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Serena Menon, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 19, 2012
Hours before the film releases and a day before the reviews appear, here’s what you can expect from this week’s release(s)… Film: Student Of The Year

Varun Dhawan (debut), Siddharth Malhotra (debut) and Alia Bhatt (debut) Storyline: Shanaya, Rohan and Abhimanyu (even though their real names sound more filmi) are exactly the school kids you’d imagine to see in a Karan Johar film — they dance in sync, excel at sports and fall madly in love at their innocent ages. Oh, there’s also some ‘student of the year’ award that they’re squabbling over on the side.

Karan Johar
As surprising as it may seem, KJo hasn’t directed as many films as one would imagine. This, his fifth in 14 years, comes after his last, My Name Is Khan (2010). Rumours claim that the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer has become a case study for those studying how to promote a film so much that it can’t possibly flop.

The music has largely received positive reviews and, on an even wider scale, made its way into all Bollywood party albums. Fast numbers like ‘Disco deewane’ and ‘Vele vele’ are what reviews call “youthful and entertaining” songs.

The film has been making news about its three debutants for a long, long time now. But it’s a few years too soon for the star kids to be stirring up trouble. Wait till they begin signing their second films.

Karan Johar has faithfully been escorting the three youngsters around town to Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday party, publication offices and news channels. He’s been showcasing their talent and hoping that in the end, everyone believes that he actually bumped into Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter in a long queue of auditioning newbies.

Our assessment
As long as Karan Johar believes school kids look, talk and act the way they do in this film, Bollywood will have always have one foot in a glittery gutter. This movie, safe to say, feels like a children’s film that is meant for ‘cool’ kids who feel children’s films are too beneath them to to watch; another one from the KJo factory.

—Compiled by Serena Menon

For the final verdict, look out for Anupama Chopra’s review tomorrow in the Watch & Listen page in the Hindustan Times