REVIEW: ‘Student Of The Year’ – It’s Fluffy, Yet Substantial

'Student Of The Year' movie poster
‘Student Of The Year’ movie poster

After love your parents message, Karan Johar now talks about loving your friends in his latest film “Student Of The Year” (SOTY).

“Student Of The Year” is light and fluffy, yet full of substance. The lead threesome – Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt – are adorable.

The narrative goes back and forth in a similar fashion that was witnessed in “Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na”. School friends meet after a decade of leaving school when they come to meet their dean, Yogendra Vashisth (Rishi Kapoor) who is unwell and recap their final year in school.

They studied in St. Teresa, a formidable school where kids of rich and famous mingle with hardworking scholars. The contrast is evident when the have-nots are at the beck and call of the creme de la creme.

The rich and flamboyant, Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) is the heartthrob of the school. Shanaya (Alia Bhatt) is his taken for granted girlfriend. Life is hunky dory, till Abhimanyu Singh (Siddharth Malhotra) enters.

SOTY is quite unpredictable. Instead of the regular cliched rivalry, here are two friends who bond together, till circumstances push them away.

For those who are not into teenybopper may find the film dragging in parts. It’s only post-interval when the competition for the Student of the Year Award hots up that the viewer is glued to his seat. The pace of the film picks up and we wonder who will walk away with the coveted trophy?

The film emits Karan Johar’s pink humour in plenty.

Rishi Kapoor as the gay dean with a roving eye and soft corner for sports coach, played by Ronit Roy, is fabulous. The scene where he throws the ‘dafli’ at the coach’s wife during the sangeet ceremony of Rohana’s brother is thoroughly enjoyable.

The camera does not miss any opportunity to capture the best of the male leads Siddharth and Varun, with their six-pack abs et al. A treat for the eyes of many.

In terms of performances, all the three debutants are confidence personified. Siddharth is a bit stiff in certain scenes, whereas Alia Bhatt obviously has acting in her genes. But it is Varun Dhawan who steals the show with his charismatic and endearing performance. He is spontaneous and an elegant dancer.

Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues have their moments. With puns and rhymes, he wows the audiences.

Alia’s dialouge that her marriage will not be decided by ‘rab’ (god in Punjabi), but at the rich wife’s club elicits lots of laughter.

If Rensil D’silva’s screenplay is sleek, production quality is visually appealing, glossy and vibrant. Vishal-Shekhar’s young, peppy and soulful compositions are enjoyable and foot-tapping.

Overall, the film is larger than life. A blend of “High School Musical” and Julia Robert’s “Monalisa Smile” is an enjoyable combination.

Definitely worth a watch.

Rating: ***

(Troy Ribeiro, IANS)

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