Student of the year tries to be a modern version of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, but it does not have the same innocence or freshness about it. Like so much of Bollywood which loves to be “inspired”, this one seems to particularly incestuous in its inspirations. References to old Bollywood movie are rife and are totally irrelevant to the story. The remixed songs, random uses of recycled props (daflies, bells in a temple, with clip from an Amitabh movie etc), etc seem like pure indulgences of the maker who is in love with the Bollywood that he grew on as a kid. But the ticket paying audiences of today deserve a bit more than this staleness.
Student of the year feels like Bollywood’s fantasy about today’s youth. It is not clear if the story is set in a school or a college. The world that the characters inhabit is pretty unidimensional and stereotypical of bollywood – All girls are just pretty young things who like to flaunt their bodies, chase guys and have no other ambitions of their own. The guys are competitive beef cakes who throw corny dialogues at each other like tuhjhe marunga, leking use pehle gale lagaunga, and are looking for a reason to hug each other all the time. Adding a gay dean and trying to keep it funny while being sort of apologetic about gays takes the cake for poor taste. I know this is Bollywood, and suspension of dis-belief is a crucial requirement to enjoy it, but this film pushes the limits of ridiculousness pretty far out.
The core of the story revolves around the award for Student of the year. The winner is supposed to get a scholarship for higher education at ivy league college anywhere in the world. By the end of the movie it I was wondering what will be the admission essay of thw winner to Harvard sound like :
Sir, I have been awarded the Student of the Year in my school which makes me special. I won a really competitive treasure hunt, and that tells you some things about me, ummm, well, lets leave that as a clue for you to solve. I now also have that hot chick with the hottest legs in school and who has windswept hair all the time, and who comes with that big cup; so maybe that tells you that I am satisfied with nothing but the best, and I am charming and can become a successful investment banker too. I dance well and last the longest on the floor as I proved in the prom (our prom is a bit different that yours). Even Farah Khan aunty was there to give me two thumbs up and Kajol also winked at me on the floor, so maybe that tells you that I enjoy culture and arts too. I play football, I run, I swim, I even cycle (you ask why cycle, obviously you havent seen Jo jeeta wohi sinkandar…). My biggest regret is that Sharukh uncle didn’t join me on the floor that day, I had practised his step better than him and would have shown Karan uncle that his faith in me is well deserved. I know I am the best and so totally cool enough to be at Harvard. You deserve me. — Cheers (from the guy who only half smiles…)
Midway I think Karan kind-of realised the sillyness of it all. In his script he gets a fat boy gets drunk (am calling him that because that is his stereotype), and launches him into a badly acted outburst listing out all the flaws of this contest and how ridiculous it all is. The trick of berating your own film inside the same film dosnt really get anyone off the hook in my blog. So if you anyway knew this was all junk, why did you still do it? The ending is predictable and there is nothing at stake by the time it happens.
The three young actors act well, especially for a debut. They all ooze confidence, look all sexy, and push up the bra, oh I mean bar, for all the entrenched and ageing Bollywood stars. Other than these three, everyone else does a hack job. Boman Irani’s boy is totally out of place. The other kids dont matter much anyway. Music sucks except for the title track, but even for that the spoof version is so much better. The background score is unbearable at most places and the creators rely too much on it to lift weak screenplays.
Totally avoid this film, and watch Jo Jeeta Wohi Sinkandar again instead.
My rating – 3/10