Does Bollywood Need Student Of The Year 2?

Student Of The Year 2 (SOTY 2) trailer was released with great fanfare and anticipation.

Unlike the first instalment, the movie marks the launchpad for not three but two new actors, those being Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria.

In comparison to the first, this is directed by Punit Malhotra (of I Hate Luv Storys fame) and is backed by Dharma Productions.

It is the second film in the SOTY franchise and also marks Tiger Shroff’s first collaboration with Dharma Productions.

What Does the Trailer Showcase?

The trailer does not give much away from the story except that Rohan (Tiger Shroff) who is determined to succeed he starts training for the Dignity Student Of The Year contest.

At one stage in the trailer, we see Rohan being rusticated from St Teresa’s high school.

Then at the next point, he pledges to defeat his arch-rival (played by Aditya Seal).

Throughout the trailer, we mainly see Tiger doing his usual gymnastic antiques.

His central character just seems way too heroic to be a student.

We see him do everything – dance, play sports and fight – except for studying.

Furthermore, his catchphrase “Din Tera Tha, Saal Mera Hoga” just reminds us of his previous films Heropanti and Baaghi.

In terms of offering something new, Tiger is sadly not given that opportunity.

Instead, we see more of his abs rather than his acting prowess, which is dissatisfactory because Tiger Shroff is very promising.

Let’s just hope that his work in the film itself prove everyone wrong.

Representation of Male & Female Youths

The issue with SOTY 2 is the dose of toxic masculinity.

Seeing two handsome hunks flex their muscles against each other is a concept which really is stuck in the early 2010s.

Whilst there was an overt exhibition of masculinity in SOTY, we saw more shades of love and friendship.

As such, the depictions of the female protagonists do not help much either.

One can overlook the larger-than-life designer clothing, which not ordinary students would wear in college.

However, seeing two girls of today cribbing and fighting over a boy is not a great reflection of the society we live in today.

Whilst the Shanaya character (played by Alia Bhatt) appeared like a bimbette on several occasions, she was quite strong-willed.

Remember that scene where Rohan (Varun Dhawan) and Abhimanyu (Sidharth Malhotra) fight and she interjects telling them to consider her feelings?

From the first glimpse, that maturity and sensitivity seem to be missing in Student Of The Year 2 trailer… One hopes that these main characters are more layered in the film.

As such, it is important for people to realise that teenage girls are not solely obsessed with boys, makeup and fashion.

There are a lot more ambitions and determination to succeed amidst the 21st-century youth.

It is about time that Hindi cinema, especially the mainstream/commercial cinema, steers away from teen caricatures.

How Relevant is SOTY 2 in Bollywood Today?

Bollywood seems to be taking a completely different direction.

The change in society, i.e. The #MeToo movement and abolishment of section 377 perhaps is reflective through the type of content being produced today.

If we focus on Bollywood films which exhibit the hopes and aspirations of Indian youths, movies like Gully Boy and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga competently do this.

In both cases, the two movies shatter glass ceilings regarding Indian hip-hop culture and same-sex relationships, respectively and focuses on the sentiments of youngsters.

SOTY 2 also aims to depict the hopes and aspirations of Indian youths but is comparatively comforted by the opulence of a big-budget and lavish canvas. 

Of recent, we are seeing the prominence of female-oriented films and there is a rise in realistic and organic movies.

For instance, the success of films like Badhaai Ho, AndhaDhun and Uri have contributed to the change in the landscape of ‘commercial’ Hindi cinema.

Contrastingly, the triumphs of movies such as Judwaa 2 and Luka Chhupi prove that there is always an audience for films which retain the escapism factor through entertainment.

So whilst this SOTY sequel is undoubtedly unsolicited, one looks forward to seeing how entertaining this Karan Johar production really is. 

Watch the trailer of Student Of The Year 2 here:

 

Student Of The Year releases in cinemas worldwide on 10th May 2019.

About Anuj Radia 778 Articles
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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