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Dreary Dancing

Saturday, May 11, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

Student Of The Year 2
Punit Malhotra
Cast: Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria, Aditya Seal and others
Rating: * 1/2

It says nothing for our country’s education system, if students in an elite college in Dehradun, have no other dreams than to win dance and kabaddi competitions. Which would lead to the fulfillment of what career goal, exactly? And pardon the ignorance, but do snooty students in posh colleges even play kabaddi? The dancing, is, of course, Bollywood style, with overdressed men and underdressed women. The females are mere cheerleaders for the muscular males who battle for the much-coveted Student Of The Year trophy. Nobody in this fancy Dharma Productions college even mentions studies!  

Student Of The Year 2, coming seven years after the first one, this one produced by Karan Johar, but directed by Punit Malhotra, is wall-to-wall cliché. It is meant just to display trendy outfits, display as much skin as possible—in a cold place, the girls are always skimpily dressed—the plot is purely incidental. The worst thing is that the trite script pitting mean rich guy against middle-class good guy is not even entertaining.

Rohan (Tiger Shroff) goes to the ordinary Pishorilal College, while his girlfriend Mridula (Tara Sutaria) gets admission to the swanky St Teresa; Rohan swings a sports scholarship and follows her there, only to find that she now calls herself Mia, and wants to belong to the cool set. The kids of the school trustee, overachieving brat Manav Randhawa (Aditya Seal) and his vampy sister Shreya (Ananya Panday) pretty much dominate the college—he is the kabaddi star and she the dancing queen. Only, Rohan is better at both, and gets on the bad side of the Radhawa siblings, so that he ends of losing his girlfriend and getting rusticated from St. Teresa. But, Shreya sashays over to his side, because, she has had enough of the nasty dad and brother, and well, there has to be a love triangle! Also because the writing that borrows equally from Archie comics and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, lacks imagination or freshness.

It is obvious to any watcher of Hindi films, that the underdog will win, never mind how many fights, dances and excruciatingly boring kabaddi matches the audience is put through for the film to reach its inevitable conclusion.

Tiger Shroff with his chiseled body and coiled-spring demeanour is perhaps better suited for action roles (like in the Baaghi films); he still needs to work on his acting and speech. Ananya Panday has screen presence, but is styled so that she looks like every other girl on campus wearing the same kind of outfits and hairstyle. If there is to be a SOTY 3, maybe somebody should be assigned to look around and understand what today’s teens are all about.

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