Thursday, September 21, 2006

proper-response thoughts on Yuva

It's really, really good. Yep. That's what I have to say about that. Everyone is really good (and while I'd rank Esha's performance as the weakest of the six main characters, she was fine). I don't mean to over-value the comparison to Rang De Basanti but I responded more to Yuva's personal and local and slightly more contextualized scale. You don't kill the minister of whatever (defense? or was he an air force uppity-up, I can't remember?); instead you run for local government and gather support by talking to people and encouraging their involvement.

And Abhishek. Damn. His snarl of rage and greed and guilt was utterly convincing. And frightening to boot.

One complaint: how come none of the female leads were political? How come so few of the people in the crowds at the politcal gatherings were female? I know we had the village woman run and win, and that was really cool. But no one else? Is that accurate? I could look up figures on the percentage of women as office-holders in India but it's past 11:00 pm.

Oh, and is it realistic that not a single car would stop, not a single person would help or call the police or document what was going on, during the huge brawl on the Hooghly Bridge?

And isn't it fun to say "Hooghly"?

9 comments:

michael said...

bad girl. allways posting long threads if i want to start working ;)

later, i hope :)

Aparna said...

is it realistic that not a single car would stop, not a single person would help or call the police or document what was going on, during the huge brawl on the Hooghly Bridge?


It is NOT realistic at all, esp since the film is set in Kolkata where people don't ignore even the smallest incident on the road.
The director, probably because he is predominantly from other regions, confused Kolakta with Mumbai...where such kind of reaction is normal.

Aparna said...

My thoughts on Yuva (sorry couldn't resist putting in a long comment)
1. Yuva put me off...simply because everyone (which includes office colleagues who come from the same region as the director, newspaper and web reviwers) wanted me to like it, even before it was released, becasue ManiRatnam made it...and I found it a simple movie, the only brilliance maybe to merge tthe stories on the Bridge and trackback and forward from there. But then, just a technique doesn't define a movie, does it? And just because a director makes 'Roja', doesn't mean we forget 'Dil Se'...
2. I do agree it is much more constructive and practical than RDB, but then the background and nature of people in RDB were different, and you would not expect them to react in the same way. I think RDB became a hit and not Yuva, because the youth, when angry, will always think of a sudden action, than a restraint and gradual one.
3. Of all the 3 couples, I identified and liked Vivek-Kareena most, and that too, when I really don't like Kareena much...but she was refreshingly different, normal and Vivek was the quintessential yuppie. Or maybe it's because his qualifications matched mine and he seemed of my strata, rather than a gangster's henchman or an ageing student with political aspirations. I was also put off when Ajay's character says something which means that 'writing code and earning money does not help the country', thus implying that the only way to help the country was to fight in elections and join politics.
4. And Esha Deol...what's with the everlasting stupid grin on her face?
And why was Ajay so non-chalant with her, as in 'there's nothing like love, only sex, and if you agree, you can shift in with me'. Their relationship was so peculiar because all the time, though they talked about sex, etc...there was no chemistry between them, not even in their banter, other than those words thrown in randomly.

All in all, good message, interesting format, well-defined male characters...but nothing seems to bind the story...something is missing.

uiuc_anon said...

I'm not a big fan of Esha..but I liked her work in "Yuva".
The "stupid grin" that Aparna mentioned blended quite well with the character that Esha played in the movie.
In my opinion, such small things should have no bearing on ones overall opinion about the movie. It could be possible that the director told her to wear that "stupid grin" ..so as to make the character more "life like". I personally know quite a few people with similar "stupid grins" in real life.
I know that this director-telling-Esha thing is a longshot..but still :)

Beth said...

Aparna - I loooove your comments - never cut them short! I'm so glad you agree about the point about people stopping. I was only in Kolkata for a few days but in my experience there were always people around everywhere, anytime. I was wondering if maybe the idea of nobody stopping was supposed to represent the idea that no one takes youth seriously or cares about them or notices them? But that's just a wild guess, and I have no idea if that is in fact an issue in India.

Good point about RDB's appeal. It is definitely faster in some ways, more explosive, with more immediate satisfaction.

Yeah, that line that implied that politics are the only way to change things didn't sit well with me either. For example, I'm an educator, and I feel that what I do has lots of potential to make the world a better place.

UIUC_anon - especially after Ajay drops her off at school before picking up Vivek, I thought Esha's stupid grin was effective for that moment.

indianoguy said...

Aparna,

I completely disagree with you.
I kinda sense prejudice in your assesment, hmmm...So you think in Mumbai people wouldnt stop to help others.

BTW, you can clearly say call Tamils( or Southies or madrasi's) when you are talking about Tamilians, You really dont have to say those people from that region. I suppose, it is the patriotic duty of every Indian to bash their fellow Indians :)

Do really think Yuva is a simple movie ?, Really... I am shocked,No I am flabbergasted.

If you feel I am harsh on you, I apologize.

Aparna said...

@Beth:
Thanks:) It feels good tos hare one's opinions...after all, every viewer can be a reviewer :)
maybe the idea of nobody stopping was supposed to represent the idea that no one takes youth seriously or cares about them or notices them
It might have been symbolic.

@Indianoguy:
Though this is just a message board, and not really somewhere where it matters if i come across as biased or rude, I suppose it still troubles me to be called prejudiced. I do agree that everyone is slightly prejudiced in some way or the other, by virtue of being froma certain palce, or ina certain profession, so everyone has a slightly different opinion.
I am neither from Kolkata nor from Mumbai, but have stayed at both the places, for roughly the same amount of time, in fact, more in Mumbai than in Kolkata...so have experienced when people stop and when they don't, so no prejudices there...am sure both places have their pros and cons...Mumbaikars might say that Kolkatans are too lazy, so have lots of time in their hand to stop for such 'petty' things...Kolkatans might say that Mumbaikars are 'unfeeling'...
As for pointing out 'regions', again I never meant to demean someone, here, the director, just 'cause he was from South, when i said 'he is predominantly from other regions', I sincerely thought that he miscalculated the Kolkata reaction...it is not necessary that you should be from a city to film there, but sometimes you do miss out finer nuances.
And yeah, Yuva was simple,told in a 'complicated' format, that's what irritated me, the entire rigmarole of flashback, take all that away, and see what the movie has...maybe nothing except the message that 'for a country to progress, we need young, educated politicians'...good message, as I said before, but taht's all.

@uiuc_anon:
No, I simply can't imagine Mani Ratnam asking a heroine to grin 'stupidly', I have found most of her heroines pretty decisive and intelligent (even preity zinta in 'Dil se')...but yeah, her role was so small, that it doesn't matter...it was just one of the point that i observed...that's all :)

h n said...

Wether or not Ratnam comes from which region, i thought the movie didn't have any special Bengali, or Kolkata, feel to it. There was the Howrah Bridge whenever possible, there were the Maidan, the tram and Victoria Monument, but they passed by as mere post cards. Certain movies by Satyajit Ray, Aniruddha Roy Chowdury, Aparna Sen or even the glossy Parineeta "feel" more Kolkatan and Bengali to me. But i am a complete outsider of course.

Beth said...

h n - I haven't seen this movie since writing about it originally over five years ago but your point is one that I've seen a few people talking about lately with the release of Kahaani. I bet someone has compiled a list of good Kolkata-feel Hindi films....