Udta Punjab elicited a thoughtful response from the audience in Chandigarh and across Punjab, as people praised its idea and underlined that it projected “reality” of the drug menace in Punjab. There were voices that were concerned about it not being a “family film”, and the use of profanities, but these reactions remained few and far between in what was otherwise a positive response.
Video: Amritsar youth on ‘Udta Punjab’
At Amritsar’s Trilium Mall, HT talked to a varied group. One of them, student Ranjit Singh, said, “This movie is a mirror to what is actually happening in Punjab today. I am also a resident of Tarn Tarna, and in my district and Amritsar, the drug problem is really serious... Government should work against it. Youth should also learn from this movie that drugs are bad for them... so should drug sellers see how bad the conditions of Punjab are. Punjab will be finished off one day if this goes on... The movie shows the need to stop this menace.”
Meanwhile, a student from Amritsar Kartik Somra said, “We are living in those times when before we apply for any institution in Punjab, our parents enquire whether drug issue prevails in the hostels and campus. Who says this is not happening? Politicians should stop lying on this and start working towards resolving the issue.”
In Chandigarh, a student named Sakshi, 23, who is from Jalalabad that happens to be deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s assembly segment, was among those who came out of the theatre after the first show. She said she belongs to the border area and could confidently say the movie only depicts reality, and does not defame the state.
Video: Chandigarh woman says no one is defamed in Udta Punjab
Rupinder Kaur, 22, student from Panjab University, Chandigarh said, “It was a good movie and I wonder what exactly the censor board found objectionable in this. I’ll surely ask my friends to watch it. It is hard hitting.”
18-year-old student from Jalandhar Gurtesh Singh says, “The movie was really nice but one can’t watch it with the family. There were a lot of abuses in the movie but they were authentically made. I enjoyed watching it.”
Video: Young man from Jalandhar says you can’t watch it with family
General secretary of the Jalandhar unit of Akali Dal Makhan Singh said, “I really liked the movie and the truth about the drugs has been shown aptly but why are we saying that it is in Punjab only? Nowhere in the movie do they pointedly target any particular leader or party. Drug menace has spread its wings in pan India. But they should have not shown the part where abuses are hurled. I would rather be happy if the movie wins an Oscar.”
Video: Jalandhar man says no one targeted in particular
23-year-old house wife from Patiala Manpreet Kaur said, “The movie depicts the reality of ground level, which cannot be pressed with political or social pressure. Yes, the characters did use abusive language in the movie, but has anybody ever noted their own language and the abusive words they use daily?
Puneet Mann, 33, from Patiala said, “Although all the Punjabis are not drug addicts, we all are dealing with the menace in direct or indirect ways. Most of us have our siblings, friends or relatives who use drugs. There is nothing wrong in presenting such stories on the screen in a fictional manner. The censer board had given it ‘A’ certificate but after watching it, I feel that teenagers should definitely watch the movie as every scene of the film tells us about the ill effects of drugs.”