How does it feel to expect a storm but come across nothing more than a dull draught of wind? That is how you feel after seeing Mani Ratnam’s eagerly awaited Yuva. Despite so much hype around the film, its youthful setting and a colorful cast, Yuva disappoints for more reasons than one.
Mani’s experiment of dividing his story in the first half into three different parts and then merging them together into a single plot has fallen flat. The first half hour of the story revolves around Abhishek and Rani, and then the focus shifts to Ajay-Esha tale, and then to Vivek-Kareena romance.
This division of the first half into three different parts makes the movie quite a drab. Moreover, the pace of the narrative has been deliberately kept slow (perhaps to bring a touch of realism), and the result is that the viewer is less and less involved as the story progresses.
No doubt that the cinematography is visually striking and the editing quite free flowing, but the story fails to grip the viewer partly because of too much emphasis on politics.
The latter half of the movie deals with dirty political games with both Ajay and Vivek involving themselves in active politics.
In this attempt to blend three love stories with student politics, Mani is neither able to present the saccharine-sweet romance between Vivek-Kareena and Ajay-Esha nor make a gripping political thriller. The only watchable portion of the movie is the story between Abhishek and Rani.
Abhishek’s acting in the movie somehow compensates the money spent on movie ticket. The actor looks dashing and quite believable in playing a ruffian, a depraved man for whom social morality makes little sense. Along his side, Rani Mukherjee infuses her character with remarkable intensity.
Vivek Oberoi and Kareena look good together but the romance between the two has been shown in such insipid way that it fails to pluck any chord at viewers’ heart.
Ajay gives a controlled performance and Esha Deol looks beautiful and homely in a role that will get her some attention.
In a nutshell, Yuva fails to live upto the expectations that one can have from the maker of films like Dil Se and Roja. The movie is assorted in the first half, begins to drag in the second half and ends with a climax (a hand to hand fight on a busy road, and Ajay and Vivek winning elections) that hardly leaves any impact.