Film: Student of the Year 2; Cast: Tiger Shroff, Aditya Seal, Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria; Director: Punit Malhotra; Rating: ** (2 stars)
In a film that runs on and on, almost as fast as its agile leading man, for nearly two and a half hours, "Student of the Year 2" (SOTY 2) leaves us with nothing except repeated visuals of youngsters pouting, preening and posing for the camera.
But the absence of any tangible takeaways in this designer version of Mansoor Khan's "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar", should be the least of our worries. Six years back when Karan Johar directed "Student of the Year", we all wondered what kind of educational opportunities awaits a nation where cinema propagates a classroom-free academy replete with colour, music, banter, flirtation, courtship... Everything except sex and education.
Yes, Karan Johar and his director Punit Malhotra want us to believe that these unrealistically groomed youngsters who look like they were born in the arms of Gucci, believe in immaculate conceptions and kindergarten deceptions. That they are constantly suspended in a state of blow-dried vacuousness. That even their emotions are customised.
There is not a single genuinely-felt emotion in the entire length and breadth of this expanded banquet of bacchanalia and boredom. The young cast tries... Oh, they try hard to infuse life into a comatose script. The older cast members don't even make an effort. Samir Soni filling in for Rishi Kapoor looks like he reported on the wrong set.
Never have I missed Rishi Kapoor so much. (Get well soon, Rishiji).
Now for the plot. No, not the one in the film which is skinnier than the film's four principal players all of whom display a nervous agility that would serve them well as cheerleaders in an IPL match. Here, their state of swanky agitation only makes us wonder what all the fuss is about.
I am talking about the plot to dislocate us from our mental equilibrium.
The lights are bright. Sadly, the aspirations are woefully low. This film is neither as dazzling a showcase for new talent (though admittedly debutantes Ananya and Tara have a bright future) nor is it sure whether it wants to be a successor to the first "Student of the year" film or to "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar". Or maybe both...
This confectionery film does serve only one purpose: that of showcasing Tiger's versatility. Whether he is dancing or fighting, Tiger is a delight to watch. But sadly, the film gives him Tiger meat to bite on, let alone any solid scenes to chew on.
The dialogues sound like group chats where everyone tries to be the smartest. The songs and dances are unbearably campy. The retro number "Yeh jawani hai deewani" is the perfect anthem for a film dedicated to the "josh and junoon" of the young.
Sadly not this one. Not this car wreck of a movie.