Udta Punjab indeed flies amidst raving reviews

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After being embroiled in huge controversy with the CBFC, Udta Punjab finally hit theatres on Friday.

And going by early review, Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer flick has left the audience spellbound.

As one reviewer put it, ‘the movie has been worth the fuss.’

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Here are some of the top reviews for Udta Punjab.

NDTV:

Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab is littered with standout scenes, but none matches the sledgehammer impact of the climax.

Sudden, quick on the draw and stunningly to the point, it brings the curtains down on a profane, dystopic vision of a state that was once India’s bread basket but is today burdened with a whole slew of problems, not the least of which are the horrific repercussions of narco-terror.

Chaubey tells his powerful, sinewy story with great dramatic flair, but he never ventures too far away from the harsh reality of the nexus between the drug kingpins and the state’s politicians. 4/5

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Indian Express

First off, is Udta Punjab worth all the fuss? I’d say, absolutely.

Not because it is a perfect film. It has flaws. But this is the kind of film that has something to say, and it says it with both flair and conviction.

Flying is both a metaphor and reality of drugs. Anyone who’s done a line, or snorted some stuff, or shot up, knows what it feels like — you are untethered, you are afloat. It’s another matter that you come down with a thud, and it feels so awful that you are shooting up again, and that’s your vicious cycle.

Udta Punjab is a cracker of a title, and the way it opens tells us that it will go on the way it means to: with rolled-up sleeves ready for action, with characters who look as if they belong to Punjab, and speak the lingo right (mostly). Most importantly, it reveals a willingness to go over to the dark side and show what drugs can do. They can ruin. They can kill. They can wish you were not alive. 3/5

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Hindustan Times

After much controversy, Udta Punjab opened to audience on Friday morning, and unlike the censor board’s earlier claims, the film doesn’t glorify substance abuse. Instead, the film has its heart in the right place: Punjab is in the grip of drugs, and only its youth can unchain it.

What may look like an indigenous version of the hugely popular American series Breaking Bad, it circles around a group of people who operate on both sides of the India-Pakistan border. They are the ones ensuring a constant drug supply in the wheat bowl of India. Protected by the high and mighty in politics, it’s hard to pinpoint anyone. At its current scale, the onus is on nobody to contain the menace.

3.5/5

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Times of India

Welcome to Chaubey’s Punjab; a world you may not inhabit, but cannot ignore. As notorious as Mexico in the current context, the state that is known for wrestlers and wheat, serves up heroin, opium, cocaine faster than parathas and lassis. Yes, Punjab the land of the five rivers, is a description only reserved for the text-books. In reality, it’s a place besieged by cartels, cocaine and corrupt cops. 4/5

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Filmfare

Totally worth it

A film that’s based on a social issue normally falls into either of two categories – didactic or dynamic. Udta Punjab is the latter. And when the team working on the film is confident in their product, it shows through on screen. Abhishek Chaubey’s confidence in his story and the cast’s conviction in their parts is what makes this film an out-and-out success.

The film starts on a high (quite literally) and just about stays right through the two-hour runtime. The fictional circumstances of the characters, juxtaposed with the ground realities of drug abuse in Punjab make for most of the opening visuals, ensuring you sink your teeth into the film right from the get-go. Whether it’s the Bihar-origin farmer (played by Alia Bhatt), the rogue-ish rockstar Tommy Singh GABRU (Shahid Kapoor), the earnest and honest Dr Preet Sahani (Kareena Kapoor Khan) or the conflicted police officer Sartaj (Diljit Dosanjh), it’s amply evident that the film’s perspective has two vantage points –those fighting drugs from within and outside the system and those fighting their addictions.

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