Favorite Hindi Film – 2010 – Udaan

Interestingly, 2 of my favourite films of the year released on the same day, the other one being Inception. Both the films released on the 16th of July.

Vikramaditya Motwane’s directorial debut is a coming-of-age story free of all the Bollywood clichés. Starting from its setting, Jamshedpur with the green and cold color palette, it’s territory rarely dwelled into, both its subject matter and physical setting. The film is a slice in the life of Rohan, who hesitantly returned home after being suspended from the boarding school, where he spent most of his life. To date, the film is as effective as it was 10 years ago and remains one of the most realistic portrayals of aspirations, middle-class life, and parent pressure. With its grim visual language and a fly on the wall treatment, Udaan also has one of the best antagonists, whose personality is contrary to every other antagonist we are used to in Hindi films. He is the protagonist’s father, the menacing Bhairav, played by Ronit Roy. Rohan, an aspiring writer, struggling to keep up with his father’s curtailment shapes the narrative. The fact that Rohan is chained at home after cherishing his life at the boarding school is ironic, subtle yet hard-hitting. 

To my father, Bhairav would be an Anti-hero!

Bhairav wants his son to pursue engineering, which Rohan loathes. When observed from a surface level, you may even ask why is Bhairav being projected as an antagonist when all he wants is his son to study well. From my father’s perspective, Bhairav would be an Anti-hero! The fact that this story can be perceived from two different angles makes Udaan what it is. I see it from Rohan’s perspective, no question about it. Art is subjective, and as a response, it will bring out the viewer’s personal experiences. Udaan does exactly that.

Rohan & Bhairav (L-R)

To put in one line- Udaan is about dreams, aspirations, and the courage one needs to pull together to make the jump. Rajat Barmecha gives life to the character, bringing the innocence, helplessness, and the exasperation of confinement to Rohan. Amit Trivedi’s Aazadiyaan, which plays out at the end of the film, in addition to being a beautifully written and composed song, sums up the whole film and emotes what the protagonist has been craving for throughout the film, freedom. 

Aazadiyan

Further reading:

10 years of Inception, a film that taught me to look beyond entertainment.

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