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Delving into the past for young at art films

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Download Yuva WallpapersThe youth, their angst and their passions are themes that never really grow old, retaining their relevance across generations.

There's sweet irony in the fact that more than 30 years ago Jaya Bachchan, who was then the reigning superstar Jaya Bhaduri, had done a film about youth and its impetuous passions called "Jawani Diwani". Discarding her trademark cotton saris, Jaya had got herself into swanky trouser suits to play a glam-doll opposite Randhir Kapoor.

Coincidentally, now Jaya's son Abhishek and Randhir Kapoor's daughter Kareena star in "Yuva", the newest avatar of the youth flick in Hindi cinema.

While Jaya had glamorised herself in "Jawani Diwani", Abhishek goes the opposite way in "Yuva". He strips himself of the dude's image to play a raw and real hired assassin from Bihar.

Films about youthful angst are fairly uncommon in our cinema.

Before "Jawani Diwani", one recalls "Umang" in 1970, the legendary Guru Dutt's brother Atma Ram's film about dislocated young people featuring then youthful Subhash Ghai.

Subhash Ghai who made his acting debut in "Umang" later directed "Hero", a film where Jackie Shroff played a young rebel without a cause. Aimless, adrift and angry, Jackie in "Hero" seemed to be an extension of the character Ghai played in "Umang".

Sssshhh... Movie StillsAnother very rare film about youthful angst was "Nayi Umar Ki Nayi Fasal" in the 1960s with a group of youngsters and Tanuja in the female lead. Now Tanuja's daughter Tanisha is being directed by debutant Kabir Sadanand in the Pritish Nandy Communications film about the young and impulsive, "Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jaao".

Says Sadanand: "There's an element of the gamine in Tanisha that reminds us of her mother. I guess youthful energy does get transferred from one generation to another."

In the recently released "Lakeer", Sunny Deol plays an extension of the jobless, aimless and unanchored character Arjun he played in Rahul Rawail's film of the title 25 years ago while John Abraham and Sohail Khan are the two youngsters looking for a raison d'etre in life.

From "Jawani Diwani" to "Yuva", from Jaya Bachchan to Abhishek Bachchan, films about the yearnings of the young have a way of reaching back to the past to reclaim a lost horizon.


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