Ever since the change of image in Poove Unakkaaga , Vijay has been building himself up as the
poster boy for love in Tamil cinema. Many of his movies since the blockbuster hit Kaadhalukku
Mariyaadhai have cast him in variations of the same role - the sacrificing youngster who is willing to give up love for something
more important. But Youth gives him a role that is the opposite - he is not ready to give up love even after learning that the girl
doesn't love him and is going to be married to someone else. The positive, stronger character works better but the movie, which starts off
very well, loses steam in the second half with cliched developments.
Shiva(Vijay) is dumped at his own wedding by his cousin, who feels that his profession of a cook is too lowly for her. But as with everything
else in life, he takes it lightly, moving to Chennai with the girl's brother. He falls in love with Sandhya(Sandhya), who moves freely with
him, giving him hope that she too reciprocates his affections. But Shiva is in for a rude shock when she announces her engagement to
computer engineer Pratap(Yugendran) at a party. Sandhya is even more shocked when she hears an "I love you" from Shiva instead of the congratulatory
wishes she had been expecting. Worse, he is not willing to forgo his love inspite of her entreaties.
Inspite of the hackneyed theme of one-sided love, director Vincent Selva(who has previously worked with Vijay in Priyamudan) manages
to keep things at an enjoyable level for quite some time. Though Vijay's wholehearted love and assumption of the same inspite of no signs from
Sandhya make it clear that a twist is coming, we are able to wholeheartedly immerse ourselves in his romance because of the way it is
handled. The entire sequence where Vijay makes things 'happen' for Sandhya is delightful and the set up, especially the way he gets
the bike, is very clever. The director also makes the misunderstanding believable without being too cinematic. Since Sandhya's behavior towards
Vijay is not artificial and his assumption of her love is understandable, we are not irritated by either of them.
Right at the point where everything is in place for Vijay to sacrifice his love and pine for Sandhya silently, the "I love you" from him comes as
a pleasant surprise. With no knowledge about her fiance Yugendran and keeping in mind Vijay's penchant for sacrifices and sad
endings(the recent Shah Jahan being a case in point), there is some suspense about the route
the movie will take. The director manages to successfully maintain this suspense for quite a while too. Vijay's casual insistence on loving
Sandhya and her attempts to change his way of thinking keep things interesting.
But the moment the real character of Yugendran is revealed, all the interest is drained out of the movie. Unlike
Minnale , Yugendran proves himself to be quite dislikeable and makes it quite obvious who
Sandhya is going to be united with in the end. In this respect, Youth apes Kaadhal
Mannan, another movie where the heroine is pursued by the hero after her engagement. Even the reappearance of Vijay's cousin
who dumped him before adds nothing of interest to the story apart from boosting Vijay's image even more. But the director scores some
points in the end by averting an unwanted fight and solving things interestingly.
Vijay enjoys himself in the role, his usual casual performance aiding his character this time. His repeated utterance of a certain phrase
(a la Rajnikanth) and the periodic monologues about love may cheer his fans but leave us quite unshaken. Sandhya looks OK but
Simran steals her thunder with her special appearance. Her exuberant dance with Vijay for the Aal Thotta Bhoopathi... song sequence
is definitely one of the highlights of the movie. Vivek is on hand to cheer us up whenever the movie lags though Hanifa, as the ever-drinking
uncle of Sandhya, raises as many laughs as Vivek. Yugendran is adequate. Mani Sharma disappoints after the great soundtrack in
Shah Jahan. Most songs are of the dappanguthu variety with inane lyrics while the single melodious track
Sakhiye Sakhiye... is a copy of a popular Hindi tune from a few years back.