The controversial film Udta Punjab is running to full capacity at multiplexes and single screen theatres in the city and all the shows are booked for the weekend.
Movie buffs lined up to catch the first day first show of the film directed by Abhishek Chaubey.
“We have almost 85 per cent advance booking till Sunday, especially for the evening shows,” said manager, PVR Elante Mall, Chander Mohan.
The A Certificate for the film has the managers on alert, as they are checking and cancelling the tickets of people walking in the theatre with children. Interestingly, the strongest objection to the film as pointed out by the Censor Board – the abuses and profane language – received the maximum whistles from the audiences.
“We almost went red in our ears when we heard those expletives. The youths enjoyed them, but we found it a tad too much,” said Monica Mittal, who went to watch the film with her friends at PVR, Elante Mall.
Like others, she too agreed that perception is stronger than reality. “The film does match the hype, but having said that, nowhere is it derogatory towards the government,” she said.
She , however, felt that the abusive content could have been toned down and the climax of the film could left one with some glimmer of hope.
Harinder Singh of Punjab brand, 1469, said rather it makes a strong statement and emotional connect.
As people from as far as Kharar, Kurali, Landran, Amritsar, Bathinda rode in mini buses for the show at Elante, their reactions turned out to be a mixed bag. People were seen debating about the controversies, characters and the cuss language.
Shahid Kapur’s wild streak was applauded and Alia Bhatt’s de-glam Bhojpuri hockey player avatar was well received. Punjabi superstar Daljit Dosanjh delivered a powerful performance along side Kareena Kapoor Khan.
“Daljit has done a great job. As for the film, I feel there will be an impact on the youth and they will also be disheartened at the same time by the current state of affairs in Punjab when it comes to drugs. What they have shown is only a glimpse of the problem, the situation is much worse,” said Maninder Singh, a student of Panjab University.
From exposing the drug nexus and faulty system of Punjab to the challenges and complexities faced by a drug addict, the suffering and the pain families go through, Udta Punjab touched a chord with the cinegoers.
A large section of the crowd felt that all the rumors about the content of the movie leading to its release were spread falsely and were misleading to the audience as nothing derogatory and objectionable are being shown in the movie.
“All the talk about the the foul language and presenting Punjab in a bad taste are wrong and imaginary on the part of the Censor Board. Coming from the heart of Punjab, I have witnessed the harsh reality around the villages. The movie manages to capture the environment of the state in a magnificent way,” said Arun, a consultant who came from Amritsar to watch the film.
“I feel the makers have gone overboard with the abuses. Also, Punjab is not the only state facing this problem. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana too have the same issue and producers should have included that too,” said Vipul, a worker in Make in India and Skill development from Bathinda.
Businessman Sagar Singla said movies are only for entertainment. “I hope youth watches it and finds something worhtwhile to takeback,” he said.
Student Kashima Jain said: “Udta Punjab is more honest than any other film. Any party or person against it is guilty of promoting drugs.”