student of the year (2012) — the movie that spear three stars, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra – was a Karan Johar film in every way. It had the unrealistic premise of a prestigious school competition that included a scavenger hunt, a Bollywood dance competition and an athletic triathlon, all of which would establish a “student of the year”. Unheard of in the real world, but then you remember this is Karan Johar’s world – it’s a world where Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan play seventeen-year-olds in a school that has dormitories entirely apartments that are the size of plush apartments in Bombay and the only symbol of a uniform is a blazer. I’ll buy that, of course, because I mean I also grew up on a diet on movies where an eight-year-old girl reunited her dad with her best friend from college, and Bobby Deol escaped from prison via the toilet.
What I still find quite hard to swallow about SOTY is the planned dance competition that turned into a full-fledged party, with the judges joining in later. The dance competition was realistic for Bollywood – it’s the fact that Varun Dhawan managed to lose this competition that baffles me. I mean, it’s Varun Dhawan.
The Disco Deewane song begins with the chorus, “There’s something about tonight, there’s something really special”, with the other contestants and Sidharth and Varun twirling their dance partners, and Varun doing spectacular lifts with his partner. I’m impressed that he found time for rehearsals considering he just took it out on his dad, moved out of his lavish mansion to a hostel and found his girlfriend kissing his best friend – that’s a lot to deal with.
There are a lot of twists and turns, and for some reason judges Farah Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Vaibhavi Merchant are very happy with it and give it a thumbs up. We all need that motivation in life, sigh.
The camera then cuts to Sidharth and Varun doing some cool moves and then stalking each other like wolves (with a whole entourage in the back, who was right there dancing? They knew the steps these two were going do? have a week to rehearse an entire song with synchronized choreographed steps? Did the contestants just come up and do some basic steps and then walk off stage? What were the rules, urgh so many questions). Alia emerges, shaking a leg (literally), with a bunch of girls behind her as well. The judges are even more impressed by this and then Alia, Sidharth and Varun take to the dance floor. Yes, the main protagonists speak, because obviously.
What happened to the rest of the contestants while everyone and the whole school was dancing behind them? Did they just wait awkwardly while Sidharth, Varun and Alia danced in the middle of the stage with all their rambunctious love triangle dynamics on display?
Either way, the judges love all the drama and seem to be frantically scoring points. But whatever, I’ll try to accept all of that too, including Kajol who burst in as a guest, always appreciated. Still, throughout I can’t help but notice that Varun’s movements were much smoother than Sidharth (sorry Sid), including one of his robot steps before a verse that surpasses hat movements of Sidharth.
Towards the end of the song, once again the dance partners are thrown, Varun and Alia share a passionate (and decidedly awkward) moment as Alia, for some reason, slides to the floor, wonders if she’s lost points for it), before he throws (literally, he does) at Sidharth, who isn’t quite sure what to do with her. She’s too emotionally charged with her ex-boyfriend and lover who she shared a not-so-secret kiss with minutes ago, so she flees the scene.
The process of elimination suddenly begins near the end of the song – someone trips, someone’s jump doesn’t land, and suddenly it’s Sidharth versus Varun. Both dance on the same steps. It’s only for a few seconds, before the judges decide the winner. The winner is Sidharth. How? I know they wanted him to be the shining hero and master of all trades in the movie, but that’s unrealistic even for a Karan Johar movie.
To be honest, I don’t even know how the judges were able to remember the contestants’ faces because there seemed to be the entirety of Bombay dancing on that stage.
Sigh, happy birthday Varun Dhawan. You deserved to win that dance contest in your first movie. TTT…TTT.