Abhimanyu Singh (Siddharth Malhotra) is the new kid in a college full of rich brats and though Singh is a middle class scholarship student, he is not an underdog. Armed with a fierce ambition and an undying competitive streak, he is here to win it all- at whatever costs.Pitted against him is Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan), a rich business tycoon’s kid, who roams around the campus in a Ferrari and has all the hottest chicks drooling over him and caught between them is Shanaya (Alia Bhatt), whose heart is torn between the two.
Though Abhimanyu and Rohan become the best of buddies after some initial tension, their friendship turns bitter when the former falls for the latter’s girl Shanaya. The two campus warriors are now pitted against each other and how their quest for success affects everything around them is what director Karan Johar has dealt with in the movie.
STUDENT OF THE YEAR narrates the wonderfully intricate and complex trajectory of three high school kids, their transition from adolescence/teenage to maturity/adulthood and the emotions they experience in this journey called life. Although love stories is a beaten to death genre, STUDENT OF THE YEAR doesn’t fall into the ‘typical romantic fare’ category either. Karan and screenplay writer Rensil D’silva pay minute attention to detailing and character development and what comes across on screen seems like an unmarked, charming and bona fide experience within the commercial parameters.
In his by-now-famous style, Karan grabs your attention from the very commencement of the movie. What follows thereafter — every sequence, actually — is relevant to the film and the objective is to remain faithful to the essence of the story. Whether it’s the amusing moments or the ones that depict the camaraderie of the three protagonists, also the ones when the two guys lock horns and get into the competitive spirit, Karan ensures that he packs in the optimum. There’s no room for boredom or monotony in this high-on-energy movie. I’d like to make a special mention of one sequence, which reverberates in your memory and continues to haunt you after the show has concluded: A silent sequence with just music playing in the background. What a sequence! Besides, a number of emotional moments make you moist-eyed.
The film has a super-strong supporting cast. Known for essaying romantic roles in his illustrious career, Rishi Kapoor’s portrayal of a baddie in AGNEEPATH earlier this year and as a gay dean in STUDENT OF THE YEAR is sure to raise eyebrows. But it also proves how courageous he is when it comes to choosing roles. The veteran is simply lovable. Ram Kapoor is another actor who has proved his credentials in the past and proves it yet again. He’s fantastic!
Kayoze Irani is another youngster who stands out. Extremely natural… he shines in a powerful sequence towards the final stages of the film. Manasi Rachh, as Alia’s friend, sparkles in several sequences. She’s too good. Sahil Anand, as Varun’s friend, is first-rate, providing some genuinely funny laughs.
Ronit Roy is wonderfully restrained. Sana Saaed looks glamorous and does well. Manjot Singh is pleasant. Gautami Kapoor conveys a lot through her expressive eyes. Maninee De Mishra, Farida Jalal, Prachi Shah, Sushma Seth, Akshay Anand, all lend adequate support. Boman Irani appears in a cameo.
On the whole, STUDENT OF THE YEAR is amongst Karan Johar’s most accomplished works. The youth brigade would love it and those who have already past that age would want to revisit those days. This one’s entertainment, entertainment and entertainment at its best. Clearly, KJo has a winner on hands, yet again!
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