Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Farooq Sheikh, Boman Irani, Kayoze Irani
Director: Syed Ahmed Afzal
With the Lok Sabha elections (General Elections) in India about a month away and the recent increase in awareness and actual presence of young voters, it seems like an almost perfect time to release such a film that touches both these topic. But does a title as hard-hitting as Youngistaan actually appeal to the masses and ignite the ‘jyoti’ of patriotism within the Hindustanis towards their motherland?
This Syed Ahmed Afzal directorial feature has all that you need to get the youth of the nation to go forward, get up off the couch, drop their phones and do something; something genuine for their nation and people. Where Youngistaan breaks that promise is – content. Overall, the concept of a youth leader gathering the trust and the confidence of his people, especially the young voters is present and even commendable but there is a large room vacant that can show the presence of issues and problems that we face and how to overcome them. The nitty-gritty of situations are not required to be touched upon but the aspect of ‘fixing’ the ‘system’ and its issues did not come out as loud as it should.
The story follows the live-in relationship of Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani) and his girlfriend, Anwita Chauhan (Neha Sharma) from Tokyo, Japan to New Delhi, India. Their love story and the complexities that the conservative portion of India feels about a modern day live-in relationship overpowers the bigger picture and its content at some points. The fact that Kaul, sworn in as the 28 year-old Prime Minister of India and the occasions where he has to constantly tend to his girlfriend while running a country becomes very stretched out. The jokes of his immaturity while having a female companion were thrown one too many times. Nonetheless, Anwita does a beautiful job as Kaul’s support system and looks adorable in her scenes. Their chemistry is at par and the pair looks beautifully romantic in the hit Arijit Singh track, Suno na sang marmar with the Taj Mahal in its shadows.
Jackky Bhagnani, actually impresses with his acting and dialogue delivery as compared to his last few films and will even make you believe in his character. Going from a video-game developer in Japan to becoming the youngest Prime Minister in the world and that too of the largest democracy, India can be a tough act to handle. Bhagnani definitely shows calm, commitment and character in his role, all of which was more than required from Mr. Abhimanyu Kaul.
The face that will make everyone smile and even have their hearts melt is that of Farooq Sheikh. He is literally the backbone of the film as Akbar, portraying the Personal Assistant to the PM. Farooq Saab will always remain etched into the hearts of all Hindi cinema enthusiasts worldwide. His subtle, cheeky and charismatic presence since the days of Garam Hawa & Chashme Buddoor has been reborn on the big screen possible due to Youngistaan. Boman Irani and his son Kayoze Irani in their special cameos are just as we would have wanted them to fulfill their respective roles.
The film does hit a chord or two on the nationalistic feelings and sentiments of an individual but does not make your heart pound for that so called Youngistaan feeling. The title track, trailer and the film title itself keep making you wanting that extra power punch and in that scenario it definitely fails to deliver completely. The overall message, however, is visibly present and readily available. The youth, moreover, the voting youth of the nation should see the film and realize that our nation is not Hindustan anymore – it’s a Hindustan Youngistaan and we are such an important aspect for its success in the future.