Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Student of the Year - Movie Review

Karan Johar's 'Student of the Year' was a huge let down. Not that I expected more but it was a bigger let down than I thought because he had some fine raw material in his actors, to work with. The three young actors did a good job and could have carried off a better story and made it much better - if Johar had more faith in them and not stuck to his comic-book fantasies, his gay themes, his wink-wink private jokes and an obsession with superfluous drama that does not penetrate an inch emotion-wise. Drama does not work, romance does not work, slick production values do not work. (But having said that, this is a forty five year old's review of a youth flick, so discount it that much.)

So we have St. Theresa's school that looks like a European public school and school children that look like they are out of western comics (say Archie...). Only thing is that these kids are not looking like kids (save Alia Bhatt). The two schoolboys Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) and Abhimanyu Singh (Siddharth Malhotra) are full grown hunks with rippling muscles that no school kid can ever grow. They travel in their Ferraris, designer clothes, kiss and hug bikini clad schoolgirls - well life's like what it is in every school like it is. Add a gay Dean Vashist (Rishi Kapoor) who has the hots for his football coach (Ronit Roy), who secretly lusts after John Abraham's pics hidden in his draws (funnily Rishi Kapoor also makes faces just like Archana Puran Singh does in 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai'), the fat and sensitive Parsi boy, the fan boy who pretty much carries all the stuff for the rich boy, the heroines chasme wali and Ayn Rand-reading chamchi and other stereotypes and you know that the cast is complete.

Anyway the school kids gather around in the first scenes to see the Dean who is ill, ten years after they all left school, obviously with a bad taste in their mouth. As they all speak into the camera and try to convince us that a lot of drama happened since they left which is very unconvincing we realise that the bad taste is the 'Student of the Year' competition conceived by the gay Dean. In this competition all the students are pitted against one another in the most amazingly stupid  competition ever conceived - a treasure hunt, a dance competition and a triathlon. Of course all students get competitive and fight against one another. In the end at the prize giving ceremony the fat Parsi boy gets drunk and shouts at the Dean publicly (you fatty...) for coming up with such a hare brained scheme that mucked up their strong friendships. Anyway less said about it the better. The only thing that we want to know is who gets the girl perhaps - but even that is not our concern anymore because no one seems really keen to get her. In fact the scenes between the two boys are more hot and romantic and caring than they are with the girl. I am willing to wager a bet that there are more scenes where the two guys hug each other than they hug the girl! Things like showing off Rohan's butt cleavage, jokes of guys telling each other 'kiss karoge kya', of 'Dean highway type ka nahi lagta hai..', of a coach not being able to smell a urine sample from ganga jal (what happened to our culture protectionists?) and actually sprinkling it all over his wife and son - and passing it all off as good humour shows a steady decline in Johar's sensibilities.

All in all, this movie is not worth a review this long. Johar strikes one as intelligent and one does not expect this sort of pandering for skin deep flicks from him that are so irresponsible and so lacking a central theme. What are you trying to say? What is the central conflict about? I can even understand a feel-good film far removed from reality which is what Johar is good at but here he fails miserably as he tries to cloak all sorts of far fetched ideas and behaviors in a movie targeted at the youth. Typically the youth does take a lot of inspiration from its role models (and Karan Johar is one) and it disappoints me to see that this is all he could come up with considering the resources he has at his disposal. Commerce is fine, and I believe that if you make an honest film for the audience it would still work. The problem comes when you think you know everything and you can pass off all kinds of  half baked, inchoate ideas in slick packages and take the audience for granted. The movie to me is best described in one of the dialogues in the movie - the fat Parsi man (he can never pass off for a schoolboy) says to his deeply venerated gay Dean in a public function at the end of the movie - 'Student of the Year, my a...'



Shayari said...

The worst movie made by Karan Johar so far. Though all his movies are larger than life unbelievable stories, this one lacks the real story or u can call the right entertainment quotient. Just making a movie with posh sets and attires do not guarantee success. It was so boring and unrealistic that i had to watch it lest i waste my money. The only positives of the film are the two lead actors (male), Siddharth & Varun and of course Rishi kapoor.

Rajendra said...

Maybe a film called Professor of the Year is in order to correct all this..