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    Published On : Sat, Mar 29th, 2014

    Youngistaan movie review by Prashen H. Kyawal

    Youngistaan : interesting concept wasted by unimaginative screenplay


    Directed : Syed Ahmad Afzal
    Cast : Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Farooq Sheikh, Kayoze Irani

    A you game developer, Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani), having a hip and happening life in Japan along with his live-in girlfriend Anwita Chauhan (Neha Sharma) is happy with his work hard and party harder lifestyle. One night when he is passed out after a lot of drinks, he gets a life changing call from India. The call is about his father, Dashrat Kaul (Boman Irani) who is apparently the Prime Minister of India, on the death bed. Abhimanyu rushes to New Delhi where he had to take the responsibility of leading his father’s political party and the chair of the Prime Minister. His girlfriend Anwita has to bear a lot of problems due to the protocols and is hidden from the media because of the thought that an Indian Prime Minister cannot have live-in relationship.

    However, Abhimanyu who is learning the ropes of his new job with the help of his father’s PA Akbar Ahmad (Farooque Shaikh), soon starts leading in his way and makes sure that he gives justice to both his public and private life. How he does all this is the story of Youngistaan.

    The story at the concept level is intriguing and the writer trio of Ramiz Ilham Khan, Syed Ahmed Afzal and Maitrey Bajpai tries hard to put it in the screenplay. But they falter at the screenplay part. It keeps shuttling between Abhimanyu’s Public and Private life that means one scene of him as Prime Minister and another handling problems and demands of Anwita. Much part of the movie proceeds like this and you start recognising this format. But you are looking for the movie to pick up at some point and it never does. The writers couldn’t improvise the concept into and interesting screenplay and it just moves at a plain pace till the end.

    Writer-Director Syed Ahmed Afzal directs the subject sensibly and with understanding that such movie can be easily turned into a laughing stock if not handled carefully. Credit shall go to him that he saved the movie from that disaster. With his Cinematographer Aalendhu Chaudhary, he chose an earthy look and feel for the movie which goes with the subject. Had he made it glossy with plasticky colours, it would have been very unbelievable. As a Director, he also succeeded in getting decent performances from his cast. With all these browny points at his credit, the movie still falters because of weak screenplay and writers inability to put meat into the material. As it is his debut film, we can expect better work from him if he gets better scripts.

    Speaking of the cast, the best part of the movie is Late Farooque Shaikh. He plays his part with ease and gives gravity to the scene whenever he is in it. However his role is reduced to giving appreciating glances to Abhimanyu. It is unfortunate that we lost this brilliant actor who started to get back in the industry with Club 60 and Youngistaan. He gets a highly deserved tribute at the start of the film.

    As far the lead pair, both Jackky Bhagnani and Neha Sharma done a decent job but that’s about it. They do not feel irreplaceable in their roles. That means even if there was someone else to play their roles, it would have been fine. The supporting cast have roles inspired from real life like Shubhodeep Ganguly (played by Deepankar De) seems like Pranab Mukharji, Murli Mukundan (by Prakash Belawadi)  feels like P. Chidambaram, etc. Both of them do good job. Boman Irani is Ok. Mita Vashisht (as Suhasini Singh Deo) is wasted. Brijendra Kala (as Desram) and the actor playing PM’s bodyguard impresses in the mataka kulfi scene.

    Music of the movie is given by an ensemble team of Music Directors (Jeet Ganguli, Shiraz Uppal, Sneha Khanwalkar and Shree Ishq) but still does not have much to take home. But this movie will be remembered for the song “Suno Na Sangemarmar” and will have a long shelf life. Another gem from Singer Arijit Singh and Lyricist Kausar Munir. Salim-Sulaiman are effective as Background Music Composer. Production design is good. The UN meeting is shot in actual location and looks impressive.

    Overall, it is a movie which you can bear for its innovative subject line and short timespan (around 2 hrs) but is marred by unimaginative writing.

    Rating :  2-star

    Recommendation : I think you will be better off skipping this movie in theatres and catching it on satellite or DVD. If you have not watch other films released in earlier weeks, you can catch them this week. Do refer our reviews before you decide which one to watch.

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