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Udta Punjab

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Abhishek Chaubey


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Release date
22 January 2016

Kareena kapoor khan shahid kapoor avoid each other on udta punjab sets

Udta Punjab (English: "Punjab On A High") is a 2016 Indian black comedy crime film co-written and directed by Abhishek Chaubey. It is loosely based on and revolves around the drug abuse by the youth population in the Indian state of Punjab and the various conspiracies surrounding it. Produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor under their banner Balaji Motion Pictures, in association with Anurag Kashyap's production house Phantom Films, it features an ensemble cast consisting of Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and, Diljit Dosanjh.


Udta Punjab Watch Udta Punjab Trailer Ft Shahid Alia Kareena Diljit Koimoi

On 4 June 2016, the Central Board of Film Certification sought a stay on the film's release citing that the themes dealt with in the film were too vulgar for the general audience. As a result, the producers were directed to make a total of 89 cuts in the film. However, on 13 June 2016, the Bombay High Court struck down the stay and gave permission for the film's national release, albeit with a single cut in the screenplay. The film was released worldwide on 17 June 2016. Made on a budget of 400 million (US$6.2 million), Udta Punjab has earned approximately 997 million (US$16 million) worldwide. At the 62nd Filmfare Awards, the film won four awards, including Best Actress (Alia Bhatt) and Critics Award for Best Actor (Shahid Kapoor).

Udta Punjab Udta Punjab Official Trailer YouTube

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Udta Punjab Udta Punjab Full Movie Album Audio Jukebox Amit Trivedi

Tejinder "Tommy" Singh (Shahid Kapoor), also known as "Gabru" among his fans, is a young Punjabi musician who lives a luxurious lifestyle assisted by his successful music career. Together with an ostentatious crew that is led by Tayaji (Satish Kaushik) and cousin Jassi (Suhail Nayyar), he indulges in uncontrolled consumption of cocaine. Tommy is popular for his adrenaline-pumping songs that were both written with the help of and are about intoxication but has no qualms about his songs glorifying violence and drug-addiction. However, his frequent bouts of drug-snorting cost him his contract and land him in jail. In prison, he meets two of his die-hard fans who remark how Tommy's lifestyle had 'inspired' theirs. Realizing that his songs have adversely and negatively affected teenagers, Tommy decides to change his ways upon release. A few days later, Tommy engages in an altercation with Tayaji and accidentally shoots him, injuring his ear. This causes Tayaji to send Tommy and his crew to a farmhouse so that he can prepare for an upcoming concert.

Udta Punjab Udta Punjab review Despite great performances the screenplay

Working on a farm is an unnamed Bihari migrant (Alia Bhatt), frequently called Bauria by a co-worker in the fields, whose dreams of playing national level hockey for the country were shattered so she came to Punjab to work as a labourer. Bauria works as a farmworker for a local landlord who uses agriculture as a front for drug peddling. One night, while roaming around in the farm, she finds a packet. Upon tearing open its contents and tasting it, she realizes that it is some kind of drug, and hence, resolves to sell it. Her search for a potential buyer lands her in great trouble as she is chased and captured by a gang of drug peddlers. The peddlers forcibly keep Bauria at their place where she is sexually and physically abused, given drugs and prostituted to several men including police officers from the local police force. Some weeks later, Bauria manages to escape from the house.

Udta Punjab Udta Punjab is about real issues not against state says filmmaker

In the neighboring town lives Preet Sahni (Kareena Kapoor), a doctor and activist who runs a rehabilitation center. Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is a class-two policeman attached to the town's station who knows about the smuggling of drugs his seniors are allowing on a large scale. But when it affects his family, as his brother, Balli (Prabhjyot Singh), overdoses on Chaand (a locally-made drug) and is brought to Preet's clinic, he realizes the grave situation. She educates Sartaj about the drug problem and partly accuses him for his brother's state. Together, they decide to find the root cause of the problem.

Udta Punjab Hrithik Roshan praises Alia Bhatt Shahid Kareena Kapoor Khan for

Appearing before his audience in the concert, instead of singing, Tommy starts preaching. Infuriated by his speech about how one should lead his/her life, his fans try to admonish him, and start throwing bottles at him. Tommy gets angry and urinates in front of the crowd. Making a run out of the concert to save himself from the crowd's angst, Tommy goes and hides inside a dilapidated structure. There he meets Bauria and together they start sharing their stories. However, the next day, Bauria is recaptured by the same gang which had kept her imprisoned. Tommy sets out to find her after realising his true feelings for her.

Preet has been working in Punjab actively with drug abuse survivors and their families. She runs her own clinic in the area where she operates a residential rehab center. With help from a reformed Sartaj who discovers that his own brother is hooked to a locally-made drug, she manages to find that the antagonist behind the drug problem in Punjab is an elderly man called Vikrant who has flourished with the support of MP Maninder Brar. Sartaj and Preeti go to extreme measures to collect evidence against the Parliamentarian and put together a report to be sent to the state's Election Commission to thwart Brar's campaign for another term in power. Sartaj develops feelings for her and asks her out which she reciprocates willingly. However, one night, after returning from work, she is apprehended and fatally stabbed by Balli, who was being treated against his wish at her rehab center. The policemen who come to investigate her murder also come across her report.

In the presence of the drug mafia, Sartaj is questioned by his senior about the report. At the same time, Tommy, who is on the run from the police and has been searching for Bauria, jumps and enters the enclosure, alerting everyone including Vikrant and the senior policeman. He fatally hits Vikrant with his hockey stick and tries to make a move upstairs. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Sartaj grabs his senior's service revolver and shoots everyone except Tommy. He then rushes inside the house to get his brother Balli, who is being held captive by Vikrant's wife. He shoots her and frees Balli, while Tommy goes upstairs and helps Bauria beat her captors. Finally, as Tommy and Bauria run off, Balli kneels down and cries in front of his brother whose face is expressionless. Later Tommy calls Bauria on his crew member's phone to ask her real name. Sitting by a beach, she catches sight of a foreigner having fun. Inspired, she utters "Mary Jane".


  • Shahid Kapoor as Tejinder "Tommy" Singh a.k.a. Gabru
  • Kareena Kapoor as Dr. Preet Sahni
  • Alia Bhatt as an unnamed Bihari peasant, frequently addressed as Bauria
  • Diljit Dosanjh as Assistant Sub-Inspector Sartaj Singh
  • Satish Kaushik as Tayaji
  • Suhail Nayyar as Jassi
  • Prabhjyot Singh as Balli Singh
  • Harpreet Singh as Shamsher
  • Manav Vij as Jhujar Singh, Sartaaj's senior officer
  • Avinash Kumar as Tommy's friend
  • Planning and filming

    Priyanka Chopra was initially approached for the lead female role. Later Parineeti Chopra was in talks for the same part.Principal photography of the film commenced in March 2015, Three of the actors Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Alia Bhatt halved their fees for the film.


    The music for Udta Punjab was composed by Amit Trivedi with lyrics by the late Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Shellee and Varun Grover. The background music was composed by Benedict Taylor & Naren Chandavarkar. The music rights are acquired by Zee Music Company.

    The first song "Chitta Ve" was released on 4 May 2016. Two more Singles "Da Da Dasse" and "Ik Kudi" were released before the Release of Final soundtrack. The Complete Soundtrack consisting of 7 songs was released on 18 May 2016.

    Track listing

    All music composed by Amit Trivedi.


    Amit Trivedi said about the soundtrack, "The film required a really dark soundtrack. So, I had to incorporate psychedelic trance and hip hop into it. It will be edgier and more in-your-face than anything else seen in Bollywood music before. I don't know how the audience will react to it because it is not something that we are used to. But I do know that there are people who have an appetite for psy-trance and hip hop in India. So, I hope it is received well". The movie's music rights were sold for 18 crore (US$2.8 million), making it the biggest such deal in Bollywood history.


    The movie has been reported to have had issues with the censor board over profanities and scenes of drug use. On 9 June 2016, the Censor Board (CBFC) came out with a list of 94 cuts and 13 pointers prior to the film's release. One of the pointers even included deleting the names of cities in Punjab. On 13 June 2016, Bombay High Court cleared Udta Punjab with one cut and disclaimers. The scene where Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor) is shown urinating on a crowd needs to be chopped off, ruled the court. The CBFC was directed to issue an 'A' certificate to Udta Punjab within two days.

    Censorship issues

    The row over the film being drug-themed slated for release on 17 June escalated with co-producer Anurag Kashyap hitting out at CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani, calling him "oligarch" and "dictator" and that it was like living in North Korea. The makers of the film are said to have been asked by the Revising Committee of the Censor Board to remove all references to Punjab and to make 89 cuts. Kashyap got the support of several filmmakers including Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, Aamir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Varun Dhawan and Mukesh Bhatt. "It is a dark day for freedom of expression and creativity in the country," Mukesh Bhatt said, calling Pahlaj Nihalani a "stooge" of the government. It was later cleared by Bombay High Court with the number of cuts reduced from 89 to a single scene, wherein a character is seen urinating on a crowd of people. The Court directed the Board to issue an 'A' certificate before the scheduled release of the movie. According to The Economist, Nihalani "was appointed by the BJP, whose coalition partner in Punjab, the SAD, had much to lose from bad publicity" resulting from the movie, due to a subplot in the movie drawing "a parallel with the real-life case of a convicted drug lord who named the SAD deputy chief’s brother-in-law as his accomplice".

    In August 2017, soon after his removal as CBFC Chief, Nihalani revealed in an interview that he had received instructions from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to block the release of the film.

    Online piracy issue

    On 15 June 2016, some parts of the film were leaked online onto various peer-to-peer sharing websites. While some torrent sites hosted torrent files containing a forty-minute clip, the whole film was also uploaded on other media sharing sites like Mega. reported that the leaked clips allegedly contained the text "FOR CENSOR" on the top-left corner, implying that the leaked copies were part of the samples shared with the Censor Board. The Huffington Post reported that the producers of the film had filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime cell in Mumbai. It added that Balaji Motion Pictures and Phantom Films, its producers, had succeeded in pulling down as many as 600 links from the web. Commenting on the leak, the film's spokesperson said, "Two copies of the CD were sent to the CBFC and this version is from the same source. It's literally a no-brainer to conclude where the leak has come from and, sure enough, the cyber crime cell will get to the bottom of this."


    Meena Iyer of The Times of India gave the film 4.5 stars out of 5. Rajeev Masand of CNN-News18 writes "the film is hard-hitting and uncomfortable to watch, and mixes dark humor to a tale about the dirty drug and political nexus in Punjab", giving it 3.5 rating out of 5. Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the film 3 stars out of 5, saying it is "the kind of film which has something to say, and it says it with both flair and conviction". Sukanya Verma of gave the film 4 stars out of 5, saying "Udta Punjab is a wake-up call, an important film and a mighty impressive one at that, carrying a loud anti-drug message". Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times wrote "Udta Punjab works mostly because of its tone and stand against drugs, though the second half is no match for the first", giving the film 3.5 rating out of 5. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave the film 4 stars out of 5, writing "Udta Punjab is littered with standout scenes, but none matches the sledgehammer impact of the climax". Namrata Joshi of The Hindu described the film as "a gut-wrenching look at the frightening dystopia that is Punjab today owing to rampant drug abuse".

    The film was banned in Pakistan by CBFC Pakistan for "use of abusive language."

    Box office

    The film earned approximately 10.05 crore (US$1.6 million) in India, with an additional 3.46 crore (US$540,000) coming from overseas revenue on its opening day. The film grossed 46.94 crore (US$7.3 million) worldwide during its opening weekend and 75.82 crore (US$12 million) worldwide in its first week. As of 9 July 2016, the film has earned 99.70 crore (US$16 million) worldwide.


    Udta Punjab Wikipedia
    Udta Punjab IMDb

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