What would happen if you were to mix up Karan Johar's "unrealistic, garish college" formula from Student of the Year
with the evergreen Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
? A movie that would still be better than Student Of The Year 2, because it is that bad. Once you get past the gloss that is Dharma Productions, Student Of The Year 2 is just a sub-par attempt at trying to capture the whirlwind that is college life.
Director Puneet Malhotra, last seen in the uninspiring Gori Tere Pyar Mein
, seems to be hell-bent on using the significant resources at his disposal to make everyone in Student Of The Year 2 a showy, glammed-up version of themselves without particularly caring about the plot.
Rohan Sachdev (Tiger Shroff) is your average, middle-class athlete from the rather plebeian Pishorilal Chamandas College, who wants to follow his old girlfriend Mridula (Tara Sutaria) to the posh Saint Teresa College to help her realise her dreams (oh, did we mention that Rohan is a jacked-up, perfectly sculpted young man who would put Adonis to shame?). After winning a sports scholarship to Saint Teresa, Rohan finds out that his old flame has now "evolved" into Mia, and that he is out of place in this glamorous institution.
Adding to his misery is snotty rich kid Shreya Randhawa (Ananya Pandey), whose only purpose in the first half of the movie is to mess with Rohan. Dealing with being kicked out of Teresa College, and nursing a broken heart, Rohan challenges Manav Randhawa (Aditya Seal) to the coveted "Student Of The Year" trophy at the Dignity Cup, an annual event between eight colleges that features athletics and kabbadi. Now back at Pishorilal, Rohan trains with his former mates for the inevitable clash between David and Goliath.
Physically flawless, impeccably dressed men and women adorn the halls of Saint Teresa College, but pretty much nobody actually appears to be a college student. Student Of The Year 2 puts so much focus on making sure that everyone is decked up in glitzy ensembles, that the script seems almost an afterthought. There is little substance to the plot of the film, none of the characters' motivations seem interesting, and whole movie comes off as vapid. Hell, Shroff's Rohan doesn't even make a believable underdog!
Women appear irrelevant in the world of SOTY 2, because the title of "Student Of The Year" is awarded through performances in the Dignity Cup, which is exclusively for male athletes. Tara Sutaria's Mia, in particular, is seen as little more than a trophy that both the good guy and the bad guy are squabbling over.
Tiger Shroff knows how to look good (especially when he fights) and dance well. What he doesn't know, though, is how to have more than a couple of expressions. Tiger seems either angry or unconcerned throughout the movie, but we can't really blame him for that. Tara Sutaria perennially sports a disinterested look, matching her male co-star. Ananya Pandey is annoying at first with her lonely rich girl persona, but she slowly grows onto you - it is a pity she didn't get a better launch vehicle for her debut. Aditya Seal is almost a match for Shroff during the action scenes, but joins his other co-stars in looking similarly indifferent.
The music is catchy, with inputs from both Salim-Sulaiman and Vishal-Shekhar. A remixed version of the classic Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani is the one we suspect will be an earworm. The concept for the song at the end is based on the previous Student Of The Year
movie, and also features an appearance by Alia Bhatt.
It took us superhuman effort to not walk out of the movie during the interval, and we have to admit that even we couldn't sit through the credits. If you're not a hardcore fan of Dharma Productions, doing almost anything else would be a better utilisation of your time.