Subhash K Jha’s Take On ‘Student Of The Year’


The film has a wonderful retro-futuristic feel to its romance. While the good-looking troika at the plot’s centre wear only the elite labels and travel in the poshest cars, their allegiances alliances and ideas on friendship and love are purely old-world… except that Rajendra Kumar would never have asked Raj Kapoor, “Ab tu mujhe kiss karega?” after every buddy-embrace, like Sidharth Malhotra does.

Malhotra is every bit the potential superstar. The intense brooding personality and those tell-tale eyes are reminiscent of the early Amitabh Bachchan. Clearly Malhotra is the most promising leading man since Ranbir Kapoor. In a complex role, demystified by lots of hedonistic hijinks, Varun Dhawan executes himself like a seasoned star-actor. Is this really his first film?

As for the object of their adoration, Alia Bhatt is pretty but raw around the edges. She needs time. The supporting cast specially Rishi Kapoor, Ram Kapoor (as Varun Dhawan’s son-hating father), Kayoze Irani, Manasi Rach (as Alia’s friend who’s no chamcha ) and Sahil Anand (as Varun’s strictly chamcha-friend) sparkles with a ravishing radiance and unshackled joy at being part of a world where only two characters encounter mortality in the kind of hospital that some would die for.

If the world of untainted elitism never gets overpowering it is because the characters are never shown to be overly enamoured by their glamourous destiny.

Vishal-Shekhar use a lot of retro music in a repackaged avatar to create a connectivity between the designer world and the world of nostalgia.

Cinematographer Aynanaka Bose and editor Deepa Bhatia give the film a texture of believable affluence.

Young, vibrant, colourful, exuberant and exhilarating Student Of The Year is that heady swig of a frothy beverage that leaves you feeling good about life.

Karan Johar gets into the heads and hearts of the three restless young and spirited lives swirling seductively in a love triangle that resolves itself over a hand-to-hand combat outside a designer-hospital.

And this time Alia Bhatt gets the hospital clothes right.