There are movies, and then there are movies.
Udaan is one of those rare movies where it seems like the crew had an intense clarity about the movie they wanted to make, and that is exactly what they did. They did not make it for the money, they did not make it to please a broad audience, they did not make it to please the critics — they made it, because that was what they wanted to show.
I’m not going to talk about the story or the characters much, just Google those things if you are interested. Instead, I want to talk about an analogy.
Any good designer knows the importance of whitespace, whether in layout or typography. Architects have long understood that negative or empty space is just as (or perhaps more) important as filled space. Watching Udaan was a good reminder that good moments in a movie need their space as well.
I didn’t feel rushed as I saw the movie; it felt a bit slow at times, but there was no hurry to get to the end. There are several scenes that are made poignant by the lack of dialog. The same goes for the music. Amit Trivedi has done an outstanding job with the background score as well as the soundtrack. The lyrics (by Amitabh Bhattacharya) are fabulous and are fittingly given their space in the songs — Amit makes sure that the music recedes and does not overwhelm so you can pay attention to the words. But when the voices take a break, the music that fills in the gaps is just as good.
As my wife observed, “this movie has craft.”