146 Min. | Comedy – Romance | October 2012
IMDB Rating: 5.4
Director: Karan Johar
Staring: Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan
Student of the Year Review: Over 95% of India’s population lives in object poverty. There are thousands of children without homes. Women still have little standing on a day-to-day basis. But people still go to the cinema. Bollywood is still able to make movies that make over 100 crores. Cinema has the unique ability of providing mindless entertainment, that anyone can watch, and for two to three hours viewers can forget about their own problems. Karan Johar has brought us great movies: Dostana, which subtly opened India up to homosexuality, My Name is Khan, which highlighted an important issue about Muslims in America. And then he made Student of the Year, a mix of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s love triangle and 3 Idiots’ theme of competition. Student of the Year was, an attempt to reflect on friendships and underline their importance over ‘being the best’. It was an attempt to show that, in the end, the trophies you win, the grades you get and the money you make does not define you.
Instead, what defines you, are the people you touch and the relationships you have. It was at heart a beautiful concept and an important one too. Student of Year did achieve that goal, but in its wake it left a trail of subtle hints that all point to disrespect and ignorance. The movie was funny, it had great eye candy, catchy tunes and even the acting was okay. But in the process the movie described a life in which all women were good for was talking about shoes. The movie overlooks that the majority of its’ audience will never ever be able to live like the glamorous snobby people embodied. Cinema should be a trend setter, it should strive to make the country a better place to live in. Instead it told women that they should sit back and read fashion magazines and worry about their hair and boys. It told women that they would never be able to compete with men. It told women that all they will ever achieve is being a housewife. What message is that? And what message is a young woman like Alia Bhatt sending the country when she accepts a role that does this? We live in the twenty-first century and Student of the Year has taken us back seven decades.
As movies strive to reach their audience, they should portray hope and satisfaction, but from the opening credits to the final song Student of the Year flaunted a blatant indifference toward the destitution in India. What kind of a movie parades around such an obvious waste of wealth and prosperity? Student of the Year was literally floating in a vast sea of affluence and fortune. Student of the Year in its essence spoke to the chauvinism so rampant in the country and alienated the entire middle class with avid disregard for money. In its quest to sell tickets and make money the makers have shown an uncaring disregard for their roles as cinematographers. It has take away the very thing movies are supposed to give, hope.