A classic ‘coming of age’ drama told addressing dreams of youth and the yearning for freedom.
Rohan, an expelled youth has to come to terms with a new life with his estranged and authoritarian father in an Indian industrial town. A Cannes selection in Un Certain Regard, this debut feature by Vikramaditya Motwane offers a new, cool image of middle-class India. Rohan and his 17-year-old fun-loving buddies get into trouble at public school for the last time, and are all expelled. Unlike his richer mates, Rohan must return to a small industrial town and his estranged father, who has not seen him for eight years. He discovers he now has a six-year-old half-brother, Arjun, from another of his father's failed marriages. Rohan quickly comes into conflict with his authoritarian father, who, disgusted by his son's school failure and interest in being a writer, forces Rohan to join the family steel business, and study engineering. Rohan increasingly feels his dreams crushed and rebels by stealing his father's car each night, finding a new gang of drinking friends, and dodging class to write his poems. When he fails his exams, Rohan is soon in open conflict with his father. Motwane's elegantly paced tale offers a vivid image of male violence within the family, subtly tempered with the more individualistic assertiveness of today's Indian youth, all backed up by a punching rock music score.London Film Festival
Udaan presents a portrait of middle class life in India today rarely seen on screen; it is a classic ‘coming of age’ drama told addressing dreams of youth and the yearning for freedom. The New York Times called is ‘A kind of Indian cousin to Truffaut’s “400 Blows” it is the story of an aspiring writer negotiating the transition to adulthood with a disciplinarian father who seeks to limit and control all aspects of life. It is not a “Bollywood” flight of fantasy, rather it is deeply rooted in a contemporary reality where young people can envision, but must fight to create, a life far different than that of their parents.