Saturday, 29 March 2014

YOUNGISTAAN :::: Movie Review


Youngistaan  is as much a political drama as a romantic comedy about a young Prime Minister and his fun-loving outgoing girlfriend who suddenly finds herself under house curfew just because her lover has a rather important job to perform. The film tells us - it's okay to have dynastic rule as long as the job gets done. It also tell us that there's no need to get hysterical if our Prime Minister is in a live-in relationship. It may not be cool for a Prime minister to get his girlfriend pregnant at a time when he has a responsibility towards nation, but if it happens, there's no need to get righteous and holier- than- thou. You have to hand it to this film for making an effort to be headline-ish without toppling over with the temperament of topicality. This is a genre never cracked in Hindi cinema. There is a sense of mischief underlining the very powerful message about the young shouldering the governance of the country without resorting to the the stereotypical morality and dress code of Netagiri in Hindustaan. “Youngistaan” simplifies things to a large extent, and never seems to be able to decide whether it is a romance or a political thriller. As a result, it ends up being neither.      
 
STORY & SCREENPLAY                            ::           The credit for story as well as screenplay has been shared by trio of Syed Ahmed Afzal, Ramiz Ilham Khan & Maitrey Bajpayee. Although, the movie has a very interesting premise, but it is totally diluted by lazy scriptwriting. The film also lacks shades of grey and hence as a political drama, remains somewhat unconvincing. It focuses more on the personal life of the Prime Minister instead of his professional one -- which is not a bad idea either, except the director fails to choose between focusing on how Abhimanyu makes his politics work and how Abhimanyu makes his relationship work. Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani), the son of the incumbent premier, is partying one minute and sitting by his dying fathers bedside the next. Our young hero is oblivious to his parent dying of cancer and knows nothing about the vagaries of politics in India, but is still trusted with the highest office in the country. Abhimanyu’s wardrobe undergoes a transformation — from grungy tees to crisp, linen shirts. He makes rousing speeches at the United Nations and pushes for youth reform. What does not change though, is his whiny girlfriend and her whims and fancies, which the young prime minister insists on fulfilling, even when they are unreasonable and childish. Anwita (Neha Sharma) hates politics, so she insists they move into a private home instead of the official residence, wants to visit the Taj Mahal when her boyfriend is on a work trip to Agra, and feels offended by media scrutiny into the life of the prime minister.

STARCAST                                             ::               Every character, big or small is effectively cast. Jackky Bhagnani as the Prime Ministerial candidate, conveys a whole lot of sincerity in his performance. His scenes with his dead father ( Boman Irani ) are emotionally resplendent. They play off well against the stark, sometime funny and outrageous reality of Indian politics. Jackky manages to deliver his most mature performance till date. Sure, he has miles to go, but Youngistaan is the big step he needed. Neha Sharma as his untameable girlfriend plays her character with intelligence and grace. This girl deserves more than what Hindi cinema has offered her so far. But it is Farooque Sheikh as Jackky's quietly efficient personal assistant who brings a twinkle eyed wisdom to the table.He’s effortless as the personal assistant to the PM, his twinkle-eyed wisdom making the narrative all the more engaging. His scenes with Jackky are not exactly laden with emotion but stay with you because of their simplicity. Meeta Vashisth looks real convincing as Jackky's Right hand lady but alias she has been given just couple of scenes. 

TECHNICAL FINESSE                              ::           The music department of the movie has been handled by Jeet Ganguly, Shree Isshq, Sneha Khanwalkar & Shiraz Uppal and the album has turned out to be decent enough with some of the songs turning out as chart busters. The production value of the movie is top class and credit must be given to Suman Roy Mahapatra & Pallavi Bagga who are the production designers of the movie. The movie has been shot well under the lens of cinematographer Amalendhu Chaudhary who has captured the locales well. The movie has been edited by Anuradha Singh who has restricted the length of the movie to 133 minutes. Now, coming to direction, i feel that Syed Ahmed Fazal has done a very average job and could have made this tale in a more convincing & engaging manner. The director has not used much intelligence or wit in handling his film and he has kept it modest, one dimensional and convenient. Everything happens too easily in the film and well the postulates of the constitution obviously doesn’t hold much value for the filmmaker.

CONCLUSION                                          ::         All in all, Youngistaan makes claims like Modi, implements policies like Rahul and has a persistent cough like Kejriwal. With a solid script on paper though trivial direction and sloppy execution, the film manages to remain engaging.

ROHIT SHARMA.
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