Student of the Year
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  • Student of the Year
  • 146 minutes  -  Comedy
  • Original title: Student of the Year
  • Director:Karan Johar
  • Language: Hindi
  • Country: India

Most of Karan Johar's movies make bank at the box office, but if you have any sense of logic or depth, you’ll probably wonder why you spent your 200 rupees. Student of the Year is no different.

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REVIEW BY M. E. Movie EXPERT
Review posted: 25/03/2014

We all love (or love to hate) Karan Johar on his talk show Koffee with Karan, and we can even accept him as a film producer. But it always tends to get a little dicey when he steps behind the camera to direct. Most of his movies make bank at the box office, but if you have any sense of logic or depth, you’ll probably wonder why you spent your 200 rupees. Student of the Year is no different. Luckily for you, the reader, you’re just looking to learn Hindi.


"Most of Karan Johar's movies make bank at the box office, but if you have any sense of logic or depth, you’ll probably wonder why you spent your 200 rupees."


Abhimanyu (Siddharth Malhotra), Shanaya (Alia Bhatt), and Rohan (Varun Dhawan) are supposedly everyday Indian kids attending a ritzy boarding school where everyone wears matching blazers to class. Shanaya and Rohan are a popular couple. Rohan arrived to school on a scholarship, but despite being poor he somehow always dresses up in the nicest clothes. At first, he doesn’t get along with Abhimanyu and even plays a few bizarre pranks on him. However, the two finally bond and, along with Shanaya, they jet off to Thailand, to attend Rohan’s brother’s wedding. Of course, Shanaya and Abhimanyu fall in love, and some complicated romance happens.

Back at the ritzy school, the “Student of the Year” contest begins, which is something like an IQ test mixed with The Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance, and a triathlon. And to finish things off, the characters participate in a treasure hunt. All of these contests are very important in order to determine the “Student of the Year,” and Rohan wins after some big “tamasha” (drama), as we say in Hindi. But along the way he loses everything else in life: his father, his girlfriend, his friends, and his best friend. Rohan blames it on the school, the contest, and the school dean, eventually leading to the dean’s retirement and absolute withdrawal from society, because he feels “doshi” (guilty) about having ruined friendships. Ten years later, the friends get back together, the dean has a heart attack, and we all learn Abhimanyu and Shanaya wound up getting married. And, yes, ten years later, Rohan is still pissed off about what happened, but everyone kisses, makes up, and lives happily ever after.

With such a subpar plot, there can only be subpar dialogue. You can’t expect much from bratty high school students or Karan Johar. What you can expect, however, is Varun Dhawan uttering lines like, “Akad ki bhi aukaad hoti hai” (Even attitude has a standard) or someone else asking, “Abhe tu aadmi hai yah Google?” (Are you a man or Google?) This movie will leave you pondering philosophical nuggets like, “Aadmi ya toh chamcha hota hai ya kaanta.” In English, this translates into: “Man is either a spoon or a fork.” Now, as to what that actually means, well, you’ll have to chew on it.


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