Mumbai, 31 Jul 2020 4:07 IST
The Tigmanshu Dhulia film does justice neither to its theme nor to your bandwith.
Commercial Hindi cinema has seen several popular films celebrating male friendships, from Dosti (1964) and Sholay (1975) in the olden era to Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and 3 Idiots (2009) in more recent times. But Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Yaara is not just another movie based on friendship. It deals with a rare story, at least in this part of the world, about the journey of a group of friends who are criminals. The film seeks to highlight that criminals are also human and have emotions. Sadly, however, Yaara fails to deliver anything of value beyond the novelty of the theme.
The story starts in the 1950s when circumstances drive a man named Chand in Rajasthan to adopt his friend’s son Mitwa. He considers Mitwa equal to his own son Phagun.
Chand runs a business of illegal weapons. After his untimely death, Mitwa (Amit Sadh) and Phagun (Vidyut Jammwal) enter the murky world of gun-running and crime.
They become friends with Rizwan (Vijay Varma) and Bahadur (Kenny Basumatary). The four share a close bond like a family.
The story then jumps to 1997. The equations among the four have changed.
The trouble with Yaara is that there is no real plot holding it up, nor any apparent aim. We are just presented with a series of incidents one after the other, sequences strung together without apparent link or purpose.
So we see the four friends commit one operation after another. Then, out of the blue, they turn messiahs for poor villagers. Amidst such randomness, the narrative turns towards leftist politics and the character of Sukanya (Shruti Haasan) enters, becoming Phagun’s girlfriend in no time.
The leftist angle then vanishes from the narrative just as abruptly as it had appeared. Whatever follows leaves you cold to the fate of the four friends.
Mitwa, Phagun, Rizwan and Bahadur are supposed to be a textbook example of close friends. But neither is the friendship properly established nor are the characters deep. On most occasions they appear like caricatures. We have to believe they are close friends only because they are cast as such in a film named Yaara.
This superficiality naturally hampers the performances of the ensemble cast. Amit Sadh is a fine performer. Even here he is the best of the lot with his intensity, followed by Vijay Varma, another excellent actor. But this doesn’t mean their performances are fantastic, just that they are better than Jammwal, who is just average, and Basumatary, who doesn’t get much importance at all.
Of the cast Sanjay Mishra is the only one who puts his best foot forward, but then he has limited screen time.
Tigmanshu Dhulia has made a name for himself with cinematic gems like Haasil (2003), Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster (2011) and Paan Singh Tomar (2012). So to see his name in the credits as writer and director of something as bad as Yaara is depressing.
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