wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

I hope young India's vision is not as shallow, superficial or short-sighted.

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Director: Syed Ahmed Afzal
Running time: 130 minutes
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Some films just bother you at a conceptual level. Youngistaan claims to represent the youth and I shudder at the thought of the youth - you and I - being so shallow and superficial in our approach to problems at the national level.

What do I want from my representative in the government? Only my lookout? Only whether my point of view has been represented? I don't think so. I want what is generally good for the society as a whole. But, Youngistaan has created a Prime Minister who thinks his way is the way to go.

I consider myself pretty liberal so, I don't really care about my Prime Minister's girlfriend problems or daddy issues. Everyone has them, he is human, he is allowed to have them too. Am I okay with him having a live-in relationship? Now, my liberalism is being put to test. I am okay with friends, but a role model. Hey, wait! In a film about the future of the country, why am I even asking this question?

Fine, Youngistaan doesn't talk about just this issue. From the huge ocean of politics the two and a quarter topics they pick are change in calculation of rate of interest on loans for a particular range of people, a scam of some sort, and a quarter of a nod at farmer suicides.

The accountant in me couldn't resist laughing at the implications of the interest rate change that our PM Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani). The build up of the scam led to something so standard (I know, it's sad that there is something like a standard scam) that you wonder what the big issue was. The look of surprise when it is mentioned to our PM that agriculture is our main sector, is actually insulting. His superficial solution, makes you feel worse.

Then you consider for a moment if Youngistaan is a story of a 28 year old boy who is emotionally blackmailed into becoming the prime minister of the country. But it doesn't work that way either. It loses that battle at its name itself, right? It wants to represent the youth. It is not an individual's story yet it spends too much time on the love life of that individual while trying to deal with national crises via some jingoism, of course.

A storyline with such a premise would be a difficult sell even with the best actors at your disposal. Jackky Bhagnani does come across as sincere. But there is so little time spent on writing a character that is so important, that like I said, I doubt any other actor could've helped. Same goes for Neha Sharma who's supposedly the supportive girlfriend. Again, such a wonderful chance of writing a layered character wasted. A similar waste of talent is Farouque Shaikh. May his soul rest in peace.

Sure, there is an attempt at trying something new. It feel flat on its face, but at least they tried. Oh well.

- meeta, a part of the audience

24 reviewers(?) - 2 yays 11 so-so 11 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...rides high on vision... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, NDTV : ...The material is judiciously edited. The camerawork is delightfully plush.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : interesting premise, a mature act by Jackky Bhagnani and importantly, the message it conveys is just right. ... full review

So-So, by Bhagyashri Pawar, Bollywood Life : ...If you watch it with a practical mind, everything about the film is far too exaggerated. ... full review

So-So, by Kusumita Das, Deccan Chronicle : ...A pleasant surprise... full review

So-So, by Rony D'Costa, Desi Martini : ...A decent film, only if you can digest the fact that Jacky Bhagnani can be the PM of India in reel just like Rahul Gandhi can be in reel. ... full review

So-So, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...Watch it for the endearing Jackky Bhagnani and the inimitable Farouque Sheikh.... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...Some plot points seem to be a jolt from the blue... full review

So-So, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...While the film has a very interesting premise, it is totally diluted by lazy scriptwriting and sketchy direction ... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...An original tale... full review

So-So, by Moumita Bhattacharjee, Star Blockbuster : ...t may be a far-fetched idea but it is a refreshing take on the political humdrum of our nation.... full review

So-So, by Sudhish Kamath, The Hindu : ...It can be debated if this is a film that warranted songs and choreography but the fact that it showed THIS much restraint itself is reason to give it a shot. ... full review

So-So, by Madhureeta Mukherjee, Times of India : ...isn't the perfect concoction of love and politics, but worth one 'shot'... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...espite all this going for it, Youngistaan still ends up feeling flat and dull for three reasons: inconsistent writing, inconsistent direction and a weak lead actor. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ... whatever the truth behind its production might be, the basic point is that the film actually suffers a lot due to the completely confused vision of its director... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...A MIDDLING EFFORT... full review

Thumbs down, by Farhana Farook, Filmfare : ...Politically incorrect... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times : ...brain-dead and insufferable... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The film is unnecessarily stretched out... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...The film, despite its efforts, becomes muddled, and dull... full review

Thumbs down, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Jackky Bhagnani is apt in his role. Though very earnest, the actor doesn’t stretch beyond the contours of what is demanded of him.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Mumbai Mirror : ...Youngistaan is a skewered immature tale that caters to the lowest common denominator of hope. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now : ...Youngistaan promises to be a youth-centric, pro-change film but its promises are as shallow and superficial as the ones made by many of our real life politicians. Waste of a great opportunity ... full review

Thumbs down, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...never seems to be able to decide whether it is a romance or a political thriller... full review

63 tweeters(?) - 49 yays 2 so-so 12 nays

umerbagwan555: #Youngistaan awesome movie @jackkybhagnani #must watch

toyincash: Youngistaan Movie Review : 4 out of 5 Stars: Film: “Youngistaan”; Ca st: Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, late Fa...

SudhishKamath: Youngistaan wasn't bad at all! And so good to see Farooque Shaikh on screen. He lends credibility to the most outrageous of situations.

strugglerking: #Youngistaan is a great film! Aspiring actors too, hats off to you all @jackkybhagnani @Officialneha @bomanirani @kayoze ..

shivi_ritz: #youngistaan a must watch. Slow, yet original and meaningful piece of work. @jackkybhagnani great! :D

santoshkumar494: #youngistaan must watch movie for everyone... hats off #jackey for such a mature performance...

SantanuRoychow7: The movie ""YOUNGISTAAN"" is a AWSOM movie!

rupam_sg: #Youngistaan 5star bcoz its a full entertainment flim @Jackkybhagnani @Officialneha #ZoomReview

Rims_Rajput: Awsm movie.. #Youngistaan ..Great job @Officialneha and @jackkybhagnani !! :-) :-) !!

RameshsutharR: 1st day 1st show of youngistaan <3....awesome movie....u look dame beautiful @Officialneha . Love you a lot....

proudviratian: #Youngistaan.. wat a film.. an outstndng film.. n @jackkybhagnani & @Officialneha were rockng. neha luv ur smile. ur eyes.. uff

Priyanka_verma2: watched #Youngistaan a superlike movie.cute chemistry b/w @jackkybhagnani n @Officialneha .n superb acting by @jackkybhagnani enjoyed a lot.

parekh_mrugesh: #Youngistaan what a great movie!! @Officialneha @jackkybhagnani great acting! Super super hit movie! :)

panditrarobby: youngistaan is a very good film.

padamsandhu: It was a Fridaystaan were so natural,believable in character @jackkybhagnani #Youngistaan loved idea of mobile voting @afzalistan

obsessive_soul: You can't expect a better movie than #Youngistaan in this election scenario. It's a treat to watch. Kudos to @Officialneha @jackkybhagnani

NOTCHmag: Prime Minister in a live-in relationship? @YoYoungistaan is a cool, modern tale of politics...

Mur_Gohil: wt a movie...wt a movie.....brilliant @jackkybhagnani n adore you...respect you....lotsa love you swthrt.... @officialneha hit #youngistaan

mohamm_s: jst watch #Youngistaan Awesome Movie . A must watch @Officialneha @jackkybhagnani #Youngistaan

MakhijaAvish: Supeeer moviee go youngistaan @jackkybhagnani @officialneha

madhukarpandey: Youngistaan could've been much better, but for whatever it still is, it deserves some applaud. It engages & keeps...

ItsAaravHere: loved #Youngistaan so much. such a incredible movie. loved @OfficialNeha so much. #BestOf2014

IndiaOpines: Youngistaan – A Worthy Undertaking

IndiaBroadcast: Movie review: Youngistaan is a refreshing idea

imVsingh: #Youngistaan meri jaan :)) Movie Acchi Hain Mere Dost @jackkybhagnani movie acchi Hai..

iDannyDenzongpa: #Youngistaan is a great film! Aspiring actors too, hats off to you all @jackkybhagnani @Officialneha @bomanirani @kayoze .. God bless!

iamchiragyadav: Youngistaan is brilliant See it for change! See it for belief! See it for love See it to have fun See it for our very own neha @Officialneha

iamCalmDev: A treat to watch #Youngistaan . #FarouqueSheikh sahab's last movie. I would love to watch @jackkybhagnani in many more films.

iam_bajwa09: #Youngistaan is smart n very well written film . Mature performances by @jackkybhagnani n @Officialneha adds more power to it. Worth watch

i_sanghamitra1: after watchin #faltu i expected something really inspirin from @jackkybhagnani & wit #Youngistaan he fulfilled al my expectations #MustWatch

hiindia: Youngistaan, a must watch fim

ektajesswani: #Youngistaan Loved it! Interesting & gripping. Doesn't leave u for a second! @jackkybhagnani 's sincerity thru d performance bowls u over!

drrashmishetty: #Youngistaan a must watch. Story , acting and all of it . Some of the reforms - pls Indian govt take notice @jackkybhagnani #Bollywood

dj_rackieb: #Youngistaan .. A good movie to watch.. loved it.. Great All round performance .. @Officialneha @jackkybhagnani u both made it more worth..

divyamgoyal18: One actually can't rate movie like #Youngistaan. U Watch, Praise and Tweet. Awesome work done by @jackkybhagnani and my fav @Officialneha

Darshan_Karkera: a must watch movie #Youngistaan by @Officialneha @jackkybhagnani .awsome movie

bollywoodmixer: Mixer Review:#Youngistaan ★★★½ A Must watch! Read on: @jackkybhagnani @bomanirani @Officialneha

Bijz94: Love Youngistaan n @jackkybhagnani 's look in the film is to die for. Too cute

Bhk007: Youngistaan is a must Watch for everyone

bhanwarsaaa: This time for nation please go and watch #Youngistaan #Election2014 @Officialneha

aveesh208: #Youngistaan super flick!!!! @Officialneha you rocked it!!! Kudos!!!

ArvindFakerywal: Watched Youngistaan..!! A very pleasant watch.. seriously.. @Officialneha you look superbly stunning

arihant_sethi: A very inspiring movie #youngistaan is.. @Officialneha & @jackkybhagnani ve look very cute as couples.. #Jackky has played a good leader.

aishasharma25: #Youngistaan should be your weekend watch ..

adeemd: Guys go to the nearest theatre & watch #Youngistaan . @jackkybhagnani & @Officialneha steal the show.Go &watch it quickly.

Aabhiishekk: watched youngistaan# amazing movie @ dis political tym # amazing acts # greatjob @Officialneha @jackkybhagnani # 3 cheers

aabhi08: Watched #Youngistaan! Brilliant performances by @jackkybhagnani and @officialneha!!! To describe it in 1 word, its 'WOW'! :)

A86Amna: #Youngistaan a must watch superb acting by @jackkybhagnani n @Officialneha looks adorable

_nirmalya: #Youngistaan attempts to break the stereotype politics. Good show by @jackkybhagnani & @Officialneha was a treat to watch. #win

G_Placement: Youngistaan Movie Reviews : 3 Out of 5 Stars

bhawanasomaaya: #Youngistaan ko #BigEntertainmentRatings milte hain 3 stars jis me se 1 star #FarooqueShaikh ke liye. #Diskiyaaon ko BER milta hai 1 star

widestuff: 'Youngistaan' review: The film is unnecessarily stretched out

TVMoviesIN: Film review: Youngistaan: A checklist of current issues are touched upon very superficially - taxation bills, ...

TokyoNews5: Youngistaan review: I wouldn't vote for It #Tokyo #Topix

SourojyotiPaul: The first day Las show of youngistaan was quite embarrassing... The script wasn't strong enough

SardaarKhan: :) RT @MehraAmod: This week’s releases : #Youngistaan – DUMB, #O Teri – DUMMER & #Dishkiyaoon – DUMMEST !!!

RjDhvanit: Mirchi Amdavadi Bioscope - #Youngistaan - 2 mirchi | #OTeri - 0 mirchi | #Dishkiyaaoon - 1 mirchi!...

ragingsuccess: #Youngistaan BAKWAAS MOVIE. KOI #RAHUL KA ROLE KAISE ACCEPT BHI KAR SAKTA HAI??? #MODI4PM PE MOVIE BANAO!! full to hit hai...

iambvg: Youngistaan is what happens when you complete your script in a day #TrueStory

GhantaaEngineer: Go watch #Youngistaan, that will give the feeling "Sala, yeh PM bn sakta hai to main kyu nahi". Don't miss.

gauravkrai: my review of #YOUNGISTAAN …where promises are meant to be left unfulfilled! ...

chickoo_chirag: #Youngistaan Farooque Shaikh sahab's endearing act is the only silver lining in this dumb political satire.

amit12354: #Youngistaan had a terrific concept in mind but lacks a kickass screenplay which is the basic ingredient in these kind f films (2/5) #Review

No readers have rated this movie yet.

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None, but pre-marital sex and pregnancy is one of the main issues focused on.
  • Concept: When a youngster picks up the reins of the country.
  • General Look and Feel: Pretty run-of-the-mill. Nothing that shouts at you, which is a good thing. Serious atmosphere too, though there are feeble attempts at making the atmosphere light.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Youngistaan - Cast, crew, links

Running time:
130 minutes

Comments (10)

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So is he hyperverbal, spewing out talking points and Gilbert&Sullivan - er, Classic Bollywood references at a mile a minute, Meetu?

Are the Old Guard a bunch of reactionary meanypants who not-so-secretly plot to dethrone him, and replace him with their puppet?

And the media consists of a bunch of belligerent blowhards?

Is the writer's name "Aaron Sorkin", by any chance?

Have to say, this sounds like a Can't Wait to Miss for Us Americans, Meetu.

::Am I okay with him having a live-in relationship? Now, my liberalism is being put to test. I am okay with friends, but a role model.::

Honestly, Meetu - I don't see "living together" as something I'd judge a leader "role model"-iness on. Stealing from the public till? Taking kickbacks from Big Corrupt Corporate Types? Instituting a police state or supporting torture and police brutality? Being a hypocrite about extramarital/premarital sex, pornography, gay rights or recreational drug use - or whatever similar social issues are being fought in India? That is what I consider a "bad role model".

Maybe it's because Tammy and I lived together for over three years before we got married (and because I live in the West as well), but if a young politician who's not running on a "public morality" platform lives with his girlfriend I'm not going to be too bothered by it.

@TimELiebe No Bollywood references, thankfully! Old guard try to make him the puppet and fall flat too quickly and easily :P. More "House of Cards" than "West Wing", but that is giving it a huge compliment. Its neither that dark, intense or grim.

Oh and I absolutely love Aaron Sorkin's writing. :D

Yeah, I just said, I'm not sure. If he's doing all the right things for the community at large, right, I don't really care how murky his personal life is.

US or UK HOUSE OF CARDS, Meetu? UK is a brilliant bit of corrosive satire - US is a bit heavy-handed for this American. I would love to see an Indian version of the UK HoC….

::Imagines Amitabh Bachchan as the charmingly corrupt politician, smiles happily….::

It sounds kind of like, well, it might be a bit Inside Baseball to a non-desi audience - or is it accessible enough that a couple Americans might watch it and get what they're talking about?

US one. Is it heavy handed? I shudder at the thought of Indian TV, sorry.

@Meetu - I think it is compared to the UK version, but not everybody agrees with me. It's gotten a lot of very positive reviews, but I find the Southern Fried performances of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright too put-on, and the villainy so obvious I'm amazed he's gotten as far as he has.

I haven't seen Indian television - but if it's anything like typical American television (not those brilliant shows you hear about online, but your typical shows like CASTLE, THE BLACKLIST or NCIS), I don't blame you for shuddering!

PS: Watch the UK version of HOUSE OF CARDS if you can get it - the late Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart is Shakespearean in his charismatic villainy. :)

Speaking of Shakespeare - our friend Bruce Coville heard about an Indian version of MACBETH, MAQBOOL, starring Irfan Khan. We bought the DVD and are going to give it a try Sunday night - since we've really liked the mix of India and Shakespeare we've seen so far, LIKE OMKARA and the Shakespeare-feeling EKLAVYA, THE ROYAL GUARD.

@TimELiebe oh Maqbook is excellent! Hope you all enjoy it.

::@TimELiebe oh Maqbook is excellent! Hope you all enjoy it.::

We watched it two weeks ago, Meetu. A bit sluggish in spots (I nodded a few times, despite the shortish running time - we've become so used to Indian film lengths that if a film's shorter than two hours we're immediately suspicious! :D ), but Irrfan Khan and Tabu are great at the Indian versions of Lord and Lady MacBeth, and I felt the movie did a better job of clarifying their relationship than most versions of MACBETH I've seen. And Om Puri and Naseerruddin Shah as Corrupt Cops/Soothsayers were a welcome twist-up on The Three Weird Sisters. And even though IMDB says Gyanchand Rikki (ACP Mughal) was only in this film as an actor, I'd swear I've seen him a number of times, usually playing humorless cops or gangsters....

I'm a bit grumpy that they went with "Organized Crime As Modern Metaphor For Shakespearean Nobility" trope (how many times have I seen that in both our countries?), rather than making them contemporary Indian royalty akin to in EKLAVYA: THE ROYAL GUARD. But mostly - we liked it a lot. Even Tammy, who's normally bored by Shakespeare, enjoyed it. :)

@TimELiebe Points well made! I'm glad you all enjoyed it :D

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