Filmy Talks: Udaan – Script to Film

I read the script of Udaan before I saw the film. I did this intentionally. When I found the script online, I hadn’t seen the film yet and decided that I would read the script first. I did this so that I could compare how I imagined the story with how the film turned out. I wanted to know if they would be similar.

First of all, the script of Udaan is a beautifully written work that reads more like a story. I read the second draft in English. When I started reading it, I couldn’t leave my seat until I read everything. Every scene came alive in my mind as though I was watching the film. This is the only film script I have read all the way through so far. I attempted reading a few others but could not finish. As shocking as it may sound, the script of Jab We Met was terribly boring and Agent Vinod was suffering from attention deficiency disorder. So when I read through Udaan and loved it, I realized that this is a very well told story and that the film would be very good. But I assumed at that moment that the script is probably better than the film.

The film is actually very close to how I imagined it to be. 95% matched perfectly and satisfied my expectations. Rohan’s father and Arjun were just as I had imagined them, completely. Of course I had imagined a few things slightly differently. For example I thought the uncle would be fatter and more jolly. I had imagined Rohan to have a slightly more mature look, since he is a boy who takes on immense responsibility at the end of the film. But personality wise, the young actor played Rohan perfectly.

The other differences were actually changes made to the script. I don’t know if those changes were made in the later drafts or during the shooting of the film. Or perhaps some of those scenes were shot but edited in the post production process. For example, in the script, Rohan has a desk job at his father’s office whereas in the film he is doing heavy labor. In the script, there is a scene where Rohan is speaking to the nurse at the hospital about Arjun’s injury but he doesn’t in the film. I also recollect that Arjun too was made to run with Rohan and his father in the script. And Arjun is described as an undernourished boy which obviously could not be made possible in the film for ethical reasons. Also the scene and dialogue when Rohan leaves home is different in the film, but the dialogue is actually better.

The most important scene in the whole story and film is the final scene when Rohan goes to take Arjun from the house. This scene in the script brought me to tears and really moved me. I was a bit disappointed with the scene in the film as it fell a little short in the emotional department. I had imagined that scene a little bit slower and a little more dramatic. But it was beautiful nonetheless.

Those who want to know what a good script looks like must read the script of Udaan, and those who want to see a good film must watch Udaan.


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