how he did visit Rohan?s school in 8 years but left when he saw Rohan happy. ?Kya kehte tumse, kuch acha kehne ke liye tha bhi nahi humare paas?. This scene makes his character more layered and deep.
Contrasting to Bhaira?s harsh character is the character of his second son and Rohan?s half-sibling Arjun, played by Aayan Boradia. He stays silent in most part of the film but his innocence is unparalleled. Ram Kapoor plays the part of Bhairav?s younger brother, Jimmy, who is the only support figure for Rohan in Jamshedpur. Jimmy sides with Rohan for his dream to become a writer and also attempts to convince his elder brother to let Rohan pursue arts.
The choice of dialogues by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane are clever and moving. Even the pieces of poems that Rohan reads out are gorgeous. Mahendra Shetty?s photography in Udaan is succulent, it sets just the moods for the film, and paired with that, the perfectly suiting soundtrack which paints the plot with right moods.
Rohan starts sympathizing and befriending his step-brother when he sees scars on his back. Rohan?s dad lies to him about hospitalizing Arjun, saying that he fell down from stairs when later Arjun tells him, he was beaten with a belt by their father because he couldn?t secure a business deal because of Arjun. Rohan decides to run off to Bombay and work at his friend?s restaurant there rather than tolerating more from his father. And as advised by Jimmy, he also decides to take along Arjun. In the scenes where Rohan?s dad makes him run in the morning and race while getting back, his dad always wins and remarks an exhausted Rohan as ?disgraceful?. One of the best scenes towards the movie?s conclusion is Rohan punching his father on the face and running off. Bhairav chases his son with full aggression but this time, Rohan runs faster and manages to beat his father rather ?gracefully?.
Though Motwane?s choice of keeping the narrative slow-paced is acceptable, some of the sequences seem repetitive. For a long duration of about 2 hours and 20 minutes, the film requires patience to watch. The visuals of the film are something that will linger around in your head for a long time. Udaan has its best feature in being sincere and real. For a directing debut, Vikramaditya Motwane has developed a brilliant piece of cinema that should not be missed. Udaan moves us to the very core and it?s a must watch movie.
?Ek Udaan He Sapno Ko Zindagi Degi, Sapno Se Jod Do Isse.?
Written By: Aakash Shete