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Student of the Year Movie Review: Eye-Candy and So Much More

I have been waiting for Student of the Year since I saw the first look poster.  I fell in love with Varun Dhawan after the first trailer and I never miss a Dharma film.  I basically worship Karan Johar because his films give me so much happiness that my parents think I’m insane.  However, I just LOVE them.  Life can be cruel, mundane and disappointing at times but KJo’s films allow you to forget that for a short period of time.

Student of the Year is no typical Karan Johar film because it does not have SRK in it.  This being said that does not mean it isn’t a good film.  I REALLY enjoyed this movie.

Pros of SOTY:

1. THE CAST/ KARAN JOHAR

What can I say?  Those two boys are mighty good looking.  If you want to know what I think of Siddharth just listen to the song Kukkad from the film because it describes him bang on.  He is not just a handsome guy though, he can act.  His scene with Farida Jalal is especially noteworthy.  Speaking of Farida Ji, how I love her!  I just wish she would do more movies!  The only thing Siddharth needs to work on is his dancing.  He looks awkward especially in Radha.  It’s not just his fault though, choreographer Farah Khan should not have given him the one step in which he has one leg in the air while walking after Alia (it’s just plain weird).

Varun is the scene stealer in every scene he is in! He looks fantastic especially in that one yellow sweater.  I usually hate it when girls drool over guys and objectify them but Varun brings out that side in me too so I guess I’m just as bad!  Still, I have enough objectivity left in me to say he has done a superb job in terms of acting.  The one scene where he and Siddharth tell each other about their parents brought tears to my eyes especially when Varun says “My parents are dead too.”  This boy has a bright future because man can he dance (God knows why he says he is not a natural dancer in his interviews), he can act and he is devilishly good looking.

Alia fits the role of Shanaya perfectly.  She does well in her role and dances very well too.  Manish Malhotra has styled her to perfection and Micky Contractor’s makeup is flawless.  My only concern is that though this role was made for her what will she do after this?  She looks much too young to do anything but teenager/early adult roles and there are so few films that require that in Bollywood.

Kayoze Irani proves talent is is in the genes.  His father Boman Irani is one of my favourite actors and Kayoze does him proud.  If I went to St Teresa’s I would be a carbon copy of his character so I related to him very much.  The outsider who is ready to study his butt off but lacks any scope for athletics or dance.  The critics have been raving about his big speech and I have to agree he was splendid.  I really hope we get to see more of this talented guy.

Rishi Kapoor is one of the most versatile actors I have ever seen.  From Rauf Lala to Dean Yoginder Vasisht one cannot believe it’s the same man.  He was so scary in Agneepath and now he is SOOOO funny in Student of the Year.  I salute you sir!

Ram Kapoor is great at being a jerk as you’ll know if you have seen his TV serials and Student of the Year is no exception.  His character though is one thing that bothered me about the film because no father is so relentlessly cruel.  Karan should have added some remorse or sensitivity into the character.  Ram’s wife in real life also plays his wife in the film and she is beautiful but does not have much to do except basically be Jaya Bachchan from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the brief Karan gave her.

Ronit Roy is fabulous as the strict but tender hearted sport coach.  Manjot Singh is hilarious and loveable as he always is.  No KJo film is complete without a sardar ji and Manjot is wonderful as Dimpy.  Sana Saeed (little Anjali from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) fits her role like a glove so hat’s off to her.  I just wish there was more for her to do especially in the “grown-up students” parts (you’ll get what I mean when you see the film).  Lastly, the young man playing Varun’s friend, Jeet is super funny and effective especially the one joke he makes about Parsi’s (not offensive but super funny!).

With such a young cast  but such fine acting it is obvious the captain of the ship deserves a standing ovation.  This was probably Karan’s most challenging film in terms of direction and it’s obvious he has nurtured these newcomers and the result is they have blossomed into promising talents.

2. THE MUSIC AND SONG PICTURIZATION/CHOREOGRAPHY

Every song is this film is amazing! Even the one’s I found myself thinking what is this when I heard the soundtrack (i.e. Kukkad).  Moreover, KJo adds renditions of some old classics into the narratives which just enhances the narrative.   Of course KJo is known for his song picturization but this is the best of all his films.  Stunning!  Remo D’Souza’s “Disco Dewane” hook step has been stuck in my head for over a month and I’m still not bored! Actually all the songs have great choreography whether it be Vele (Bosco-Caesar), Ishq Wala Love (Farah Khan), Kukkad and Radha (again Farah Khan, except that one step aforementioned).

3. THE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND ST. TERESA’S

Props to Cinematographer Ayananka Bose, he makes everything look like a dream.  Really, from Kashmir to Dehradun to Bangkok everything is translated onto celluloid like it is all heaven on earth.  Such a treat for the eyes.  I must especially mention the triathlon!  It’s an adrenaline rush just to watch!

St.Teresa’s puts Oxford, Yale and Harvard to shame.  How I wish St Teresa’s was real and I went to college there.  Life would be amazing! The assembly hall, the cafeteria and the lecture hall all amazing sets and the only real thing is the stunning campus which is actually Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

4. THE DIALOGUES

Niranjan Iyengar is Karan’s go to guy for dialogues and their close friendship is obvious because the dialogues match the screenplay/story spot on.  The dialogues are extremely effective and reflect an understanding of today’s youth.  There are also some super funny jokes, some of which have been mentioned above.  However, the best part is Rishi Kapoor’s dialogues.  They are so adorable yet funny.

5. THE SCREENPLAY

I could not believe my eyes when the opening credits declared Rensil D’Silva has done the screenplay of this film.  This is the guy who directed Kurbaan! From such a dark, hard hitting film to this college story! What a 360 degree turn! Karan clearly knows how to pick talent.  The screenplay flows fluently from songs to romance to a triathlon!

Cons of SOTY:

1. THE ENDING:

I can’t reveal much because I want you to go buy a ticket and see the movie but I was unhappy with the ending.  I felt one of the characters was treated unfairly by the script.  However, the film in it’s entirety is so good that I’ll just pretend my choice of ending is what really happened LOL.

2. SHANAYA

She is too confused throughout the film.  I wish Karan had developed the character just a tad more or had let her explain her behaviour/choices so the viewer could have some closure.

All in all Student of the Year lived up to my expectations and I can’t wait to see more of the cast in their future ventures.  If you are a teenager or just entered adulthood give this movie a shot.  It had romance for the boys and sports for the guys but it also reminds you that the friends you make in college can be the ones you keep for your whole life.  I know that one thought that came into my head while watching the film was “I really hope me and my friends can be friends even after college is over and we all move on in our lives.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

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