Much like its 2012 predecessor, Punit Malhotra’s “Student of the Year 2” has hardly any bearing on reality. The film is set in an alternate world that bears no resemblance to any college or school in India. This is a world where looks reign supreme, while talent counts for nothing and hard work matters when it comes to pumping iron in the gym.
The girls look like blown-up versions of Barbie dolls, with their straight hair and their perfectly made-up faces bereft of expression, while the male lead is depicted as an all-achieving superhuman who can do no wrong.
This is a film where 5-year-olds are obsessed with getting six-pack abs and boys wouldn’t dream of riding pink bikes – a film where regressive and traditional masculine and feminine roles are reinforced.
“Student of the Year 2” is unabashedly a film about pretty people pretending to have problems, and solving them, but even this is done in such a banal manner that it hardly manages to entertain.
Rohan (Tiger Shroff) is a boy from a middle-class family who wants to get into the swanky college that his sweetheart, Mia (Tara Sutaria), goes to. When he finally gets in, on a scholarship, Rohan finds that the walls of the college contain a world that is completely different from the one he is used to. Mia is a changed girl, and the college jock, Manav (Aditya Seal), and his spoiled brat of a sister, Shreya (Ananya Pandey), are out to ruin what Rohan thought would be a dream come true.
The only way Rohan can show them up and regain his confidence is through an inter-school competition called the Dignity Cup. The competition is open only to the boys, while the girls play beaming cheerleaders. Director Malhotra and writer Arshad Syed do not stray from the style of the first film and its sole intention of showcasing perfectly sculpted bodies. Here, story and emotions are perfunctory at best.
With his dancing skills and ripped body, Shroff is perfectly suited to the role of Rohan, but there is nothing in this film that we haven’t seen him do before. A stony-faced Tara Sutaria comes off as too self-conscious in her attempt to play Mia. It is Ananya Pandey who stands out among what is otherwise a mediocre cast. As Shreya, she displays some spunk and life, and is the best thing about this film.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.