Debutante director Divya Khosla Kumar’s debut attempt at direction seems to have failed miserably. The film that targets youth probably doesn’t consider them intelligent enough.
Hormonal groans and first-kiss misses. Pyjama parties and lessons in puberty. Big dreams, desires and ambition – all the stuff that youth is made of – packed in a college drama.
‘Yaariyan’ is about friends, the first-kisses and hot flushes. Peppered with candy-crushes and teenage desires, beach parties furthest from reality. The film is with little ambition , little bit of competition, and mostly out of class room lessons. Helping hormone-rushed youngsters slide into puberty and outta tight-fitting pants
It has been a filmmaker’s favorite subject and although we see those much less than the last two decades . There is an imaginary college in Sikkim, one of the most beautiful locations in India just like many such colleges situated in such hill stations shown in different movies in the past.
This college in Sikkim has five young kids. The boys just have the one dream of gaining access to the girls’ hostel and kissing a girl. Before heading out there, the hero even takes the permission of his aunt and the girls’ hostel’s warden. Trouble comes in the form of a company wanting to build a casino on the spot where the college now stands. The challenge is to win five competitions, between the Australians and the college kids.
Mischievous students with their routine conspiracies woo hot girls in a comedy of errors much to the disappointment of a sincere principal who has to save his beloved college from the clutches of a ruthless foreign businessman.
The lead Lakshya (Himansh) the college Casanova, spends all his time trying to get his first kiss with some sexy miss. Neil (Dev), the biker boy , Pardi (Shreyas. The plain-Jane, all-brain, Saloni (Rakul) who knows more about gigabytes than love-bytes. And the oomphy Jiya (Nicole), prowling all over this campus ‘rompus’ whipping every boy’s fantasy. Their chilled-out lives go into top gear when the principal (Grover) chooses them as the ‘Dream Team’ to compete with the Aussie students (at sports & music), to save the pride and honour of their college. Suddenly their life is faced with new challenges, newer angles and love-triangles.
The story has twists and turns, but no surprises. It packs in too much variety of thought bubbles (parties, patriotism, racial discrimination) in this boarding school drama. There are emotions, but the scenes or characters don’t go deeper than the gloss, flipping quicker than their touch screen smart phones. The runtime is a tad long and songs (well-shot) one too many.
Divya’s debut film ‘Yaariyan’, a comparatively small-budget film coming from a big banner, is mounted on a large canvas with impressive production value. The star-cast is all-new and enthusiastic; and most of all the music boasts of chartbusting numbers. Himansh’s attempt is sincere, but Mr. Emoticon needs to flash his big-toothy smiley a little less. Rakul is very likeable and promising, Dev is subtle, Shreyas is good but often OTT, and Nicole fits the ‘brief’ (pun intended!).
Everyone from the cast give decent performances. They are well presented and have good screen presence and expressions. Himansh proves he is suitable to play the protagonist and does well in all departments.
Rakulpreet is cute and promising. Gulshan Grover has only been doing decent character roles off-late and we really miss his amazing ‘Bad Man’ avatars
Divya deserves kudos for accepting the challenge of directing fresher’s in her debut film. The best of storytellers are not afraid of taking risks and Divya seems to be one of those. Her handling of the humorous moments as well as the emotional ones with maturity confirms the fact that she knows the craft well. But one does feel that the writing could’ve been sharp
‘Yaariyan’ is nothing to gush about, but the teenagers can watch this one for a lark…and some yo-yo beats!