Verdict: Highlights a serious issue in the most entertaining way.
Any movie that stars Neeru Bajwa is special. And to add icing on the cake, Uda Aida has the immensely likable Tarsem Jassar opposite Neeru in a project helmed by the “hit machine” of Pollywood – Ksshitij Chaudhary.
The film touches upon a serious issue faced by a majority of people from Punjab – the craze for English. There are people who segregate the English speakers from those who cannot speak English. Uda Aida is a direct take on the education system, language divide, superiority complex, the problems that parents from villages experience while getting their child admitted to a global school.
What’s Uda Aida About:
The film revolves around Gurnam Singh (Tarsem Jassar) and Manjeet Kaur (Neeru Bajwa) who live in a small village and want their son Amandeep Singh to study in a city convent school. The real struggle only starts after the admission when the simple family has to cope with the other children and their rich families. In the end, they realize that their dreams of having a well-spoken and well-read child from a high-end school have only spoiled their own relationship with their child. They come to understand that knowing English is not an end to their means but it is equally important to have respect and pride in their own mother tongue and other things related to their culture.
Uda Aida works due to a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a subject that is absolutely relatable. Secondly, the casting is perfect with people expecting such a cry from Tarsem Jassar. And lastly, because the screenplay steers clear of good vs bad formula. Each character is positive and also has certain justified shortcomings. Sure there are exaggerations, but they are highly amusing.
Uda Aida strikes a wonderful balance between comedy and emotions. The movie has laugh-out-loud moments in abundance and on a couple of occasions, it leaves you moist-eyed. Tarsem and Neeru’s crave for getting their son admitted at a convent school avoids over-statement. The film is unrelentingly funny and simultaneously thought-provoking.
Tarsem Jassar delivers a confident performance. He is best at enacting emotional scenes and the director has taken special note of that. Neeru Bajwa is the heart of the movie. She underplays the role of a mother who wants her son to be as modern and a good English speaker as other children. Karamjit Anmol and Gurpreet Ghuggi are first-rate and bring the house down with their one-liners.
Ksshitij Chaudhary delivers another heartwarming film which is a winner all the way. He proves yet again that he can make an excellent script into an extraordinary film.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The music of the film is a bit of a let-down. Given Tarsem Jassar’s popularity, the songs could’ve been more catchy. The movie lacks a much needed blockbuster track. The final speech by Tarsem Jassar also becomes a bit preachy.
Why You Should Watch:
On the face of it, Uda Aida is an indictment of the education system. But it is also a comment on the hierarchies among the wealthy and the poor as well as village schools vs city schools. Besides, it is extremely enjoyable and makes several important points. The film’s achievement is that it tells us things we already know yet forces us to think about them and has lots of fun while doing so.