Student of the Year 2 movie cast: Tiger Shroff, Aditya Seal, Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria, Gul Panag, Manoj Pahwa, Samir Soni
Student of the Year 2 movie director: Punit Malhotra
Student of the Year 2 movie rating: One and a half stars
A grand edifice meant to be a fount of excellence in education? Check. Pretty young things all buffed and polished wandering around the corridors of the ‘college’ masquerading as ‘students’? On point. The clash of the entitled snobby rich vs the earnest, grounded middle-class? All present and accounted for.
SOTY 2 is a sequel to the first 2012 edition, and it doesn’t even bother refreshing the template: everything is dispiritedly familiar. And that is precisely the problem: despite the presence of singing-dancing-fighting hotstar Tiger Shroff, two brand new female leads, Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday, and a whole new set of ‘teachers’, this part two comes off choppy and jaded.
When you have Tiger Shroff as your primary eye-ball gatherer, the script has to be bent to his strengths, and as Rohan Sachdev the-underdog-with-big-dreams who enters the hallowed portals of St Teresa’s, he’s given every opportunity to ripple his admirable musculature, and show off his dancing prowess. But what can even the most agile workhorse, even if he has a limited emoting repertoire, do, if the set-pieces are so done-to-death?
Hang on, there is one new thing in the film, and that’s the introduction of kabaddi in the big inter-school competition. There’s a great deal of pom-pom-shaking, cheer-leading- young-ladies schitck and rah-rah-ing locker-room enthusiasm in the playing of it, but SOTY 2 takes care to offset the commonplace-ness of that game with the dance-offs leading to the big dancing competition. I have to say the kabbadi raids are far more interesting than all the dancing done in this film: there’s not one spirited ‘Radha on the dance-floor’ in this movie, alas.
Shroff executes his dances-and-fights efficiently, even though his struggles to appear student-like are far more evident than his co-stars, who may just pass off as young college-goers if they took the layers of make-up and skin-tight tube dresses off.
That niggle is moot because this is a Karan Johar production where no-classes-no-books rule. Of course, you don’t go looking for any realism or sense, but it’s not even properly silly, and the standard of what passes for acting is so low sticks that in the craw. Sutaria is perfectly put together and yet looks assembly-line produced. Panday (daughter of Chunkey) is much more animated, and shows promise. But there’s zero sizzle among the- two -girls -who -love -the -same boy angle. There’s more happening between the two male leads, Shroff and his chief rival, the Bad Rich Boy Manav, played by Seal, who sparks here and there.
The running time is too long for what is, essentially, yet-another-buffed-up-version of ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander’ crossed with ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. Despite its problems, the 2012 flick had a certain goofiness to it. This class of 2019 is awash with predictable beats, which is to be expected from an underdog story, but that it is so clichéd and stilted, is disappointing: from KJo I expect much more swish and sparkle.
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