Student of the Year: A FILM REVIEW

By Sakshi Bhalla (Editor)






Film – Student of the Year

Cast –Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor

Director – Karan Johar

Quick Take – Part fun, part disappointment. A Karan Johar affair, but not quite there.

TSL Rates – 2.9/5


Glamour? Check.

Larger-than-life? Check.

Drama? Check.

A song for every occasion? Check.

Highly unbelievable? Check.

Feel good? Check.

Student of the Year has all the standard elements of a Karan Johar film, but it had a major requisite missing – strong characters.

The film is the story of three friends Rohan (Varun Dhawan), Abhimanyu (Siddharth Malhotra) and Shanaya (Alia Bhatt) whose lives and friendship turn for the worse at the peak of the Student of The Year competition when aggression hits its highest, spirits are ablaze, and friendships, forgotten – all in this impossibly glossy excuse for a school.

While there was an effort made to give each character a little something to bank on, it didn’t quite materialize on screen.  An issue that I had with SOTY was the fact that there isn’t anything fairly substantial happening through the first half which is spent entirely building a base for what is to follow. Clichés too, were abundant – from the fat, bespectacled nerd, to the tomboy, to the jock, to the rich-guy-everyone’s-in-awe-of, to the rich spoilt girl, to the poor-guy-who-everyone-loves… This could just go on. The film does have a message, but doesn’t deliver it too well.

Of the three leads (all debuts) Varun Dhawan shines the brightest, not only impressing as that cool hunk of St. Teresa but also with his dance moves. Siddharth Malhotra does too, as the ambitious middle class guy who wants to make a mark for himself in the world. As for Alia Bhatt, well, she needs a greater role to play for one to actually assess her skill. But for a make-shift Poo (from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham), she was passable. Given how poorly school time candy floss romances have done in the past (again, because of the degree of improbable in them), Karan Johar seemed to have taken upon himself the mettle of explaining the entire film to the audience through its very convincing support cast -Sana Saeed, Kayoze Irani, Rishi Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Manjot Singh – all of whom deserve a mention.

Vishal & Shekhar’s music doesn’t fail. Nor does Karan Johar’s direction, for all its worth. SOTY ends as that bright and breezy film that you walk out of smiling, either because you like a happy ending or you find its unlikeliness so amusing – either way, it is not meant to be taken seriously.

Expectations run high when Karan Johar announces the launch of three new comers in his first directorial venture without his muse. Student of the Year, while it fails on some accounts, it manages to convince on many others, especially for its genre. All said and done, one thing’s a promise – you’ll like it better than its theatrical (which was, well, tacky). Although this isn’t saying a lot, but watch it on a ‘vela’ weekend for some genuine laughs and the very good looking new comers this film introduces. Or just wait till the TV premiere.




One Response to Student of the Year: A FILM REVIEW

  1. Absolutely ridiculous stuff, in the name of commercial ‘entertainment’.

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