Youth-centric films that raised important questions
Hindi cinema doesn't always get it right when it comes to addressing youth-centric issues.
Hindi cinema doesn't always get it right when it comes to addressing youth-centric issues. But once in a while, we do come across films that entertain and talk about the generational gap, youthful aspirations, academic stress and much more. Here is our pick of a few of such success stories.
This Pooja Entertainment, Saif Ali Khan and Jay Shewakramani production in a subtle way spoke about intergenerational relationships, a teenage pregnancy, the meaning of the family unit beyond conventions, the need for open and frank conversations about difficult subjects like premarital sex and more. Directed by Nitin Kakkar, the film retained a light-hearted tone throughout even as it touched upon important conversations and boasted engaging performances by Saif Ali Khan, debutant Alaya Furniturewala and Tabu.
Directed by Nitesh Tiwari and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios, this film reminded one of sports-themed films like 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar' and also 'Three Idiots.' However, the way the film juxtaposed the nostalgia of the nineties with the current times and offered glimpses of hostel life, set it apart along with strong performances by Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Sharma, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Naveen Polishetty and Tushar Pandey. The film also explored how our academic system equates unrealistic percentages with the intrinsic worth of a student and pressures vulnerable young people beyond endurance. For that reason alone, it struck a chord with both parents and the young.
This Remo D'Souza directorial was produced by Pooja Entertainment and offered a comment on the warped Indian education system. Starring Jackky Bhagnani, Puja Gupta, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Angad Bedi and Riteish Deshmukh, the story was about how a bunch of academic underperformers creates a fake university to convince their parents that they have gained admission in a premier institution. Soon lies began to pile up along with legal troubles. What began as a ploy becomes a mission for the 'founders' to fix the ills in the education system.
Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani:
This Ayan Mukerji directorial was produced by Karan Johar and explored the lives of a bunch of young friends, each with a unique set of issues. There is the overly ambitious explorer, the repressed young woman burdened by the academic ambitions of her family, a free-spirited rebel who seeks and finds trouble and a young man without any focus whatsoever. The film explored how they evolve as human-beings with time and just what they learn and unlearn. Despite the star power of Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and a rather opulent setting, the film was relatable at many levels and hence clicked with its target audience.
Kai Po Che! :
This Abhishek Kapoor directorial was produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur and was based on Chetan Bhagat's 2008 novel 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life.' Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh played the three main protagonists who go through a series of natural and political tragedies together and are altered as a consequence. The loss of innocence, the impact of communal hatred on lives and interpersonal relationships made the film a hit at the 63rd Berlin International Film where it became the first-ever Indian film to feature in the World Panorama section. It was a commercial and a critical success because its narrative was deeply empathetic towards the young and the challenges they have to face.
Wake Up Sid:
This Ayan Mukerji directorial was a Dharma Production and took a gentle, restful look at the lives of two starkly different individuals in contemporary Mumbai. We watch amusedly as the lives of an irresponsible, rich business heir Sid Mehra (Ranbir Kapoor), and a young professional Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma) collide. What transpires teaches both of them invaluable lessons about life and love. The performances and the milieu reminded one of Basu Chatterjee's cinema and won great acclaim from the audiences as well as the critics.