Year of Release: 2012
Language: Hindi and English.
Starring: Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan.
Of the hundreds of movies Bollywood churns out every year, a handful of them are innovative, fresh, interesting, meaningful and watchable. The other 99.98% pendulate between the absurd and rubbish. Among the rowdy hero, bimbo heroine, 6 unnecessary songs, dhishum-dhishum and Item Balms, I mean Bombs, there isn’t enough space to squeeze in a story. At least not one that makes any sense. Student of the year is, of course, part of this prestigious group.
A Karan Johar production (see, it’s a hit already), Student of the Year is a romance film. Two guys. Friends. One girl. Love triangle. You know this story already. In between all this, there exists a twisted fantasy that is so randomly thrown in that we fail to comprehend the reason for this film’s bizarre existence i.e. it makes no sense. Let’s analyze, shall we?
Scene 1: Movie begins with an awkward reunion. Ex-classmates from St. Something meet at a hospital to pay their respects to their dying Dean. Among the 20-odd (a guess) students in the batch only 4 manage to show up. 3 more are on their way. We don’t need the others because these 7 are the only ones in the movie that somewhat matter.
Scene 2: The four present reminisce about the lives of the 3 that are to arrive soon. You read it right. They are remembering the time the 3 latecomers spent in St. Something. And thus, we are introduced to the 3 main characters.
Scene 3: Cue main character 1. Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan, son of David Dhawan) is, as the surname suggests, a very rich brat. His father apparently owns everything. But Rohan is a disappointment to his father. So much that he insults his son any chance he gets. So what is the best way to piss off your rich dad? Use his hard-earned money to buy electric guitars and strum the hell out of it whilst dreaming of becoming a musician. Rebelde Way!
Scene 4: Cue main character 2. Shanaya (yes, that’s a word) Singhania (Alia Bhatt, daughter of Mahesh Bhatt), is a very rich but sweet girl who wears nothing less than Armani, Jimmy Choo and Prada because these, along with Manolo, Galliano, Louis Vuitton, Versace are the only brands poor off-the-rack people like me have heard of. But what Shanaya wants more than anything is love. Aww! Isn’t that diabetically sweet?
Scene 5: Cue main character 3. Abhimanyu Singh (Siddharth Malhotra, ex-model), is a middle-class boy (notice the sad surname), on a scholarship who provides much of the eye candy in the film. He dreams of becoming a rich businessman to pay for his gym memberships and body building classes. Just kidding. He just wants to become rich and successful.
Scene 6 to 291: St. Something is a big place with acres and acres of greenery that no Indian educational institution can dream about. It has a Catholic name to indicate that it’s a very hip and happening place. Obviously the audience wouldn’t watch if it was named Saraswati Vishwavidyalay. Keep up with this generation people. So the college has two sections of students, the snobby rich ones and the humble poor ones. The Dean (Rishi Kapoor) is an eccentric gay man who lusts after the coach (Ronit Roy). The other 4 characters are Boman Irani’s son, the little girl from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai all cleavaged up, Some TV Actor and First Film Girl.
Every year, St. Something hosts a ‘Student of the Year’ competition sponsored by Main Character 1’s rich daddy. Whoever wins this trophy gets a scholarship to go to those important sounding colleges like Harvard and Oxford. And the 7 characters are selected, among a few unimportant students, to compete. In the course of all this, Abhimanyu falls in love with Shanaya because of her innocence, her cuteness and, get this, the adorable way she rants designer labels. Problem is, Shanaya is Rohan Nanda’s girlfriend. So when Rohan finds out, the friendship ends and the Student of the Year competition heats up with Rohan winning the competition by a twist in the tale (watch to find out).
Scene 292: Cut to the present day, the 3 main characters arrive, meet, make up and live happily ever after.
The reason I rambled on about this movie is because of its many loose antics.
- Naming convention: You can easily distinguish the rich character from the poor. Rich ones have surnames like Nanda, Israni and Singhania. Poor ones have Singh, Khurana and Pathak.
- St. Something’s identity: Is it a school? Is it a college? Wikipedia says college. In the movie Shanaya says, “I’ll see you in school”. A lot of people seem to be having the same doubt. Plus, which institution in India has cheerleaders? I know. A mental one.
- Characters: As long as you are pretty you can be as shallow as humanly possible. People are bad if they are rude to the main character (Rohan’s dad, Abhimanyu’s aunt). If the main character is rude, it’s endearing and attractive.
- Gay characters: A gay character will never have a happy ending and is put in the movie purely for laughs.
- Clothes: Posh college. Designer labels. Skimpy and sexy clothes. I get it!
- The Student of the Year competition: A treasure hunt. Check. A triathlon. Check. A dance-off. Check. These are the qualities that Harvard is looking for in students. The one who can dance the longest.
There are many others that I won’t get into because I have to remember every aspect of this film which is just too painful. Acting is on the rotten side because everyone knows that the movie will be a hit. Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt have a legacy that will ensure they succeed. Siddharth Malhotra is good-looking to pull off any movie Twilight-style. Among the many who “auditioned”, these three were the only ones who suited the roles best. Watch this movie for all the eye-candy there is. Apart from that, there is little to remember after.