Movie Review: Udta Punjab (2016)
UDTA PUNJAB starts off with a scene at the India-Pakistan border wherein a Pakistani man throws a mysterious drug packet onto the Indian side. This is followed by a ‘rocking’ introduction of the rockstar Tommy ‘Gabru’ Singh (Shahid Kapoor) and a glimpse into his ‘addictive’ lifestyle. One day, Tommy Singh gets fired by his producers for delaying their recordings. If that wasn’t enough, Tommy Singh also gets arrested by the Punjab police amidst his birthday party, on grounds of drug abuse. When he gets released from jail, despite the jitters, he somehow manages to gear up to perform before an eagerly awaiting audience. Just before the performance, he does something extremely awkward that irks a handful of audience, who, then, run after him for his blood. On the other hand, Pinky Kumari aka Mary Jane (Alia Bhatt) migrates from Uttar Pradesh to Punjab. Her background reveals that, she was an exceptional hockey player, who, because of lack of financial support, landed up becoming a labourer. And since then, she is trying to find her place under the sun in Punjab. One day, when she finds a 3 kg drug packet, she tries to sell it off to make a fast buck. While doing so, for reasons best known to her, she dumps the whole 3 kg of drugs into a well, thus invoking the wrath of the drug peddlers, for whom, the entire packet meant heavenly profits. Angered by her action, the peddlers not just land up raping the helpless Pinky Kumari, but also keep her as captive with them. Repeated attempts to run away from their clutches, yields no results for Pinky. The third angle to the story is that of Dr. Preet Sahani (Kareena Kapoor Khan), under whom Balli Singh, the younger brother of Inspector Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is getting treated for being a victim of drug overdose. Amidst the course of Balli’s treatment, Sartaj Singh analyses and realises the harm that these banned substances cause to people. He, then, joins Preet Sahani in her crusade against drugs and exposing the drug mafias.
Does the once-rockstar Tommy ‘Gabru’ Singh regain his lost identity, does Pinky Kumari become successful in escaping from the clutches of the dreaded drug peddlers, what happens when Tommy Singh and Pinky Kumari cross each other’s path, and does Dr.Preet Sahani and Inspector Sartaj Singh succeed in their crusade of exposing the drug mafias of Punjab, is what forms the rest of the film.