Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Danny Denzongpa, Neena Gupta, Parineeti Chopra & Sarika
Director: Sooraj Barjatya
Rating: 3.5 Moons
Uunchai - the word in itself means height and true to its name Sooraj Barjatya's latest adventure-family drama has reached the heights of serving a great cinematic experience. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Neena Gupta, Parineeti Chopra and Sarika, Uunchai is the most heartwarming film of this year, by far.
Uunchai is the story of three friends Amit, a writer, Javed, a businessman, and Om, a widower. They go on a road trip from Delhi to Kathmandu and then trek to the Everest Base Camp in memory of their close friend Bhupen they lost recently who always yearned to visit EBC with his 3 best friends. On the first trek of their lives, they battle their physical limitations and discover the true meaning of freedom by holding themselves accountable to their past mistakes. This personal, emotional and spiritual journey teaches them to accept their age and they go back home with a renewed vigor for life.
The 2 hour 53 minute long film begins with focusing on Amit (Amitabh Bachchan), Om (Anupam Kher), Javed (Boman Irani) and Bhupen's (Danny Denzongpa) 50-year-old friendship and how the group has grown old together, through thick and thin. Unfortunately, on Bhupen's 70th birthday, he passes away due to cardiac arrest, leaving behind his old dream of visiting the Everest Base Camp with his three best friends. After Bhupen's death, Amit takes the charge and promises to fulfill his best friend's last wish and take his ashes to the EBC. After rigorous training of two months, Amit, Om and Javed along with his wife Shabeena (Neena Gupta) leave for their journey. Bhupen's childhood sweetheart Mala (Sarika) joins them midway to pay her last respects to him.
While friendship is their only motivation to complete the trek headed by Shraddha Gupta (Parineeti Chopra), the group has to face several challenges. How they overcome these and achieve the Uunchai of life is what this heartwarming film is all about. Despite being lengthy, the film has the full potential to tug at your heartstrings. The way Sooraj Barjatya showcases the true essence of friendship is commendable. While the film may feel dragged and stretched in the second half, it does not fail to keep everyone entertained.
If there are multiple legendary performers in one frame then perfection is what we can all expect and that is the exact case with Uunchai. Amitabh Bachchan, Boman Irani and Anupam Kher breathe. life into the film. The realism in their acting styles takes the centerstage. Special mention to Neena Gupta for adding the much-needed humour and punch to the film. Parineeti Chopra balances the second half on her shoulders and slips into her role effortlessly. Sarika and Danny Denzongpa's performances are as good.
Hats off to Sooraj Barjatya for presenting a unique tale of friendship in the form of Uunchai. Even today, the charm of his storytelling works brilliantly. His direction is commendable. Abhishek Dixit's writing and Sunil Gandhi's story are both well-fleshed out and add good layers to the film. Manoj Kumar Khatoi's cinematography steals the show. Everest is captured so beautifully and realistically in the film that you feel you're actually there. Shweta Venkat Mathew's editing is however disappointing. Uunchai could very well end much before its climax. Amit Trivedi's music matches the inspiring tone of the film.
PeepingaMoon gives Uunchai 3.5 Moons!