4 out of 5
Udaan means “to fly” in Hindi, which is the perfect word to describe this coming-of-age film. Four teenagers snuck out of their dorm in the middle of the night to watch porn in a sleazy cinema. Turned out their dorm patron was also in the same cinema with his mistress. He caught the boys and as a result all four of them were expelled from school. For Rohan getting expelled meant going back to Jamshedpur and lived with his widowed father who was abusive and didn’t even bother to contact him for the past 8 years. Arriving at home Rohan found out that he had a 6 year old half brother, result of his father’s second marriage, which he never bothered to inform Rohan. Rohan is a gifted writer and wanted to become a poet, a dream that his father completely against. He was forced to work in his father’s factory and go to an engineering prep-school, in which Rohan’s grade failed miserably. Rohan’s life basically turned to hell as he had to put up with his father’s stern and abusive ways of teaching his sons, as well as trying to protect Arjun, his younger half-brother from their daddy’s fist. But Rohan always kept in his mind his dream to fly away, it was just a matter of time to make it come true.
To me personally a Hindi film like Udaan is such a treat. Most of the time the films that come out of India are either grandiose Bollywood films or artsy-fartsy flicks made by Mira Nair, Shekhar Kapoor or Deepa Mehta. A film like Udan I guess is quite a rarity. The story is about the life of a 17 year old teenage boy and his struggle of fighting for his identity and to protect what he loves dearly; his dream of becoming a writer and his brother. It’s about putting up a fight without the need to destroy things and to seize moments that can lead you to your freedom. It is a well acted film, the characters are very layered, although in the end you made up your mind on who you love and who you hate. I think the world need to give some space for young Rajat Barmecha as the next generation’s Irrfan Khan.