Yaara is a story of friendship that tugs the right emotional chords
Cast: Shruti Haasan, Vidyut Jammwal, Amit Sadh, Vijay Varma, Kenny Basumatary, Sanjay Mishra
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Rating: 4.3 stars (out of 5)
Once upon a time, there were four boys – Phagun, Mitwa, Rizwan and Bahadur – all hit hard by life in their own domains, bringing them into the dark alleys of the underworld. Yaara, the latest crime drama streaming on ZEE5, celebrates the friendship of these four notorious criminals and their rise and fall in the world of crime as the dreaded chaukadi gang. It is a licensed remake of a 2011 French film called ‘A Gang Story’.
Right at the start of the movie, we are taken back in time into the lives of Phagun (played by Vidyut Jamwal) and Mitwa (Amit Sadh). Their friendship goes back to a time when they grow up as brothers. They are orphaned at a young age forcing them to resort to stealing for survival. They witness Phagun’s father being shot dead in front of their eyes and forcing the small hands to wield a gun to avenge his death.
This duo is discovered by a gang of smugglers, who carry out illicit trade across the India-Nepal border, uniting them with the rest of their pack – Rizwan (played by Vijay Verma) and Bahadur (played by Kenny Basumatary). This is the birth of chaukadi gang.
Set in Uttar Pradesh hinterlands of the 1970s, Yaara is an ode to this awesome foursome that stays bound together as they loot, rob and kill to make a living. One sees tears and handshakes; banter and adventures all along as they lead the countryside life till the gang is busted by the police landing them in prison.
When life offers them a second chance, three of them decide to get away from the grim world of smuggling and start afresh to lead ‘respectable’ lives. But, their dark past comes back to haunt them 20 years later when their fourth mate, Mitwa, is arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths in connection to a MLA’s murder. The old friends don’t bat an eyelid before coming together to save their mate.
The film holds out many promises. It’s the richness of relationships that come to the fore at all levels - from the childhood friendship between Phagun and Mitwa to the brewing love story of Phagun and Sukanya (played by Shruti Hasan), which tugs right at your heartstrings. The plot is tight and twists and turns keep viewers hooked to the storyline keeping interest levels high.
The multi-starrer has some noteworthy performances by the star cast. Jamwal is convincing as a gangster and gets his fair share of fight sequences. Haasan plays her part just right – a beautiful girl from an affluent family, who falls in love with a gangster. She emotes with conviction and her girl-next-door persona is easy to relate to.
The story of Sukanya, who is exploited in police custody, is a statement on our criminal justice system, beleaguered police force and the judicial system. The movie also offers socio-political insight into north India into times marked by smuggling, emergency and rebellion to the 90s era with the emergence of the new capitalists.
The accents are authentic and the colloquial language takes us right into the badlands of erstwhile Uttar Pradesh. The movie is filled with soulful songs, which offer a much-need relief from the intense storyline.
“Yaara is extremely close to my heart, it gives a new meaning and outlook to what describes a bond between a group of friends. This unforgettable story about friendship will definitely trigger a lot of emotions. Finally, the world is getting introduced to Yaara on July 30, just in time for Friendship Day,” said Amit Sadh on the movie’s premiere. Added Vidyut Jammwal, “Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together. Yaara is a story of friends growing up together and about their journeys.”
Watch it with your best buddies and raise a toast to the spirit of friendship!