Movie Review: Youngistaan

We have seen a lot many film on politics; but most of it, nay all of them, are loaded with blood and gore. Not Youngistaan; Vashu Bhagnani’s Silver Jubilee production is full of the flavor of youth and the mood of the moment.

The writers have spun a neat tale around the love story of the son of the Prime Minister of India. The movie has a distinct neatness to it and this texture is felt and seen throughout the film.

Three principal characters—Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani), Anwita Chauhan (Neha Sharma) and Akbar Patel (late Farooq Sheikh) merge seamlessly to form the crux of the story. Even Prime Minister Dashrath Kaul (Boman Irani) who spends just five minutes in all on screen leaves a lasting impression.

But what is even more impressive is that the story moves from Japan to India in one swift moment without destroying the fabric of the screenplay or the potency of the plot.

And though just 28-years-old when he is put on the hot seat after his father’s death, Abhi, though reluctant at first, takes to the game like fish to water. Calm, composed and business-like, Abhi knocks off unhealthy opposition from within the party by ‘promoting’ them. In Akbar, he has a sound advisor, who is more like a father to him.

As for the love of his life, Anwita, he keeps to his commitment of ensuring that she is happy and works towards making their relationship work. If you look at Youngistaan closely, you will find two layers; the powerful chemistry between Anwita and Abhi and their love for each other and the incisive thinking of Abhi as Prime Minister.

The film deals with the issues of opposition, coalition, interest rates on student loans, farmers and in-fighting. How I wished they had also touched upon vote banks. But all said and done, director Syed Ahmad Afzal keeps the narration simple without over-the-top rhetorics. There’s also a touch on Parnab the TV anchor and his interview with Abhi. Of course, Abhi here has the last laugh!

Jackky Bhagnani is an earnest actor. He keeps to his brief as a lover and leader with equal aplomb, never even once letting power get into his head. He handles the issues of youth and logistics of elections with the maturity of a veteran. And this is remarkable in an actor this young and just three films old.

Neha Sharma is always a delight. She may be mouthing a dialogue but her eyes have already conveyed her emotions even before she utters the first word. As the girlfriend who is like any other youngster, she is brilliant. When she has to make adjustments with restrictions on her movement with ‘Z’ category security, she is a revelation.

The late Farooq Sheikh pulls the curtains on his career with a finely nuanced act. As someone with a high level of influence on the Prime Minister, his character is depicted with a lot of soul.

Yes, that’s it. This movie has soul. It’s a love story set in troubled times. It’s also a call for all youngsters out there to go out and make their vote count.

Youngistaan is definitely a movie to watch.

Rating: 4 / 5

Martin D’Souza

This first appeared on on May 28, 2014


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