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Michael (Ajay Devgan) , Arjun (Vivek Oberoi) and Lallan (Abhishek Bachchan) are three young men in Kolkata , with different ideals and objectives . Michael is an idealistic youth leader who dreams of a better India being created by the youth power . Arjun is a self-centered , opportunistic , easygoing fellow whose objective is to immigrate to a developed country and make big money . Lallan is a goon who works for Prosenjit Chatterjee (Om Puri) , an immoral politician . The lives of these three different people become intertwined following a murder attempt and an accident in broad daylight on the Hooghly bridge . Written by
Okay so when the music of this movie came out, I was hopping around in hopes that Mani Ratnam will finally be successful in the Hindi film industry. But of course the film released and tanked at the box office. I was quite depressed afterward and unsure of whether to watch the film, but recently, upon a friend's recommendation, I rented it. After watching it, all I have to say is that box office says absolutely nothing about the merit of a movie (I'm sure a lot of people knew that already). Bottom line: YUVA is awesome.
Sure it isn't perfect, and not near most of Ratnam's tamil movies, but it is definitely worth watching. The story is about 3 young men who come from vastly different backgrounds and schools of thought. One incident on a bridge brings them together, changing their fates forever.
Abhishek Bachchan is definitely come into his own with this role. His "Lallan" is both menacing and pitiable (like the song Kabhi Neem Neem, Kabhi Shahed Shahed aptly describes). Its quite unreal how he gets into the skin of his character. He not only picked up the mannerisms but managed to capture the volatility, anger and ambition that defines Lallan. Rani Mukherji has really become my favorite actress these days. Her performance as Shashi (Lallan's wife) really compliments Bachchan's and together they make their story the most interesting and compelling aspect of the movie.
Ajay Devgan and Vivek Oberoi are decent and do their jobs. Its not really their fault that Bachchan got the strongest part. Esha Deol and Kareena Kapoor don't have roles big enough to impact the movie in any way. Ajay's story as a student leader is good but might have been better. Its not super powerful but at the same time, that aspect makes the story a lot more real. Ajay's "Michael Mukherjee" doesn't overdue the preaching and the patriotism, he simply believes that his country can do better and he wants to lend a hand. Vivek Oberoi's Arjun is a simple soul until he crosses paths with Michael. Arjun's transformation from a carefree youth to someone finding a cause is not particularly powerful and could have been expanded a little. But again, this only makes it a little more real. Nobody makes that transformation overnight. Sure he found a purpose, but he's not immediately going to become the second coming of Michael Mukherjee. The scene where he quietly volunteers to stand elections with Michael is very subtle but made me think of how other directors might have dealt with that situation. You would get Arjun shouting patriotic verse at the top of his lungs with tears in his eyes. Just a tad unrealistic.
I wholeheartedly recommend this film to everyone not only because its worth your time but also so we somehow send a message to Ratnam not to get discouraged. Please continue to tell your stories (in Hindi). We are listening.
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