When a person learns that life isn’t a bed of roses, we say he’s grown-up now! But our hero of Udaan, a teenager with a simple dream has understood a very core lesson of life at an early stage - that nothing comes easy. Cooped up in a boarding school for eight years, he finds himself in a no man’s land.
The plotline is not far from the humdrum life of a teenager, bogged down by family pressure as well as teen angst. The problems faced by the boy are genuine and not blown out of proportion. He is the usual teen who can’t relate to his family and wants to follow his heart. But his heart is neither with the girl he loves, nor with a rock band he has formed, nor with his group of best friends. The common things which are generally part of a teenager’s life just don’t exist for our protagonist. The boy is alone to face his set of problems - a godawful dad, a step brother, a small town middle-class mentality which is bound not to change, and a career in engineering.
Sounds familiar! Bet it does. This is the life of Rohan played by Rajat Barmecha, who is expelled from his boarding school because he watched a porn film. Then life takes a U-turn and he is thrown back to the place where he belongs - Jamshedpur, his hometown. Life is muddled for Rohan but he is not reckless; he wants to be a writer.
How is Rohan going to succeed? Will he silently embrace what life brings to him? Or, will he put up a brave front to set himself free? ‘Udaan’ gives the answers though in subtly muted tones.
The movie with its simple narrative is poignant because it is as real as it is surreal. First-time director Vikramaditya Motwane knows what he wants to convey to his audience, and the well-written script of the film assures that, thanks to the co-writer Anurag Kashyap. However, amidst all this heap of praises, the movie’s creeping second half can test your patience.
‘Udaan’ has four main actors that carry the film, evoke emotions and leave us dazed. Rajat Barmecha stands out as a boy trying to face up to his domineering dad and deal with his unfulfilled aspirations. Ronit Roy as the head of family is stern, hard-to-please, formidable and not at all adorable as a father figure. On the contrary, chacha Ram Kapoor is an angel figure, one who understands, while Rohan’s step brother is a victim of domestic abuse. Music by Amit Trivedi is not just for the sake of music, it’s another best aspect of the film.
Though the movie slithers winningly and is sublime, it resonates with an unmitigated melancholy.