Cast: Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, Ananya Panday
Director: Punit Malhotra
What’s it about:
A young small-town boy from a modest college chases his childhood sweetheart and gets himself admitted into the most upscale campus in the city, then competes with his old college, gets into trouble at the new college, drops out from the new college, goes back to the old college and again competes with the new one, to become a Student of the Year – all in the same term. Phew!
Don’t ask me how the above is possible, because, like all of you, I went to a college that took admissions only once a year. Of course, my college also did not have a constant parade of hot shot models sporting skimpy designer labels, dudes with muscles rippling, tight tees and hair blow dried to perfection, a colorful campus that was witness to all the action and drama between students, who couldn’t care less about attendance or studies. Welcome to the KJO school of cinema. Here, the only person in uniform is perhaps the security guard and the only professor around is a 40-something broad, who is a sports/dance/drama coach – well the jury is out on that. The principal is a comic character, who doubles up as a host at mega sporting events (like the Dignity Cup). He suffers from a unique short term memory loss, where he forgets names of people, things, and places and needs constant prompting. But this only happens when he is hosting an event, trying to ape Vidya Balan from Lage Raho Munnabhai. So weird!
But enough about the faculty, meet the students. Our hero is Rohan (Tiger Shroff). He is a man of many talents. He leaps, jumps and flips at every given opportunity. He is a lover boy at heart, and fiercely competitive in sports. But, by his own admission, he has no dreams of his own. Do you get the stark contrast? Never mind. Meet his lady love. Her name is Mridula (in Mussoorie), but on the campus (in Dehradun) she likes to go by the name Mia. It’s classy (I mean wannabe). Mia falls in and out of love, quite rapidly, even when it involves her bachpan ka pyaar Rohan. Enter, Shreya (Ananya Panday). The rich spoilt college brat with daddy issues. Her brother Manav is the current poster boy of the same college, but the two share a confused sibling rivalry that is forced and devoid of any conviction – much like everything else in the story. From an unconvincing love triangle to making you root for the underdog, director Punit Malhotra uses every opportunity to glam up the proceedings that are great for the visual effect but does little to make you believe in the characters.
There are moments that capture Tiger’s gravity-defying action, his nimble dance moves and starry screen presence. Shroff along with the two new students need many more classes in acting to perfect their art. Film’s anti-hero Aditya Seal, on the other hand, looks like quite the charmer, surprisingly sporting a straight out of the 70’s look. Thankfully, his character gets some shades and layers just slightly less deep than the make-up of the two girls.
The film has scope for comedy that is utilized well at places, but apart from YouTuber Harsh Beniwal, who plays Tiger’s friend, rest of the character artists are reduced to a laughing stock. Ironically, none of the songs, except the Jawaani mix are memorable in this so-called high school musical.
Well, so if you want 2 and a half hour class in fashion, friendships, love, ladkiyan and ladaiyyan, then enroll now. Admissions are open to this Desi Glee.