Indian cinema’s solitary boast at the 63rd Festival de Cannes played to a crowded press/public screening on Wednesday afternoon and closed to a real ovation, with many wiping away a tear as they left the auditorium.
This is Vikramaditya Motawane’s Udaan. It is in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section, the first Indian film in seven years to figure anywhere in the festival’s Official Selection.
Udaan, is a growing-up story told without formulae or cuteness. Rohan, an aspiring poet, is expelled from boarding school for watching an adult movie. He goes home to Dad, an authoritarian brute from whom he breaks free when thwarted in his resolve to be a writer.
Motwane is in line for the Camera d’Or, awarded for the best first film in all of the festival. He has a maturity of touch well beyond his years in the industry. Rajat Barmecha (Rohan) and Ronit Roy (the father) are not top marquee names but that’s where they are headed if their work in Udaan is anything to go by. The producer duo, from whom much more is certainly going to be heard, comprises Sanjay Singh and Anurag Kashyap.
Curiously, this is the fourth film in the Official Selection so far that addresses father-offspring relationships: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man (Chad), Wang Xiaoshuai’s Chonquing Blues (China) and Alejandro Gonsalez Inarritu”s Biutiful (Mexico).
So a heart beats somewhere in this ultra-sophisticate cinema town.