MOVIE REVIEWSMOVIES

Uunchai (2022): A Touching Tribute To Friendship

UUNCHAI left me feeling soothed, happy, and fulfilled as it doesn’t usually happen that you leave a theatre with such feelings. Uunchai is a touching story that never attempts to be preachy or stir up strong feelings. It moves you right away. Sooraj Barjatya, who has been out of the scene for seven years, returns with a mixed bag of feelings, including love, sorrow, dreams, wishes, friendship, failures, and self-belief, conviction, and a pledge to your loved ones and, most importantly, to yourself.

THE PLOT

In UUNCHAI, three friends go on a quest that would change their lives. Delhi-based novelist Amit Shrivastava enjoys success. His closest friends are Javed, Om Sharma, and Bhupen, and he is divorced from his wife Abhilasha. On Bhupen’s birthday, the group gets together and enjoys a good time. Bhupen, a native of Nepal, says he would like to visit Everest Base Camp with Amit, Javed, and Om. But the friends say no, blaming their old age and health problems. After the celebration, Bhupen returns home but dies while sleeping.

All 4 dancing
Pic By: Republic World

Even in Bhupen’s situation, his friends are his only family and they take care of the funeral and other customs. Amit finds that Bhupen has reserved a trip for his three friends to the Everest Base Camp while reading Bhupen’s literature. In two months, the trip will take place. Om is currently preparing to bury Bhupen’s ashes in Varanasi’s Ganga River. Amit told Om and Javed of Bhupen’s Everest climb . He convinces them to join him so they may scatter his ashes at the Base Camp, which was Bhupen’s favourite location on the planet. Om and Javed finally give up after much convincing. But, there is an issue.

Bhupen death
Pic By: Mayapuri.com

Shabana, Javed’s wife, will never agree to her husband making such a dangerous trek. As a result, Amit develops a strategy. He informs Shabana that they would travel to Kathmandu, Nepal, and immerse his ashes there. They will go to Kathmandu by road in accordance with the plan because Om is afraid of flying. Shabana is told by Amit to come along. She will be dropped off at the home of her daughter Heeba and son-in-law Valli in Kanpur, he assures her. After finishing that, the group will go to Gorakhpur to visit Om’s brothers, whom he hasn’t seen in thirty years. Shabana and the three friends set out on their journey. But sadly, Amit’s perfect scheme fails. The remainder of the movie is based on what occurs next.

THE GOOD/THE BAD

With this necessity to inform rather than show, the story is clear right away. Every moment that may have built suspense is shared with the audience, thus losing viewers’ interest in the movie. The anticipation of the trek’s stunning scenery, which doesn’t start until the second half, is what keeps you going. In order to establish characters, settings, the reasons behind the actors’ actions, etc., the first half of “Uunchai” drags on for much too long. The use of framing and the transition into the song “Keti Ko” are beautiful; in fact, the song is the only thing to notice in the first half since it has a good vibe despite the strangeness of the emotions on display.

Om meeting his brother
Pic By: Hindustan Times

The film’s pace may have been slowed down to accommodate the genre-reversal of the road trip, which is often filled with adventures and other activities to suit the three elderly men who are shown. Or the repeated addition of life drama to each character’s past slows “Uunchai” down. But, “Uunchai” has some notable scenes and moments. There are certain minor events that have a genuine comedy or drama flavour to them, which will surely make you grin or cry. For instance, Neena Gupta’s possessive desire to overcare for her husband, portrayed by Boman Irani, or Anupam Kher shoving food into Amitabh Bachchan’s mouth, etc. If not for this, it’s more similar to a marathon that requires extreme patience to complete. So, it’s possible that a documentary form of filming would have better fit the words of “Uunchai.”

ALL 3 worried
Pic By: Koimoi

But, the realism of how some ideological stances and arguments are handled stands out, and these issues are ones that do so. For example, the way one copes with the realities of age and a degradation of the body while the mind desires more, or the delayed reveal of problems in parent-child relationships and the nonjudgmental attitude to adopt when dealing with them.

MY THOUGHTS

Amit on Everest
Pic By: Category Portal

Overall, UUNCHAI is a basic, heartfelt family movie with excellent performances from the main characters. The film, however, suffers from poor soundtrack, an extended runtime, and a lack of content targeted at young people.

MY RATINGS

3.5/5

OTHER REVIEWS

HERE’S THE TRAILER OF THE MOVIE

ALSO READ: Goodbye (2022): A Must-see Tear-dropper Family Drama

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