Review: UDAAN Is A Slow Paced, Yet Breathtaking Piece Of Bollywood Cinema

Published by Shah Shahid on

Dialogue-heavy, emotional movies are usually not my cup of chai. Unless the genre is that of an action movie, or sci-fi thriller, or Tarantino flick, it’s difficult for me to engage in movies that are emotional journeys for the main character. However, a recent film really caught my eye and was able to keep me interested for the duration. One that has an incredible storyline and brilliant performances. So check out my full Spoiler-free Udaan movie review.

Udaan Movie Review Is About Its Coming Of Age Story

Image via Anurag Kashyap Films.

Udaan happens to be the story of a young boy that, due to a childish mistake, ends up having to live with his disapproving father. A father who crushes all his hopes and dreams, and there doesn’t seem to be any way out for him. This doesn’t only apply to the storyline, but also the film itself. After the film was over, I still had no clue what the upswing of the story was.

Was there a chance meeting with a mentor who teaches the young man to rise up and follow his dreams? A turning point where he stands up for himself followed by a happy ending?  Something. But I realized later that the pacing of the film imitates the emotions of the main character; hopeless and desponded. And every scene is a minute of dread, worrying about the possible horrible-ness that may ensue at any minute due to his home life.

Performances In Udaan Are Superb

Image via Anurag Kashyap Films.

Debutant actor Rajat Barmecha does such a soulful take of this boy who has such dreams of creativity, yet has to endure constant emotional beatdowns from his strict father. Sent back home from boarding school for a prank, the character of Rohan has to reintegrate his life with that of his strict father. One who didn’t visit him in 8 years. Not to mention discovering a 6 year old step brother upon his return that he didn’t even know existed. We find out that Rohan even had his career path decided for him, at the expense of his own dreams.

Udaan is about this young man’s endurance into this life of constant emotional torture and humiliation. Despite having spoken up about his desire to be a writer, his father constantly puts down Rohan. He has his manhood questioned and condescended for not being more like his father. A man more akin to that of a cruel drill sergeant is what the two sons have to deal with at home everyday.

One Of Ronit Roy’s Best Performances Ever

Image via Anurag Kashyap Films.

The best thing about Udaan is that the storyline is not in any way clichéd or contrived. The father as a villain, for all intents and purposes, is a very rounded character that truly does want the best for his kids. However, goes about it in the worst way possible. Ronit Roy (2 States) makes us hate him so much, yet some scenes make us almost sympathize for him, and others make us appreciate at his love for his sons. This back and forth in a way is the most realistic portrayal of a horrible father. Humanizing how not all bad fathers are not just plain evil, as much the children may believe them to be.

As far as stories go, this film doesn’t give you anything you expect from a film like this. However, the ending does leave one with a sense of closure, despite the craziness that precedes it. Udaan is a very subtle approach to film making that doesn’t even rely on heavy dialogue or convolutes a script with too many scenes. The performances are honestly superb. The painfully slow scenes sans dialogue are very effective in enhancing the rest of the film that much more.

Udaan Movie Review Conclusion

Image via Anurag Kashyap Films.

Udaan is one of those once in a while films that comes from director Vikramaditya Motwane (AK vs AK), who is brilliant in his execution. But this movie had no star power or much of anything else going for it before release. Despite that, it ends up as an incredibly strong film that portrays everything in such a realistic light, that one can’t help but smile as it’s eventual conclusion. The soundtrack does an awesome job of conveying the emotions of the main character on screen to the audience in sync with everything else. Udaan is definitely a must watch for those who appreciate good cinema.

Did you like Udaan a much as I did? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter @theshahshahid


Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad

1 Comment

Ramgopal Varma’s ‘SARKAR 3’ Cast Includes Bollywood’s Legends & Rising Stars · October 17, 2016 at 10:50 PM

[…] The cast of veterans don't seem to end in 'Sarkar 3', with fan favorite Ronit Roy being added as well. Roy has a background steeped in TV, commercial films, international projects and art house cinema. Recently Roy's made a habit of playing physically intimidating roles in movies like 'Ugly' and 'Boss'; while also putting in strong dramatic performances like the one from '2 States' or 'Udaan'. […]

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