In the modern drug-infested Punjab the lives of, a pop star Tommy Singh addicted to drugs, a policeman who is undergoing a moral crisis, a doctor-cum-activist who is hell bent on rooting out the drug menace in Punjab and an innocent young farm girl who gets caught up with the drug smugglers, converge!
Running Time:
149 min
Release date:
17 June 2016
Directed by:
Abhishek Chaubey
Produced by:
Shobha Kapoor
Ekta Kapoor
Anurag Kashyap
Vikramaditya Motwane
Aman Gill
Vikas Bahl
Sameer Nair
Written by:
Sudip Sharma
Abhishek Chaubey
Shahid Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor
Alia Bhatt
Diljit Dosanjh
Satish Kaushik
Prabhjyot Singh
Harpreet Singh
Suhail Nayyar
Music by:
Amit Trivedi
Benedict Taylor
Naren Chandavarkar
Shot by:
Rajeev Ravi
Editing by:
Meghna Sen
Distributed by:
Balaji Motion Pictures

What’s Hot

  • Abhishek Chaubey and Sudip Sharma need to be lauded for having the guts to portray what is actually happening on ground in Punjab. And more than the guts, the conviction in their cinematic skill to weave a wonderful tale amidst diverse characters needs to be appreciated. That the film never loses grip as it wavers from one track to another is a significant point to note. The film is in fact summed up by one iconic dialogue when an old man manning a tea stall laments, “Who drinks tea these days? Everyone has drugs”.
  • In spite of all the memes and ridicule off screen, Alia Bhatt has been demonstrating her terrific range this year with Kapoor And Sons and Udta Punjab following the sensational Highway couple of years back. The physical transformation for this role in addition to the changes in body language will qualify this to be one of her best ever performances. Her ferocious rant on the unfortunate circumstances that led to her physical & mental devastation will certainly move you.
  • Diljit Dosanjh might not get the praise that he deserves due to the no-holds-barred muscular performance of Shahid Kapoor but he shows remarkable restraint and pain in the midst of a moral crisis. Shahid too delivers a convincing performance as the profanity-laden yet lovable singer who too is addicted to drugs. Kareena is serene as the activist and manages to touch a chord when she talks about how the fight against drugs not hers not each ones individual fight.
  • Coming to the supporting cast, Manav Vij as Inspector Jujhar Singh is sensational as he gives you the chills with his demeanor. Similarly, Prabhjyot Singh as the innocent Balli, Suhail Nayyar as the vocal cousin of Tommy and of course the irreplaceable Sathish Kaushik as Tommy’s uncle as perfectly cast for their respective roles. Even the guy who keeps covering the life of Tommy in his handycam, Tommy’s hair-stylist, the drug-addict who is keeps addressing Alia as Baby and the lady at the Sultanpura safe house fit their roles to a T.
  • Rajeev Ravi’s camera and Meghna Sen’s editing make sure that the drug injection or consumption scenes are not glamorized as in other films of the similar genre. The surreal moments associated with Alia are well visualized too. Amit Trivedi’s trippy music complements the film’s path extremely well & lifts many scenes too. The usage & positioning of ‘Ek Kudi’ is top notch.

What’s Not

  • There are occasions during the film where “cinematic elements” seem to have entered the lives of the characters on screen. This makes the logic go for a toss. But thankfully these things do not rob the soul of the film.




Verdict Stamp

Udta Punjab is an extremely well made mainstream film that deals with the drug-addiction epidemic plaguing the state of Punjab. The way the drug-smuggling mafia is unraveled amidst the travel of a 4 varied characters across Punjab without any loss of the engagement factor, shows the strong writing behind the core theme.