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Youngistaan Is Now 9 Years Old




Youngistaan  had  to go  to court over the issue of its trendy title.An  international beverage company had  claimed legal rights over the title. But producer Vashu Bhagnani felt  Pepsi had got it wrong. stolen the concept from their ads. The  Youngistaan has nothing to do with the beverage.

  Youngistaan was  the first Indian film about the life of a prime minister. Jackky Bhagnani(coincidentally, the producer’s son) plays the hope of the country . His character comes to the prime ministerial seat with many dynamic ideas. He questions the status quo. He wants to know why  banks charge interest from their customers even for the 67 bank holidays every year. He wants to build a warehouse in every village so that the food-grain reserves don’t rot and go to waste.

A political drama about a young foreign-educated NRI who is forced to take over his country’s reigns after his father’s sudden death.Unlike Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti, Youngistaan doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is no attempt here to mythicize or demonize the politicians.

Think Rajiv Gandhi. Think Rahul… Jackky Bhagnani plays an amalgamation of many political dreams. Never mind if some of them turn into nightmares in real life (think Kejriwal). Cinema is about hope and redemption. In a nation hurling towards damnation the thought of some political wisdom clarity and far-sightedness in this season of the elections, is eminently welcomed. Young Bhagnani brings a temperance and sensitivity to his character. This is a guy who can think straight, even when he isn’t thinking straight.

Youngistaan is a smartly-written political parable about a young smart foreign-bred Indian who has the audacity to sing ‘Japan Love In Tokyo’ on a drunken night in Tokyo, who is thrust the thankless of job of India’s prime minister ship. Wisely the narrative never takes itself so seriously as to careen over under the weight of its conscientiousness.

There is a sense of mischief underlining the very powerful message about the young shouldering the governance of the country without resorting to the stereotypical morality and dress code of neta-giri in Hindustan.Jackky’s Abhimanyu Kaul is  young enterprising modern in thought and ready to take on the political humbug headlong. He is also a considerate generous boyfriend trying to make his somewhat-overbearing sometime-annoying life-mate understand the complexities of the responsibility suddenly thrust upon him. Youngistaan is as much a political drama as a rom-com about a young prime minister and his fun-loving out-going girlfriend who suddenly finds herself under house curfew just because her lover has a rather important job to perform.

Writer-director Syed Ahmad Afzal has told a story that seems destined to be put on screen. The politics of our disembodied democracy is sexily sketched. In this season of the Lok Sabha elections Youngistaan raises pertinent questions on the quality of leadership in our country. While its gets its political fundas right the plot also accommodates the central romantic conflict into its structure.

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. Neha Sharma as his untamable girlfriend plays her character with intelligence and grace. This girl deserves more than what Hindi cinema has so far offered her. But it is Farouque Sheikh as Bhagnani’s quietly efficient PA who brings a twinkle-eyed wisdom to the table.

The film tells us, it’s okay to have dynastic rule as long as the job gets done. It also tells 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 the nation. But if it happens, there’s no need to get righteous and holier-than-thou

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