"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

UUNCHAI - Wish there was an equally uplifting soundtrack and a more realistic conclusion in this brave and praiseworthy effort by the team. (Review by Bobby Sing)

15 Nov, 2022 | Just In / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

Rajshri films and Sooraj R. Barjatya make a notable comeback with UUNCHAI, which is also the 60th film from the banner having an unparalleled reputation in the industry. The film has their trademark simplicity and sweetness along with a social message that has always been associated with Rajshri, for the last six decades.

Based on a tough and unusual subject, the most important feature of the film is that it brings the writer-director Sooraj Barjatya out of his mansion of a predictable and repetitive pattern followed since Maine Pyar Kiya (1989). Sooraj successfully breaks that shell without compromising the expected ethical/emotional quotient in his script and delivers a decent, likable film spreading love and awareness.
However, three major shortcomings limit the reach and impact of UUNCHAI, which is bound to affect its theatrical run for sure. 
First, the makers have wrongly promoted the film, only focusing on the tough mountaineering attempt made by a group of old age people fulfilling the last wish of their dead friend. And to make it clear, its not about conquering Mount Everest. The journey is only till the Mount Everest Base Camp, which is like a difficult trekking route. Surprisingly, this expedition part of the script begins after around 120 minutes of its 170 minutes duration and the first two hours are all about their decades-old friendship, human relationships, broken families, and how youngsters treat their parents as ‘unwanted guests’. Interestingly, it is more like a light-hearted, enjoyable road movie than a thrilling mountaineering film as shown in the promos. As a result, I strongly feel, Uunchai is going to lose a big number of ticket-buyers, who are just assuming it to be a movie, entirely based upon a predictable and repetitive voyage into the mountains.
Second, while it keeps the viewers involved in its first half, the second half tests their patience with lengthy and stretched sequences, missing the required conviction and pull. The solutions arrive before the problems in its trekking segment towards the end, and that makes the journey look like nothing extremely tough or life-threatening. The performances by the veterans rescue these last moments, with not much to offer either in terms of writing or execution. Besides, the film ends on a “happily lived after” note as if the protagonists were in their 40s with still a long life ahead, presenting it highly superficially. 
Revolving around three (70+) friends living their final years of life, awaiting the end knocking at their door any next day, Suraj should have thought of a more realistic and relatable climax instead of a forced usual one. In other words, it would have turned UUNCHAI into a brilliant film if its end dared to remind the viewers that this life has to end and you got to make your crucial decisions before it all gets over without even an ultimatum. That kind of thoughtful culmination would have made it an important, unforgettable film imparting a significant message about life.
But then, the pressure of commercial needs and returns restrict even the gifted, visionary directors and they have to end their stories with a flowery positivity, even if it is all about three old age men, seriously struggling and fighting with their medical and family issues. 
Last, but most important, one seriously misses ‘the banner’s promised good music’ throughout the film and UUNCHAI suffers because of a forgettable and lackluster soundtrack that fails to elevate any sequence in both halves. Such intense emotional dramas get magically uplifted by melodious and well-written tracks coming at the right moments and who else knows it better than team Rajshri and Sooraj Barjatya!
Sadly, nothing of that sort is offered in UUNCHAI, becoming its biggest drawback, with some good lyrics desperately searching for an equally good composition. Imagine how a winner track would have helped the film in all aspects, sung by Amitabh, Danny, Anupam, and Boman, together dancing on screen. In the present version, the song featuring them all comes and goes without making any kind of impact. In fact, Sooraj had to use "Yeh Jeevan Hai" - a cult track from Rajshri's own Piya Ka Ghar (1972), in some important sequences of the film proving the lack. 
Coming to the merits, there are some pleasant surprises in store in the performance section of the film. Led by an expectedly excellent Amitabh Bachchan, the entertaining act of Anupam Kher keeps leaning towards exaggeration in some specific sequences. But while Danny wins your heart in his lovable cameo, it is Boman Irani who comes up with the best act of all, closely followed by Neena Gupta and Sarika. At times, it also seems like the women are excelling over the men, including the charming Parineeti Chopra in her brief appearance. It would be appealing to add that the actor (Boman) who overshadows the rest, was among the last ones roped in for the film after a friendly scolding from Kher, as revealed by the veterans in a popular TV show. 
On the whole, UUNCHAI entertains, making you emotionally feel for the characters with teary eyes. But it also falls short of being a film you would love to remember for a long time. It surely comes as a welcome change from the banner and the reputed director, but isn’t able to scale any greater heights as any path-breaking film. 
That said, it remains a brave and praiseworthy attempt, as even though VFX plays a major role, it is difficult to shoot such a subject, and that too with three real-life old-age veterans agreeing to be a part of it. Besides, it is also gutsy for a director like Sooraj Barjatya to attempt such a risky experimental film, whereas he could have easily gone for another routine love saga with Salman Khan or a star having a larger probability of box office success. 
Hence, fulfilling the expectations from a 2022 film, UUNCHAI dares to exploit a fresh theme, having lovable performances along with a life-teaching message for the new-age generation mostly living in nuclear families. The film certainly deserves to be seen for all the merits mentioned above, but is also an opportunity missed, as the subject could have resulted in a precious, meaningful film adding a lot more to the reputed tradition of Rajshri productions.
Becoming a part of the new trend, it would get widely appreciated post its OTT release by the audience watching it at home. But if you haven’t seen a film with the entire family in the theaters for long, then this should be the choice for one of your next family outings celebrating love and togetherness.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the adorable Danny making a heart-warming friendly appearance despite the visible health issues.)

Tags : Uunchai Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi films reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Rajshri New film directed by Sooraj Barjatya of Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun fame
15 Nov 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code