Son proposes, father disposes. As a result, the son becomes a rebel and decides to choose his own path – this is the basic plot of Udaan. So what’s new? Indian cinema is replete with films themed on the eternal father-son conflict. However, what makes Udaan different is the setting – a small town.
Semi-urban folk will relate to this theme while the urban audience may not completely connect with it.
The last time the two talented writers, Vikramaditya Motwane (here he also makes his debut as a director) and Anurag Kashyap worked together, the result was Dev D, which was not only lapped up by one and all but also appreciated for the way the story was told on screen. In Udaan, the result is not quite as brilliant but worth applauding.
This film can be divided into five layers: Rohan and his relationship with his friends in boarding school; Rohan and his relationship with his father; the hate-turns-to-love relationship Rohan and his step-brother share; Rohan’s uncle’s affection for him; and Rohan’s relationship with his midnight friends.
The plot: After being sent to a boarding school, Rohan returns home to the small, industrial town of Jamshedpur. Here, he meets his step-brother, who never really existed for him. Rohan wants to be a writer but his father forces him to join his steel factory and become an engineer. The clash between the father and son begins and from here on, the story unfolds. At a very slow pace, unfortunately and pace is the biggest drawback of the film.
Repetition is another problem – father and son are repeatedly shown jogging and running. Though the climax (the son for the first time wins the race) explains why both keep running through the film, the metaphor is used once too often. Ditto for the steel factory scene, where Rohan is shown working or changing his clothes.
Vikramaditya Motwane is definitely a welcome addition to the writer fraternity but when it comes to direction, he needs to brush up a little more. For instance, instead of using a gimmick to make a point, being direct would have helped. Editing is slow. Music goes well with the mood of the film.
Ronit Roy in the role of a father is a sheer pleasure to watch. He acts well and gives his best. Rajat Barmecha gives his best but in places he’s not appealing. Aayan Boradia, the child actor, is the highlight of the film. He’s talented and his expressions are first-rate. Manjot Singh, in his brief appearance, makes his presence felt.
In a nutshell, Udaan may not be a great piece of cinema or a commercial project but definitely a good attempt.