It's time to go back to school, but this is no Hogwarts. Karan Johar’s ‘Student of the Year’ will feel like familiar territory for rich brats, for whom high school is nothing less than a fashion week. If shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ and movies like 'High School Musical' make for your regular viewing experience, then this film should be on your agenda this weekend. For the rest, it's simply about witnessing a high school experience they could only have dreamt of.
What’s it about?
SOTY is set in St Teresa School, in an unknown part of India, where rich brats get admission courtesy large donations, while the poor ones sneak in on merit. It is a school where students with flashy sports cars and designer heels are at odds with small town, aspirational students. The divide is similar to that between Hogwarts’ purebloods and muggles. The lack of originality is more than made up for by how nice and shiny everything looks. Like Johar’s other films, a bubblegum romance is what you should expect and is exactly what you get. St Teresa's or Saint T (as the yuppie kids call it) is a more hip, co-ed version of Gurukul (from Aditya Chopra’s ‘Mohabbatein’) and instead of a teacher with a violin, there's a competition called 'Student of the Year' that gets everyone up and running.
As expected, the cast is ridiculously good-looking and there is a homosexual character. Yogendra Vashishth (Rishi Kapoor) is the gay dean, who eyes the handsome, but already married Gujarati football coach, Karan (Ronit Roy). Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) is the school stud, whose fixed parking spot in the campus, when occupied by Pind da munda Abhimanyu Singh (Siddharth Malhotra), triggers off a fight, that eventually develops into a friendship. The triangle is completed by Rohan’s girlfriend Shanaya Singhania (Alia Bhatt), who always has a Louis Vuitton bag resting on her arm, and whose introductory song is a rehash of that of Poo’s from ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’. Johar also re-launches Sana Saeed (the cherubic Anjali from ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’) as high school hottie Tania, the head cheerleader who competes with Shanaya for Rohan's attention.
After several romps in foreign locales and even a wedding, the story finally moves on to the race for the coveted trophy in Triwizard tournament fashion and what we get is a ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander’-inspired climax, that is predictable and hardly exciting.
An entirely new star cast adds freshness and makes up for the stale script. Alia Bhatt looks the part and plays the rich, adorable girl with ease. You know Johar has a star in the making, when you can relate to Bhatt, both in a sexy pout in a bikini, and as the picture of innocence in a salwar kameez. Varun Dhawan, as the brat with a heart of gold, makes you go awww. He is easy on the eye and is by far the best actor of the trio. His charming behaviour will make him the new teenage pin-up sensation and he leaves the kind of impression that Shahid Kapoor did with his debut film 'Ishq Vishk' years ago. Siddharth Malhotra, on the other hand, reminds you of Jimmy Shergill in ‘Mohabbatein’, but looks uncomfortable. His dialogue delivery and acting looks rehearsed, and is not convincing enough.
What to do?
'Student of The Year' is a good looking movie with a cute cast, and that is the main draw of this popcorn entertainer. Go watch it for wardrobe tips!
in.com rating- 2.5/5
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