Once upon a time, filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock remarked, “To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.” Maybe, the makers of this film, forgot about the same.
I still remember in my faint memory, the kind of effect Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) had on me, when I watched it on television for the first time, as a 5-year-old, considering that I was not even born when the film released.
It left a profound impact on me for sure, until life happened, reality broke the glass ceiling of my expectations, and that “profound” impact became blurred, faded away and later vanished into thin air.
Warm and fuzzy college romances with a love triangle that brings twist into the tale, certainly have a feel-good factor that appeals to the audience. But, clichéd plots are similar to the cassette stuck in a tape, playing the same song, over and over again.
Tiger Shroff portrays the role of Rohan Sachdev, who is madly in love with Mridula “Mia” Chawla (portrayed by Tara Sutaria). However, destiny makes a turnaround in his life when she switches colleges. Henceforth, he embarks on a journey to win back the love of his life.
Ananya Pandey plays the role of Shreya Randhawa, and her character’s brother, Manav Singh Randhawa, is played by Aditya Seal, whose work I found admirable in Purani Jeans (2014) as Samuel “Sam” Joseph Lawrence.
A socio-economic contrast has been shown between St. Teresa’s, Dehradun and Pishorilal Chamandas College, Mussoorie. Apart from that, obvious differences have been shown, which include mandatory uniforms in former, and sophistication in latter. The love story of Rohan and Mia is quickly shown through the glimpses from childhood to the present-day life. Rather than strengthening the foundation of story by developing better character arcs, the screenplay seems busy in presenting blatant product placements for brands like Puma and Audi.
The chemistry between Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria is brilliant. Still, leaving that aside, Tara’s character hasn’t been well-written. She has negligible scope in the film, except being an eye-candy. Although, her natural acting speaks volumes, her acting potential in the movie remains underutilized. I think, the best character in the film is Shreya Randhawa. The character’s loneliness has been beautifully articulated through her attention-seeking behaviour. Unlike its predecessor, Student of the Year (2012), which genuinely looked like a movie about students (although in a rose-tinted world of Karan Johar), Student of the Year 2 suffers an identity crisis.
Because of being heavily overloaded with action and dance, the film feels sandwiched between both the genres, despite being a teen film at heart. Performances by supporting actors, Abhishek Bajaj, Harsh Beniwal and Daljeet Singh Gujral are certainly praiseworthy.
Teen films are usually targeted towards teenagers, because they might relate to the characters. However, as a 20-year-old (roughly a teenager), I couldn’t relate to these characters. Rather, when I began watching Kota Factory (a web series) created by YouTube channel TVF (The Viral Fever), I could immediately relate to its characters. Because the problems shown in it, are real.
In a country, where parental pressure in case of education, failure in examinations and “life is a race” phenomenon are one of the major reasons for teenage suicides, Student of the Year 2, seems realistically unrealistic. The film focuses less on content, and more on its unnecessary glamour, forgettable songs, awkward cameos and cheesy dialogues. The logic behind flaunting chiseled abs, possibly in every other frame by “studs” stays unanswered.
Overall, it’s a decent, watchable film and can be considered as a one-time-watch. The thing is, it’s an over-the-top representation of student life.
Review written by Purva Thakkar, the winner of this week’s #YourReviewOnFC contest