Tommy Singh, a pop singer ranked Asian underground#3, revered by many for his foot-tapping chartbusters. He calls himself Gabru or ‘The Man’. His only weakness? Cocaine.
Sartaj Singh, your average one-star policeman, happily living his dream of a bribe-driven pay system. His world shatters when he finds his Tommy Singh-idolising brother as a drug addict.
Dr Preet Sahani, running a drug rehabilitation system, stumbles on the fact that an entire generation has been drug-ridden and slowly inching towards a painful death. She’s horrified of the consequences.
Bauriya, a Bihari migrant girl, who once dreamt of becoming a national level Hockey player, ends up being a sex slave for the drug paddlers, in a moment of lapse in judgement.
Four unknown people, but their worlds collide into each other and the repercussion is chilling. 
Director Abhishek Chaubey tells the story of a Punjab that is literally in disarray, in the aftermath of the drug problem. Using four different storylines, which ultimately entangle to become a linear story in itself, ‘Udta Punjab’ is the seemingly unbelievable yet real story of the drug menace that has plagued the country. Abhishek hails from the school of thought of Vishal Bharadwaj. Hence his way of storytelling speaks of finesse, that is way ahead of his contemporaries. He brings such authenticity to the storyboard that, the consequences of certain characters make the shiver reach to the bones. A work of fiction seldom feels so real like ‘Udta Punjab’ does. Be it Tommy’s numerous meltdowns or Alia’s scenes of drug hallucination, each has been shot with enviable angles. There is one particularly disturbing scene, where Alia’s captor, lovingly asks her that if she had to throw away the drugs worth of a crore, then why did she steal it at the first place and then disdainfully lets her be raped! It will scare the shit out of you. The screenplay is crisp and so fast-paced that the run time of 2 hours and 27 minutes feels like a breeze.
Shahid Kapoor is surreal as Tommy Singh. Reportedly his role is based on Honey Singh and he carries it with perfection. He is edgy, delusional and sane, all at the same time. Alia plays a Bihari migrant and is a scene-stealer. She plays a difficult role and kudos to her, she nails it like a pro. Kareena has a smaller role compared to others and she shines in it. In some parts, she’ll remind you of her role in ‘Jab We Met’. But the star of the package is the singer-turned-actor Diljit Dosanjh. What a smashing debut !! The supporting cast is amazing with the veteran Satish Kaushik leading the pack. The music is splendid. That rockstar Amit Trivedi does it again!! Each and every song is going to stay with you for a long time.
Udta Punjab will shock you. It’s a terrifying tale, told as the events unfurl. The characters are probably from your neighbourhood. The drug menace is real. Only we choose to ignore them until it strikes one of our own. I sat down in the theatre in disbelief at one of the most disturbing scenes unravelled, for it reminded me of one of my own kins going through sheer madness as a result of substance abuse. Trust me, hell is much less scary!
The Cinemawala Rating: 4/5

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