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"Youth"... a tedious fare.

IT IS puzzling why so many of our films begin with a bang and end on a whimper? Take the case of Lakshmi Productions' ``Youth'' — the hero Shiva (Vijay) is almost stoical and unruffled even when humiliation and disappointment come his way. There is no room for self-pity as he faces life with equanimity. But just as you settle down to watch the happenings with interest, things get mundane.

Scripted and directed by Vincent Selva ``Youth'' is again a tale of unrequited love — so typical of Vijay. Shiva's fiancee elopes with a selfish wastrel on the day of the wedding. There is pandemonium, but it is Shiva who pacifies everyone around. He leaves for Chennai with his cousin Prabhu (Shyamganesh) in search of a job. But then he attends just one interview, forgets about jobs and conveniently makes falling in love with Sandhya (Sandhya) his one-point programme.

The hero's profound (!) statements, repetitive cliches and ambiguous similes, make listening to him a tedious exercise, after a point. Prasannakumar (dialogue) could have spared us the boredom. In contrast the clever arguments of the bad man, Pratap (Yugendran), who twists any point of view to suit him, are enjoyable. The villain has done a neat job. But why does he sport a beard that is seen in patches and in geometrical shapes? Weird is the word.

Vijay's heroines of late seem delicate and dainty but fail to look even faintly appealing. In fact there is some kind of similarity in the appearance of Sandhya in "Youth" and Priyanka in "Thamizhan". The magical screen presence is definitely missing.

Vijay is so used to this romantic sojourn that the essay comes without effort.

Vivek's humorous scenes, we all know, always have a message. But it is that aspect that is ridiculed here. As ``Karuthu'' Kandasamy his grand entry makes you think that there is a comic deluge in store — but nothing much happens. Nevertheless the humour is enjoyable. Even better is V.M.C. Haneefa, the drunken brother of Manivannan, who makes you laugh heartily. The autorickshaw scene involving him and Vivek deserves mention.

The heroine in bridal attire just walks out, gets into a car and drives away even as the mother and others try to stop her. Five minutes later the mother runs to the father and tells him that the daughter is missing, as if they hadn't seen her drive away!

Mani Sharma's songs and re-recording are too loud to be melodious.

Suddenly, the hero decides to go in for a one liner repeated often — Rajini style. But it is so artificially thrust into the dialogue that it only evokes a smirk. Was it necessary at all Prasanna Kumar?

In the first half, "Youth" moves at a snail's pace. And by the time he decides to be brisk, your patience is lost.


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