STUDENT OF THE YEAR – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on October 19, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – KARAN JOHAR
DIRECTOR – KARAN JOHAR
WRITER – RENSIL D’SILVA
CAST – SIDDHARTH MALHOTRA, VARUN DHAWAN, ALIA BHATT
MUSIC – VISHAL-SHEKHAR
The Bollywood dose of candy-floss, school/college stories dipped in high fashion is here. There’s a top school in Dehradun St. Teresa’s whose kids dress in Versace and flaunt muscles that would put Stallone to shame. There is a clear class distinction and resultant competitions. Amongst these are Rohan (Varun Dhawan) – school Richie Rich vying for his over-ambitious father’s approval, middle-class Abhimanyu (Siddharth Malhotra) – come up the hard way and aiming for the stars, and the diva Shanaya (Alia Bhatt) – Veronica of the pack whose attention is diverted from her Jimmy Choos by her boyfriend Rohan’ s gradual disinterest. The boys share a relationship that constantly oscillates between friendship and rivalry dependent on The Holy Grail – The Student of the Year trophy. In between there is a love triangle too.
If ‘Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hain’ wrote a completely new chapter in unrealistic dimensions of glamour and ‘cool’ then ‘Student of the Year’ simply takes a leaf out of that by-now old formula. A youth-based film, it also tips its hat to several successful youth films of the past but one wonders where did it forget its story or the emotional connect on the way?
Told in flashback by the friends of these three, the film goes back and forth to punctuate dramatic turning points, a choppy affair if nothing else. A story told in flashback gives it a sort of a legendary appeal. And when it is from the eyes of others than the central protagonists it lends the story a sort of mystery. Having chosen such a narration, Johar typically chooses to pump the high glamour vein so hard, the film loses out on everything else. A story of friendships, rivalries and love, it focuses more on its actor’s wardrobe than emotional highs and lows. The trophy, the title of the film, and the run-up to its winning is relegated to a curiously flaky competition that is called out by a ‘regular’ student (read fat, poor and unattractive), in one dramatic speech that seems more out of place than effective.
A debut for all its leads, the film gives them enough to base their careers in the fillm world. Style that drips glamour, song-and dance sequences that scream bling and enough tears, giggles and laugh-out-loud moments that are supposed to define that glorious period of youth. The three perform with a superb confidence of body language and screen chemistry. Varun Dhawan’s impish and boyish looks complements Alia Bhatt’s doll-like appearance and is perfectly off-set by Siddharth’s rugged personality. What helps them immensely though, besides Karan Johar’s competent direction, is the very efficient supporting cast of a delicious gay and understated Rishi Kapoor, an arrogant tycoon Ram Kapoor and a steadfast coach Ronit Roy. There is Kajol in a very special appearance too.
Karan Johar packs as much of gloss as he can, mounting his film as he does all of his. Vishal Shekhar’s tracks keep the beat alive even as they mix classics with new tunes with moderate success. Ultimately though, the KJo school’s cinematic sensibilities overcome what was a solid story of love and friendship. An erratic narrative, superficial explorations of character motivations and a very representative love story reduces what could otherwise have been a lasting and enjoyable teen flick we could have truly cared for.