Student Of The Year Review
If there's one genre on which one can blindly rely on Karan Johar, its romance. The filmmaker surely knows how to capture the matters of heart and portray them evocatively and endearingly on celluloid. And when it comes to college/teenage romance, it is KJo's home turf. So while Karan swooned millions of heart with his debut college romance 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', the filmmaker is back to teenage mush with Student Of The Year. Will this candy floss cast the same spell on young hearts or not let's find out.
Located in the scenic locales of Dehradun, is, what we are told, the best school of India, St. Teresa. Best, for it has a cool canteen, spectacular college premise, and a clout of elitist students who either are busy flaunting their Guccis, Pradas or Ferraris or their hot bods. In the world where the students are divided between Tatas - the elites and Batas - the poor ones (although in the course of the film you don't quite find any), enters Abhimanyu (Siddharth Malhotra), an apparently middle class, small town, hardworking boy who makes it to the school on scholarship. He is touted to bridge the gap between the Tatas and Batas, which in the course of the film you don't quite get to see.
Abhimanyu wants to be just like the millionaire trustee of the school Ashok Nanda (Ram Kapoor) but his plans start crumbling as he falls for the brattiest college boy's girlfriend Shanaya (Alia Bhat). The brat here is Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan), Ashok Nanda's son who doesn't quite take to his father and wants to be a musician instead. What follows is the clash between Rohan and Abhimanyu for the prestigious title of Student Of The Year. While for Abhimanyu it is his gateway to being rich, for Rohan it's his ticket to prove his mettle.
Karan Johar's college romance takes a 21st century spin as this portrays glossiness as never seen before. So the complexities in life of the characters are pretty much about not having mellowed down clothes to wear for hospital visits or not finding their designated parking spots for their Ferarris.
Writer Rensil Dsilva takes a very 'Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na' approach by having a group of ex-students narrate the story of the love hate relationship between the three friends Rohan, Shanaya and Abhimanyu. However, much against the aforementioned film, this time around the film fails in holding the attention. There's enough farce deliberation in the narrative to keep you glued to the seats. Moreover, the film keeps oscillating between Abbas Tyrewala's 'Jaane Tu...' and Rajkumar Hirani's '3 Idiots'. While on one hand you have the friendship, bromance and romance, on the other you have subtle remarks on the education system etc. - none of which do have been dealt with properly.
Major portion of the film goes showcasing the muscle flaunting and flexing heroes or the high handedness and fashion freakiness of the heroine.
What works for the film are the characters. All three newcomers show ample promise as they play their parts with laudable confidence. At a young age of 19, Alia Bhatt marks a crackling debut. Not only does she look very fresh and beautiful but also acts well. Both Varun Dhawan and Siddharth Malhotra too do a swell job in looking their parts and playing them well. As for the rest of the cast, Rishi Kapoor as an effeminate Dean is a delight to watch. Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor are fit for their roles too.
To sum it up, Student Of The Year is all fluff sans much stuff. Watch it if you are a big fan of frothy, glossy romance. For the ones looking for realistic meaningful cinema, this isn't the film for you.
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