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Yuvarathnaa review: Puneeth Rajkumar delivers a watchable star vehicle

Yuvarathnaa movie review: The film may be a star vehicle for Puneeth Rajkumar but it has its moments.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Puneeth Rajkumar passed away at 46.

Yuvarathnaa movie cast: Puneeth Rajkumar, Prakash Raj, Dhananjay, Sai Kumar
Yuvarathnaa movie director: Santhosh Ananddram
Yuvarathnaa movie rating: 2.5 star

Director Santhosh Ananddram’s Yuvarathnaa has multiple jokes on the pandemic. It gives you an illusion that the coronavirus pandemic is history, and not the reality we are living today. In a sense, this film is sort of set in a not-too-distant future. Going by this film, nothing much will change in the post-COVID world, including the kind of cinema we watch. Push-button formulaic films will survive the pandemic and will continue to drive the box office business.

Prakash Raj’s Krishna Vardhan is a man of principle. Also, he is the principal of a highly-reputed government college, RK. He is agitated by the suicide of a high-performing student of his college. He suspects foul play in the functioning of the education system and takes to the streets in protest. He sets out to tour across the state to gather the support of students for his protest to revamp the system and seek a high-level probe into the death of his student. As the saying goes, while the cat’s away, the mice will play. In his absence, RK college is turned into a den of vice, ranging from drugs to crime. Enters Arjun (Puneeth Rajkumar) who joins the college as a student and begins to weed out the iniquities. Who is Arjun and what is his connection with this college?

Yuvarathnaa follows the conventional trope where the hero is not who he says he is. As a matter of fact, even after watching the film, I am not sure of the hero’s true identity. Arjun’s real name is Yuvaraj and he is a spy for the narcotics bureau. No, wait, he is actually a math professor who takes part in undercover operations of the narcotics bureau. Or maybe he was a professor who works on a freelance basis with the anti-drug squad? Great Scott! It feels so complicated.

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Santhosh and the producers have mounted this film on a scale that director AR Murugadoss would approve of. At the centre of the movie, there is a pressing social issue, which is greatly affecting the lives of innocent people. Wickedness is revered, integrity is sidelined and common people are being fooled. That necessitates the rise of a hero. And of course, he will save the day and ride into the sunset.

Yuvarathnaa is an out-and-out crowd-pleaser. There are dance numbers where Puneeth Rajkumar sets the floor on fire, non-stop flow of punchlines, self-referential humour and many references to Dr Rajkumar and Shivarajkumar to send fans into a frenzy. Even as the narrative pattern feels repetitive and a few jokes are forced, the film comes with a few redeeming qualities. One of them is this star-vehicle doesn’t give you a migraine. It is mainly because the 2-hour, 41-minute runtime is not entirely dedicated to the adulation of Puneeth. At times, the hero takes a step back and shares the spotlight with other characters. The film is not only about the hero’s prowess. It has heartfelt moments that bring out the humour and pain in our mundane lives, highlighting the perils of making education an expensive affair and the pointlessness of an archaic grading system that decides one’s self-worth. Add to that Puneeth’s screen presence and his energy, and you have a watchable film.

First published on: 01-04-2021 at 16:46 IST
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