Well, before getting started, one thing must be learned that the Brand Karan Johar is returning to direction after long. Thinking of him reminds of two aspects- exclusive way of story telling and larger than life presentation. ‘Student Of The Year’ proves that he is master of both. From the word ‘go’ the invincible KJo influence is evident. Trailer had given the complete hint about its premise. As the promos started getting aired, the predictability about its plot was evident. But man, no sooner does the movie start, than predictability and logic take backseat and it entirely engrosses you in its dreamy world, which is escapist but never-the-less thoroughly entertaining!
St Teresa High school, located in the picturesque lands of Dehradun, is one helluva firangi fairy tale type of institution. Its dean Yogendra Washishth (Rishi Kapoor) has been successfully oraganising the ‘Student Of The Year Competition’ since 25 years. This year, Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) a rich spoilt brat and a wannabe rockstar who thinks that having a father amongst trustees make you the coolest guy of school, Shanaya Singhania (Alia Bhat) a typical beauty with not as great brains though and Abhimanyu Singh (Siddharth Malhotra) a super confident small town guy with big dreams, would be fighting for the trophy.
The emotional roller coaster and sketching of everyone’s character through the progression of competition form the crux of the story. But hey, the film isnt only about the competition, it has a lot more in the offering where the director scores all the possible brownie points. Be it the music, be it the dialogue, be it the screenplay, be it the casting, be it the production value- Mr Director gets full marks for working with conviction. The vrooming of the Ferrari, the mini skirt clad girls, the never-miss-chance-of-showing-abs-guys, the father-son generation gap, the mushy romance and a dreamy song, the fights as well as the tears; everything is there for sure, and sometimes comes even without reasons, but movie never allows you to ask for reasons, it is honest in its approach and sticks with it.
Debutantes are extremely confident. Varun Dhawan dances superbly and emotes well too, he successfully portrays the bratish as well as the vulnerable side of Rohan’s personality. Siddharth Malhotra has an impeccable screen presence and an adorable quality around him, he scores big with his acting too, talking less and expressing more. The guys are star material, making SOTY a real treat for the girls, however their metrosexuality too cant remain hidden. Alia Bhatt is cuteness personified, she fits into Shanaya’s character to the tee with her innocent smile and a naive body language. Rishi Kapoor is a veteran, one does expect him to excel, and he doesnt diappoint, his ‘gay’ track helps him to get more screen time. On the other hands, Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor being television veterans give pleasant appearances. Kayoze Irani stands out amongst the other students, remaining too are very good. Vishal and Shekhar’s music is rocking and translated stunningly onscreen by Farah Khan and Remo. Background score is suitable and cinematography is rich.
Amongst all these plus factors there is one mega plus point about SOTY is that it never tries to be idealistic. Even with the ‘done to death’ plot and premise it doesn’t seem outdated. It might seem larger than life, but somewhere down the line it is a slice of life emotion presented in THE Karan Johar way.