Student of the Year was simply an apology by Karan Johar for being a flamboyant, closeted, powerful homosexual who takes pleasure in flaunting shirtless muscle queens for his own liking while refusing to show actual compassion to gay people. He sublimated himself through the Dean character, played by Rishi Kapoor–a lecherous, pink-wearing, bumbling homosexual with mommy issues. Kapoor even admits that he based his mannerisms and character on KJo himself. So in a climactic scene, [SPOILER ALERT] when one student calls the Dean out for requiring him to have a dance partner when they both know how difficult it is for people like them to find dance partners, it’s as if Karan Johar is fessing up to the perpetual heteronormativity of his films.
But then why KJo do you have to repeatedly require your hero characters to announce that they are not gay during the film? And why does the tomboyish (hopefully lesbian) best friend to the heroine have to prove her heterosexuality by showing off baby pictures 10 years down the road? And why is the implicitly gay student fat and goofy and not a heartthrob like all the other men in the film? And why would you repeat the clichéd Sedgewickian love-triangle in which two men play out their (very physical) homosocial love over a woman’s body?
While I’m on a roll, here are a few other gripes: Couldn’t you have paid a little more attention to building Shania’s character? Are you only able to make movies about unfathomably rich people? Why was the “poor” hero wearing branded clothes? Why include a glimpse of an Ayn Rand book when the film critiques the individualism she espouses? Why is Ram Kapoor the only man with chest hair in the movie? Why can two of your three lead actors so easily pass for white? Why did you sample old-school tracks without giving the choreography any old-school flair, what sort of camp queen are you? Why did you waste Kajol’s cameo? Why was Rohan’s mother such a wuss, and Abhimanyu’s aunt such a biyatch? Why was Farida Jalal just playing Farida Jalal? Do you hate women?
The only praise you deserve is for casting Ronit Roy as the coach. He is a hell of a silver fox. However, the dean’s complete disdain for the coach’s wife is precisely how you approached Shania’s flaccid character: let’s focus on the (straight) boys because at the end of the day the women don’t matter.
KJo, this movie was not about a high-school friendship. It was premised on Rishi Kapoor’s character reuniting divided friends in order to redeem himself after being accused of being a bitter, lonely, selfish man. But other than making his (financially struggling) ex-students return to Dheradoon, what does the dean really do to demonstrate remorse or even transformation. If you’re looking for sympathy KJo, fat chance. You have enough resources to cushion yourself from any kind of backlash if you were to make a bold movie about homosexuality! This was a paltry attempt at making a statement about queer anything.
Next life, KJo. *wink*