“These are the best days of your life, enjoy it as much as you can.” A statement we often come across during the “golden days” of our college time. Ask anybody about the most fun phase of their life and they inadvertently go back to the days of their schooling. Justifiable then that filmmakers choose to focus on this period of our life so often. But is Bollywood successful in capturing the true emotions of our late teenage life? Well, for the most part, no.
One of the most prominent campus dramas in the past years has been Karan Johar’s Student of the Year (2012), the first look posters for whose second installment were revealed yesterday. But clearly enough, the artificial world that Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan inhabit is a far cry from the one we live in. After all, our school buildings don’t look like lavish five-star hotels, we don’t drive up to our schools in luxury sports cars (uh, legal age to drive?) and we have strict dress codes to follow.
But as is always the case, Bollywood too has its select few campus dramas that capture the emotions of Indian young adults quite beautifully. Here we name a few of those flawless gems that Karan Johar could take inspiration from.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
There is something about Aamir Khan’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar that every time you watch the film, you are transported to those carefree school days. When you could easily relate to the everyday life of Sanju and the gang. Though the coming-of-age drama takes a very serious turn towards the second half, director Mansoor Khan was able to effectively convey the rivalry between the spoilt brat kind of kids of the upmarket boarding schools on one side and the not-so-affluent local kids, the ‘Pyjamachaps’ on the other.
This underrated Nagesh Kukunoor coming-of-age drama is the story of Rajesh Naidu (Rohan Dey) who is unleashed to a whole new world when he joins Rockford Boy’s High School. Rajesh’s 13-year-old world feels all too real and that is where the film scores. From the typical schoolboy pranks to his first kiss, everything in Rockford adds up to a simple, straightforward and realistic film about teenage life.
This Prakash Jha film starring Deepika Padukone, Saif Ali Khan and Amitabh Bachchan dealt with the sensitive issue of reservation in Indian colleges and universities. Reservation in educational institutions is something that has affected each one of us and Jha’s film was successful in presenting an honest picture of both the sides of the argument. Along with it, Jha also ventures into exploring the ongoings of the coaching class industry which makes the film a little disjointed in some opinion but nevertheless, Aarakshan is definitely worth a watch.
3 Idiots (2009)
Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots is often considered a landmark film in the history of Hindi films. Inspired by the novel Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat, the film enters the world of engineering colleges with Rancho, Raju and Farhan. From commenting on the kind of pressure on students to excel in their studies to calling out the faulty system of education in our country, 3 Idiots did it all through the light-hearted tale of these three students enrolled in one of the most prestigious colleges in our country.