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UDA AIDA (Punjabi) - Ignoring the shortcomings, this needs to be applauded for showing us the mirror and for its sincere and heartfelt effort pointing towards the value and importance of the MOTHER LANGUAGE. (Review By Bobby Sing)

02 Feb, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / U-V

As another meaningful attempt showcasing the state of schools, education and parenting in Punjab post SON OF MANJEET SINGH (2018), UDA AIDA takes a step further and spreads a universal message pointing towards the wide ignorance of Punjabi (aka Panjabi) as the mother language by the Punjabis themselves.
Though here too the final result has its own cinematic limitations as a film, but thankfully this time we have much more to praise, since UDA AIDA raises a very timely and relevant alarm for the community and its people who are sadly not even aware of the importance of MOTHER LANGUAGE in their lives.
Getting over the limitations first, Punjabi Cinema and its makers have always been deeply influenced and in awe of the mainstream Hindi Cinema since the beginning of the new millennium. So this is yet again an inspired version of the famous Hindi sleeper hit HINDI MEDIUM (2017) based on a similar subject, which interestingly also got its genes and partial inspiration from the hit Bengali and Malayalam movies. In other words UDA AIDA exactly follows the same pattern of HINDI MEDIUM with the initial 45 minutes talking about family fighting with the admission procedure and then the lengthy climax involving the parents and the administrative staff in a school function/meet. 
(Click here to read BTC’s review of HINDI MEDIUM with reference of its inspirational sources)
Among the avoidable shortcomings, it begins uninterestingly and the initial moments desperately try to keep you engaged with random sequences and partially funny dialogues as a comedy film. The narration takes its own time to come to the point (which is a common issue with almost every Punjabi film) and then slowly starts delivering the content deserving praises. 
Besides, more than once the writing skillfully starts a sequence but then doesn’t come with an equally justified conclusion moving on to the next scenes. For instance the scene of father being unable to pay for the kid’s foreign trip ends abruptly and so does the sequence featuring the Halloween song/celebrations with the teacher being angry. Plus the representation of school authorities as well as parents ought to be much better with carefully chosen supporting cast even if they don’t have to render any dialogues in the scene (like the girls sitting in the interview or the fathers/mothers sitting beside their vocal partners). To be specific, the principal of the school played by Rose J. Kaur should have been given more scenes and dialogues instead of the vice-principal as she was certainly looking apt for the role and enacting it perfectly too.
Having said that, at times a film made on an essential and burning subject needs to be applauded forgetting the flaws as it dares to show us the mirror and brings up an issue that is deeply concerned with both the present and future generations, their roots and their decisive upbringing. 
No doubt HINDI MEDIUM was indeed a much superior film focused on the subject of school admissions and their reputation affecting the various classes of our society, but UDA AIDA has its own superior merit in terms of subject, concerned with the generations forgetting their mother language and considering Punjabi as a down market dialect in comparison to English and other foreign languages.
Supporting the fact, despite being theatrical and predictable, UDA AIDA successfully presents its point (giving an alarming message), especially in its second half and the finale, which comes up as a winner (due to its well written dialogues), well supported by the lead actors Tarsem Jassar, Karamjit Anmol, Poppy Jabbal and the young kid. Tarsem does his best to get into the skin of his character and beautifully conveys the emotions when he is left helpless with no solution as such. Karamjit yet again excels and plays well as the security guard, especially in the scene along Tarsem, when the child is saying goodbye to his classmates going to America. The kid truly displays the innocence as required without going over the top and the acts of his young friends in the school is also satisfactory. On the other hand, Neeru Bajwa as the ambitious mother is just okay and unusually both Gurpreet Ghuggi and B. N. Sharma have a fewer scenes, not getting much to do in the proceedings as a strange surprise.
Interestingly where the veterans do not impress, one supporting performer unexpectedly manages to stands out among them all and she is Poppy Jabbal playing the compassionate teacher in the English medium school helping the kid and his family. Giving her a big compliment, after a few scenes the girl straight away reminded me of the friendly teacher lovingly played by Simi Grewal in the Raj Kapoor's cult classic MERA NAAM JOKER. Now I don’t know whether that was the exact brief given to her by the director Ksshitij Chaudhary, but Poppy effortlessly reminds you of Simi and comes quite close to the memorable performance which is nothing short of an achievement of its kind both for the actress and her director together.
In the technical department the film decently justifies the subject and its requirements within its limited resources without going overboard. But some good tracks surely could have helped the narration a lot more reaching out to the receptive audience.
Above all, I would specifically like to congratulate team UDA AIDA for having the courage, understanding and vision of presenting this subject without involving the religion or without relating the language with the religion falling in the usual trap. 
To be honest, the biggest failure of the present world happens to be the fact that here we have wrongly started associating LANGUAGES with RELIGIONS, which is not the right way of informing or educating the upcoming generations. Languages are always related to people, region and culture but never their religion.
Hence would once again like to appreciate the team for making this film solely respecting the language, without bringing in the religion turning it into a religious movie.
Further since I myself have been (and still am) a keen student of Punjabi and its rich, unexplored literature, so would like to end with two important insertions addressing my young friends who have recently got married or are already young parents or would soon become parents in the years ahead. 
One - There is an old saying more famous among the rulers of the world or the world of politicians and it says,
“If you want to finish off an influential sect or a powerful community, then kill their 'mother language' first and the community will vanish on its own within a few decades of change in generations.”
The above statement is a fact which is intelligently incorporated in the film raising a timely alarm before it’s too late and beyond any immediate repairs. Think about it for a while and in case you don't speak Punjabi in your homes with your kids, friends or don't even know how to read or write the language, then kindly watch this as a must and take your kids along learning a collective family lesson from the film.
Two - Whether you are into reading or not, do essentially read a book titled MERA DAGHISTAAN by Rasul Hamzatov as this is the most impactful creation I have ever read talking about one’s mother language in the most loving and absorbing manner. The book has been originally written by a renowned Russian writer/poet talking about his love for the lesser spoken mother language ‘Avar’ and has been translated in numerous languages including Hindi, English and Punjabi.
(Click here to read my article on MERA DAGHISTAAN at the site)
But of course, before searching for the book, do watch UDA AIDA first, as that will prepare you for the experience of the book and you will get to understand it even better remembering and respecting your mother language.

Rating : 3.5 / 5 (with the additional praise for not relating or mixing the concept of language with the religion) 

Tags : UDA AIDA (Punjabi) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Punjabi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing, Important films talking about Mother Language, Must watch Social Dramas
02 Feb 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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