Vashu Bhagnani’s production Youngistaan starring his son Jacky Bhagnani in lead role was released on 28.03.2014 telling the story of a 28 years old youth becoming the prime minister of India. Less than two months later, the rulers of India changed and we got a new prime minister who was not 28 years old but 64 years old. However the Indian masses voted him to power with an absolute majority with a lot of expectation. However the story of Youngistaan is somewhat similar not to that of the current prime minister of India but to that of Late Rajiv Gandhi who had accidentally become the Indian premier at the relatively young age of 40 years on 31.10.1984 after the brutal murder of his mother and the then prime minister of India – Mrs. Indira Gandhi. I watched Youngistaan quite late (after the general elections and the change of rule at the centre) but this movie impressed me so much that I decided to write its review.
Abhimanyu Kaul (Jacky Bhagnani) is the son of the prime minister of India – Mr. Dashrath Kaul (Boman Irani) but having no interest in politics, has always stayed away from it and is pursuing his career as a computer game developer in Japan when he has to rush to India due to his father’s being on his death-bed. In order to fulfill the last wish of his father, he has to enter Indian politics quite reluctantly and wear the thorny crown of Indian premiership. His girlfriend Anwita (Neha Sharma) who never wanted him to join politics, is quite unhappy at it but she has to yield before his decision. How Abhimanyu is able to don this role and checkmate his opponents with his deceased father’s secretary Akbar Uncle (Farooq Sheikh) being the only trustworthy person for him in this cobweb, forms the remaining part of the movie.After watching Youngistaan, I was surprised that most of the professional reviewers had trashed this movie like anything as if it were a very bad product. This is one more illustration of the various biases maintained and nurtured by the Indian film reviewers. Youngistaan may not be a great movie but it’s by all means a good, well-made and admirable movie. The movie clearly conveys what it purports to convey without any confusion, ambiguity or digression. The heart of the movie is in the right place and despite being an imaginary and improbable story, the things happening in the corridors of Indian politics have been depicted with a highly realistic approach. In my humble opinion, Youngistaan is a completely no-nonsense movie and the efforts of the team behind its making deserve to be appreciated.Due to the realistic approach only, the movie appears to be monotonous and boring at places. The climax is, therefore, dull and unappealing. However the filmmaker has shown better sense by not inserting too many regular Bollywood formulae and undue melodrama in the narrative and kept the things shown on the screen as straightforward and reliable as possible. Entertainment does not appear to be the motive of the filmmaker though such movies are usually made for entertaining the audience and thereby hauling box office collections. Hence this paradoxical approach of the filmmaker is strange but laudable.The whole milieu of the movie mainly that linked to the corridors of power in India, appears to be out and out real. The body language of the different characters is quite apt according to the assigned roles and the mood of the movie. Sets are impressive. Ditto for cinematography. Dialogues are not theatrical but quite appropriate according to different situations and the characters uttering them. Background score is in order.
Music director Jeet Ganguly hasn’t composed any super hit numbers for this movie but his musical score is certainly good. Suno Na Sangemarmar Ki Ye Meenarein (sung by Arijit Singh) was a chartbuster at the time of the release of this movie.
I have been an admirer of Jacky Bhagnani since his debut movie Kal Kissne Dekha (2009). He is a handsome as well as talented actor who deserves the right break to give a boost to his career. He has rendered a controlled performance in the lead role of Abhimanyu whose years are tender but personality is mature. Another highly admirable performance has come from Late Farooq Sheikh in the role of the PM’s secretary. All others have also fitted the bill.
The word Youngistaan represents the youthful part of the Indian population who is open-minded, progress-oriented, free from bigotry and does not believe in any undesirable discrimination among people. This Youngistaan badly needs a youthful, dynamic and open-minded leader at the helm of affairs. The hero of Youngistaan is an imaginary character but we, the right-thinking Indians, wish that it were real.
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