I happened to watch YUVA in Chennai at Satyam. It was a day out for all we cousins and it is special for us coz all the 8 of us were there for the movie together. All the cousins are spread across different places and its only during some occasions that we all manage to come together and have a blast.
It was a 3p.m. show. We reached Satyam by 2:55. It was very crowded and they werent allowing us in. finally we got in by 3:15. But to our total shock the movie had already begun. We missed almost first 10 minutes of the movie. It was very frustrating. I couldn't understand why they did not allow us in at the first place. I just hate missing the initial parts of movies. But well....nothing could have been done.
I am an ardent Mani Ratnam fan. I really enjoy his movies. They are different, they are beautiful, they appeal to my sensibilities, they are stylish.....I can go on and on....I am no expert in movies. I watch a movie like any viewer and not as a filmmaker, technician etc. But I have some comments reserved for Yuva. Those are purely my personal comments and well may just reflect my naiveate too. But after watching the movie I could sense something was missing though I exactly couldn't pin point it. As they say in Hindi.........Hajam nahi hua........I just had the same kind of feeling when I left the movie hall. Something was surely missing.
What I love about Mani Ratnam is that he strives to be different. All his movies are different.......hutke..... if i might use the filmy term. Yuva was no different. It was different. I loved the narrative of the movie. Three different point of views, 3 different stories. It was nice. I liked that about Alaipayuthey also, The flashbacks were very beautifully interwoven in the screenplay. Also I like it that Mani Ratnam has tried to portray Youth in different light as opposed to the careless, bubblegum chewing, irresponsible youth that Hindi movies normally portray us as. I liked that. I think there exists a considerable number of youngsters who want to make a difference and the point was conveyed in the movie. Very heartening to note that. (I think another movie which deserves a mention in this context is Hassil directed by tigmanshu Dhulia which was a lovely movie showing the youth in a different light.)
About the charcters. The charcters were beautifully etched with the character of Lallan, played by Abhishek Bachchan being the best of them all. I think Abhishek Bachchan was just apt for the role..........AWESOME performance. He was so amazingly grey. Like we all are, grey. None of us are only black or only white. The conflicting emotions were beautifully portrayed. Rani was sooper, an absolute natural. I particularly enjoyed the scene wherein she bursts at the Ticket Collector. Perfect case of displacement. Ajay devgan, Micheal....ummmmmm.......i liked his character. He's an idealist. I have a small idealistic streak in me. I would be partial to his character coz I would love to see loads of people like him. (i presume his character was inspired by a real-life character who was also a student leader) I liked the fact that his charcter wants to make a difference. I think many if not more do want to do that, make a difference. I could totally identify with the character played by Vivek Oberio coz I know so many people like him. (Sneaking in the middle of the queau and all.......that was a cute scene.) There was nothing new about him, very real. Esha Deol's role could have possibly been deleted from the movie coz her absence I feel wouldn't have affected the movie at all, just an adornment I feel. Kareena Kapoor was ok. Om Puri as usual was brilliant.
Ok, now what I didn't like.....I thought that Mani Ratnam just got carried away. I mean forming a party, winning election is not a joke. Hullo.......It is a difficult complex process (look at how imminent pesphologists, media got it all wrong this time and the movie suggests that everything is so easy). One can be idealistic but not foolish. The movie seems to portray Indian election in such a simplified manner. I think it is anything but simple. The character of Esha Deol as I said is totally unnecessary, no use at all. The violence just did not make any sense at all. The last scene was really funny. I am amazed as to how such a fight did not result into a traffic jam. One can resign to the fact that Hindi movies mein sab chalta hain.......but no............it is not just any Hindi movie........It is a MANI RATNAM movie. Things can't be dumb in his movies.
All said and done, YUVA did have flashes of Mani Ratnam's brilliance in it but something was missing somewhere is all I could say.