After courting controversy and clash with the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the film Udta Punjab finally released on Friday.
The censor board had accused the filmmakers of ‘showing Punjab in poor light’ over its drugs trade and addiction problem recommending 89 cuts initially. But after the Bombay High Court verdict, the final film was released with just one cut.
WATCH VIDEO | Udta Punjab Mashup
The first show of ‘Udta Punjab’ in Ludhiana at MBD Cinepolis saw 41 people in the hall, majority being college students and youth.
The overall response saw appreciation for Shahid Kapoor playing a Punjabi pop singer Tommy Singy and Diljit Dosanjh, a Punjab policeman.
However, the majority of first reactions also complained that ‘abuses fly too high in the movie spanning 2 hours 28 minutes.’ (Udta Punjab movie review: Shahid, Alia starrer is worth all the fuss)
Also thanks to the censor board that it was more of a curiosity factor which brought people to theatres who wanted to see what the entire hullaballoo was all about.
Gursahib Singh, a student, said, “I might have watched the film maybe later next week but I wasn’t able to hold my curiosity. So much controversy just for a film, I had to watch it first day first show.”
“Punjab is not being shown in bad light, just drug addicts and people running the entire system are. Shahid Kapoor is all the way a winner,” he added.
40 year-old Karamjit Singh, who came to watch the movie alone, said, “I loved Diljit Dosanjh. He has done great job but overall movie is not as impactful as expected. You cannot watch it more than once and also abuses are hurled after every minute.”
Sneha, a college student, said, “I feel that board was pointing out for right reasons as abuses fly too high in entire film. But Shahid Kapoor has outperformed others.” (Udta Punjab flies high on Day One in Mumbai)
Meanwhile, the cinemas deployed security inside as well as outside halls to avoid any ruckus.
“Since youths formed majority audience, they hoot when abuses are hurled. To avoid any issues we deployed security,” said Gopal Singh, manager MBD Cinepolis Ludhiana.
Ludhiana Police Commissioner J S Aulakh told The Indian Express, “Five multiplexes and two single screens are running film and overall 200 cops were deployed. They are also patrolling inside halls to check any hooliganism.”
Udta Punjab ran to packed shows on the first day in Punjab. Speaking to The Indian Express, Hemant Sahani, Manager Wave Cinemas said, “The response to Udta Punjab has been excellent on day 1. Even for Saturday and Sunday, we have 40-50% advance bookings. Despite so much of competition in Ludhiana due to various multiplexes running here, we have advance bookings for all the shows till Sunday.”
The shows at other multiplexes including PVR Flamez Mall, PVR Pavilion and PVR Silver Arc were also ‘almost full’ till Sunday.
Most of the audiences in Punjab were all praises for Diljit Dosanjh saying that ‘Udta Punjab has been his best work till date.’ “We are impressed. Diljit has shown he can shine in Bollywood too. It was his talent speaking out on the screen,” Gurpreet Singh and Jagpreet Singh who came to Ludhiana from nearby Malerkotla to watch the film.
But they too said that ‘abuses should have been avoided’. “Certainly, these much abuses were not required,” they said.
Parminder Singh from Ludhiana said, “Diljit’s performance has been his best till now. He has performed really well.”