Udta Punjab(English:Punjab on a High) is an upcoming Indian crime thriller film co-written and directed by Abhishek Chaubey. It is about drug abuse in Punjab, India. Produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor under their banner Balaji Motion Pictures in association with Phantom Films, it features Shahid Kapoor,Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh in the lead roles.The film is scheduled for release on 17 June 2016.
The film highlights the impact and menace of drug abuse on society. The film is made to spread awareness about drugs on youth and society in general.
The music for Udta Punjab was composed by Amit Trivedi with lyrics by the late Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Shellee and Varun Grover. The background music was composed by Benedict Taylor & Naren Chandavarkar. The music rights are acquired by Zee Music Company.
The first song “Chitta Ve” was released on 4 May 2016. Two more Singles “Da Da Dasse” and “Ik Kudi” were released before the Release of Final soundtrack. The Complete Soundtrack consisting of 7 songs was released on 18 May 2016.
Amit Trivedi said about the soundtrack, “The film required a really dark soundtrack. So, I had to incorporate psychedelic trance and hip hop into it. It will be edgier and more in-your-face than anything else seen in Bollywood music before. I don’t know how the audience will react to it because it is not something that we are used to. But I do know that there are people who have an appetite for psy-trance and hip hop in India. So, I hope it is received well”. The movie’s music rights were sold for ₹18 crore (US$2.7 million), making it the biggest such deal in Bollywood history.
The movie has been reported to have had issues with the censor board over profanities and scenes of drug use. On 9 June 2016, the Censor Board came out with a list of 94 cuts and 13 pointers prior to the film’s release. One of the pointers even included deleting the names of cities in Punjab. On 13 June 2016, Bombay High Court cleared Udta Punjab with one cut and disclaimers. The scene where Shahid Kapoor’s character Tommy Singh is shown urinating in front of a crowd needs to be chopped off, ruled the court. The CBFC has been directed to issue an ‘A’ certificate to Udta Punjab in two days.
The row over the film being drug-themed slated for release on June 17 escalated with co-producer Anurag Kashyap hitting out at Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, calling him “oligarch” and “dictator” and that it was like living in North Korea. The makers of the film are said to have been asked by the Revising Committee of the Censor Board to remove all references to Punjab and to make 89 cuts. Kashyap got the support of several filmmakers including Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, Aamir Khan, Imtiaz Ali,Varun Dhawan and Mukesh Bhatt. “It is a dark day for freedom of expression and creativity in the country,” Mukesh Bhatt said, calling Pahlaj Nihalani a “stooge” of the government. It was finally cleared by bombay high court with the cuts reduced from 89 to 1 in which tommy singh was seen urinating. ‘A’ certificate was given and scheduled release is expected.