SOTY 2 Review: Student of the Year 2 tries everything. In parts it is a dance movie, a sports movie, a college movie, a love-triangle, a class conflict drama... but nothing works because nothing is connected.
Student of the Year 2 Cast: Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria, Aditya Seal
SOTY 2 Director: Punit Malhotra
Student of the Year 2 rating: 1/5 stars
Student of the Year 2 Review: We have made peace with the fact that the world shown in Karan Johar’s Dharma Production films is not the first world, neither the second or third. It is Dharma’s world. It is a world where everything is grand and glossy, where colleges put 7-star hotels to shame, where students do everything except studies. The world is such a great leveller where even poor can flaunt designer clothes. Yes, we have moved on and we try to invest in the emotions and honesty with which actors like Kajol, Shah Rukh, Rani Mukerji or Alia Bhatt have portrayed these shiny roles. But Student of the Year 2 take that liberty too far. While in the earlier installment of the movie two star-kids and one token outsider were launched, this is trying to re-launch one star-kid, launch another and yes there is a token outsider as well. She is there, just.
Starring an airborne and shirtless Tiger Shroff, his six-pack abs, biceps and triceps with Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria in supporting roles, Student of the Year 2 is set in the same sprawling Saint Teresa School which has Olympic-level facilities for sports and has dance stage to beat America’s Got Talent. Farah Khan and Vishal-Shekhar appear as judges for this school’s dance competition and Will Smith appears to shake a leg as well! Tiger Shroff, who jumps, flies and runs in slow motion, plays a middle-class boy studying in Mussoorie Pishorilal Chamandas college but he wants to join St Teresa and win Student of the Year trophy and another inter-school cup which is, god knows why, named Dignity cup! He gets there, meets the girls, fights, dances and plays kabaddi and that’s it. The story neither has the depth of socio-economic conflict that Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander presented nor the charm of Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai or its 2012 predecessor. To be honest, Tiger Shroff and the antagonist Aditya Seal don’t even look like students. They tower above tiny school boys and girls.
Another issue with Student of the Year 2 is that in the age of Me Too, it pushes the two actresses to either being mere support to the men or a driving point for an ego-clash between the two. Unlike the first installment in which girls participated in all events to fight for this ‘coveted’ trophy, they are just cheerleaders in this. Tara Sutaria plays an amitious girl who dreams big but she suddenly loses the track and gets into the love triangle without an explanation. There is high on testosterone battle between the guys and the girls just dance and dance and clap for them and when one of them says I am his girlfriend, another says me too! Whatever happened to feminism.
To be fair to the cast they have done whatever was expected of them and whatever people who helmed the project viz., director Punit Malhotra and writer Arshad Sayed, must have asked them. The problem does not lie in the onenote acting of Tara Sutaria or flying Tiger Shroff, its with these two the buck stops. Of the three leads, Ananya Panday gets a character arc and we see some plot and spark there but the rest of the movie begins with a Kabaddi match, moves on to a dance competition, then another dance competition and then the big kabaddi tournament whose photo-finish looks mildly borrowed from Lagaan and Jaden Smith’s Karate Kid.
Student of the Year 2 tries everything. In parts it is a dance movie, a sports movie, a college movie, a love-triangle, a class conflict drama… but nothing works because nothing is connected. Music is not impressive either, songs come and go without moving beyond your ear lobes barring Kishore Kumar’s evergreen Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.
Last month we got a sequel of Avengers from Marvel. Everyone on the planet was waiting for it. And this month we get another sequel from Dharma and no one wanted it. After the monstrous success of Avengers, Bollywood really needs to get its act right and focus on better stuff like we saw last year. We can surely do better than this!