Excuse me, does anybody ever flunk IIT? Doesn't the entrance exam have a score or something? Well in the rare event that you do 'fail' IIT, here’s an idea. Drop out of your school, run to your grandfather to some rural setting and learn kite flying. By next year, you’ll be in IIT. Kota be damned. Not only that you will have also married the village sweetheart and straightened out your money-minded parents and gotten them to settle for the simpler rural pleasures in life.
Really. If you don’t believe me, watch Yeh Khula Aasman.
High on idealism but really low on skill, YKA teeters awkwardly from this scene to that struggling to talk about issues like the pressure faced by the youth, emotional distances and teenage dilemmas.
However, how the director wants us to be convinced that the teenage Avinash has had a nervous breakdown because of his HSC score when he’s busy making eyes at the neighbourhood chicky baby, is anybody’s guess. The distraught hero gazes at the fields, trying to convey his emotional pressures and romantic intentions at the same time.
Well, so the deal is, that to defuse his attention from the pressures of exams and recent failure and the stressful competition, he is talked into a kite-flying competition and then pressured and emotionally blackmailed into winning that instead (Gramps, who was a kite-flying champ apparently and after training Avinash, just gets on the deathbed and conveniently refuses to get better till he wins.) And that is supposed to give Avinash the confidence to win life’s other battles like IIT.
The film abounds in clichés and really long songs. Raj Tandon as Avinash is sweet and endearing but fails to convey much of his anguish. Raghubir Yadav as the rustic loving grandfather looks uncomfortable much before he starts gagging because of asthma and cough, and the friendly neighbourhood sweetheart (Anya Anand) who preens so much that you feel like scolding her to get back to her studies right now!
Special mention must be made of the brilliant person who cast Yashpal Sharma as the London-returned tycoon; with his unruly beard and oily middle-parting and rustic English, the man doesn’t look like he’s gone out of Bihar, forget having a successful career abroad.
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