Student Of The Year 2 movie review: In Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday’s film, textbooks are props and props are stars

Student of the Year 2

Director – Punit Malhotra

Cast- Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria

Rating – 1.5/5

First love works the first time. Pehla Nasha was the loveliest song of the smitten — at least for those among my generation — and it worked because of its wistfulness, where the idea of falling for someone felt as special as your own private whirlwind, something nobody would quite understand. Student Of The Year 2 aspires to tread on the same tracks as Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, the film Pehla Nasha was from, but wears romance like an accessory: a medallion that can bounce off the hero’s pectorals. “Mere liye school pyar ka mandir tha,” says the hero without a touch of irony. “Love temple.”

Watch the Student of the Year 2 trailer here

Irony is in predictably short supply. In this laminated depiction of college life, the boy is capable of all superheroics as the girls cheer him from the sidelines. At some point an actress, whose wardrober definitely worked harder than she, wears a skirt with the words “Need No Stylist” printed across it. Directed by Punit Malhotra — who once made the insufferable I Hate Luv Storys — this attempt at Archie Comics wants to be frothy but emerges merely aerated. The film exists exclusively to flaunt Tiger Shroff’s physique.

WATCH: Student of the Year 2 | Public Review

The spine of the story comes from the still-refreshing JJWS, as mentioned, but here the college rivalries feel hollow throughout. This is largely because the boy, Rohan, played by Shroff, isn’t allowed to put a foot wrong. He sprints record-breakingly fast, is the king of kabaddi and seems to dance at a different frame rate. It is dashed difficult to root for an underdog when he’s the only one on the scraggly team with a sponsor logo on his vest.

Still, Shroff is sincere. As is Ananya Pandey, who takes a poorly written character — the super-rich brat who sobs into her birthday cake — and at least attempts to give her a vibe, and Aditya Seal, who has fun playing Reggie With The Good Hair. The kids aren’t intolerable, the motives are. The film lacks drama, conflict and narrative tension, with dialogues written for mannequins. The atrociously fit Gul Panag shows up as a sports coach allegedly horny for fitness, but by the climax shakes her head as if unable to bear these childish shenanigans in the guise of sport.

At one point the guy sits at a cafe table, flanked by the two hysterical girls, one of whom holds a love letter. He’s asking them not to cry while they keep calling him ‘Ro,’ which is Hindi for ‘cry.’ (He seems obedient.) As Archies go, this is a truly mediocre double-digest. It didn’t surprise me when an economics class (the only example of studying) was interrupted on a whim. In this world, textbooks are props, and props are stars.

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