Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, late Farooque Sheikh
Director: Syed Ahmed Afzal
What's it about:
Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani) is a 28-year-old game developer settled in Japan with his live-in girlfriend Anvita (Neha Sharma). Life changes for both of them almost overnight when his father Dashrath Kaul (Boman Irani) is on his deathbed. Incidentally, Dashrath also happens to be the prime minister of India. After his death, the political party he belongs to looks for a suitable replacement for an interim period. And their search ends with Abhimanyu, who suddenly finds himself becoming the youngest PM of the largest democracy in the world. How the young man copes with the responsibility and brings about a change in his own distinctive way is what the rest of the film is about.
The film begins on a very interesting note — the story is inspirational, aspirational and extremely topical. The screenplay in the first half is smooth, every issue is maturely addressed. Abhimanyu's transition is captured beautifully — from his breakdown at his father's death to the self-discovery of his inner strength. It's wonderful to watch the late Farouque Sheikh relishing every bit of his 'advisor' act. The grace and dignity Sheikh brings to his character is unparalleled. Neha Sharma is impressive in parts. However, Youngistaan belongs to Jackky Bhagnani and he literally carries the film on his shoulders with a truly restrained and mature performance. Not once does he step out of character, not once does he try to overstep his limits. It's a difficult role and Jackky plays it to perfection.
The premise is exciting — what does a 28-year-old do when he's made the PM of a country? The screenplay had huge potential to make the proceedings more entertaining, more enriching and more unconventional. Abhimanyu Kaul could have been the PM we all aspire to have. Sadly, this is where the second half lets us down. It's almost like the director wanted to play it safe. He tries to bring in a conflict using the personal issues of the lead pair as a tool. But even that is half-baked.
What to do:
Watch it for the endearing Jackky Bhagnani and the inimitable Farouque Sheikh.