Read the Exclusive Student Of The Year Movie Review
Karan Johar's new film is an unabashed celebration of Bollywood-ism that is shamelessly and quite unapologetically alienated with reality, set in an altogether different world. Soaked in nepotism, the film introduces two star-kids, both quite promising - especially the girl, Aalia Bhatt, who becomes the center of affection of two muscular High School boys.
|Star-Cast: Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt|
|Director: Karan Johar|
|Producer: Karan Johar, Shahrukh Khan|
|Duration: 2 hrs 21 mins|
The dramatic premise is quite simple but largely exaggerated - poor, young and good-looking Abhimanyu comes to the premium institute of India - St. Teresa's -- an elitist organization where girls rhyme songs with designer names and boys park their Lamborghini's on a pre-designated spot. Abhimanyu, we are told, broke that class-divide, although during the course of the film, it never really strikes us how, other than the fact that he makes-out with the college snob's girlfriend.
The snob is Rohan Nanda, played by Varun Dhawan, a rich brat harbouring dreams of being a musician while his industrialist father laments on his incompetence. The two clash in the Student of the Year competition - a Muggle's Triwizard tournament (which doesn't lead you to Voldemort, but to flights of fancy, both inspired and insipid)
Karan Johar follows the Jaane Tu ... narrative technique of a bundle of friends from High School reuniting and narrating the story. The difference is that the actors here break the fourth wall, unlike the Imran Khan film.
Throughout SOTY, there are a number of references to Bollywood, both direct and indirect. The humour is plain cheesy, the lines sophomoric; yet the film brims with the emotional prowess that only Johar can bring.
An underlying theme is that of displaying masculinity and how it can take one places. The film deals with this notion, but only as an afterthought, despite this being the essential idea of the film. Both, Varun Dhawan and Siddharth Malhotra flaunt their chiseled bodies, while Aalia Bhatt struts around the campus like a desirable hottie. The film consistently brims with sexual energy and the young vibe, makes SOTY very, very attractive.
Among the actors, Dhawan shows remarkable promise while Malhotra has a subtler part, one that asks him to internalize his feelings. Aalia Bhatt is shockingly good. She's classy and convincing, probably being the youngest helps.
On the whole, I would call SOTY everything that Bollywood royalty represents - a show of power and selective elitism. Karan Johar packages his film with such fanatic glamour, it is blindingly gorgeous. The scale of production is humongous.
But the crux of the idea remains superficial and is addressed rather abruptly in a climactic monologue. Yet, the glitzy wrapping is too tempting, and the cheesiness highly enjoyable for the fact that it is unpretentious. There are hints of homo-eroticism, both blatant satirical and the subtle, cleverly placed.
For a college-going kid, SOTY wouldn't be a human drama, it would be a fantasy film. Very, very aspirational.
Verdict: Karan Johar blends his entire portfolio in one humongous SOTY, which makes for a fairly entertaining ride, a true escapist delight.