With Karan Johar, you are sure of nonsense in some form or the other. This warranty actually helps you make sense of his movies or least find innocence in his inanity. Maybe thats the reason why Student of the Year manages to entertain us despite all the mockery and tomfoolery that happens in the name of movie making.
Johars obsession with academic institutions is well known. In his latest, he again takes us round his trademark campus where students and teachers find time for everything else under the sun but for education. The last mentioned, most fittingly, is only academic.
Karans academy, supposedly the best since British days, has all the Johar USPs: Hot hunks, shapely damsels, colorful deans, picnics, weddings, carnivals, competitions and of course the usual sprinkling of class divides and love triangles. And yet, students regularly pass out of this place to take on flourishing careers in investment banking, law and what not. I feel Kapil Sibbal should take a closer look at this institution and spare the IITs and IIMs for a while.
To his credit, Johar presents the debutante trio in leading roles with flair. Siddharth Malhotra (Abhimanyu) and Varun Dhawan (Rohan) perform competently while Alia Bhatt (Shanaya) is impressive despite the trivial role that has come her way. Together, they keep the audience involved which is undoubtedly a feat given the complete lack of a credible story.
Johar predictably struggles to create twists and turns in between the song-n-dance extravaganza, ultimately relying on senseless mix-ups, forced family conflicts and frantic humor to take the tale forward. If thats not enough, he unabashedly borrows stale ideas from his past movies to fill glaring gaps and of course, you also find him playing the ancient Bollywood trump card of an ailing grand mom on her deathbed.
One feels sorry for Rishi Kapoor. As the father of Indias No 1 superstar, he needs to be a little choosier about his roles going forward. Else his comedy spree is bound to turn tragic at some point. After the flight of Udaan, Ronit Roy nosedives into inconsequence with a stupid trivial part. Farida Jalal is fast turning into the new Achala Sachdev of Hindi films.
Johars films regularly make a dent into our perception of cinema but we still prefer him to Sachin Kundalkar any day. Student of the Year is way better that the Aiyyaa nonsense that we are yet to recover from.