Early on in life, I started believing that college was supposed to be all about fun, sports, and love. What about studies? Well, who goes to college to study anyway? I was just a three-year-old munchkin when Kuch Kuch Hota Hai released, and as I grew up to watch it, I was charmed by Rahul’s cool quotient, bedazzled by Tina’s style, and dumbfounded by Anjali’s awesomeness. It was one of the movies that I loved during my childhood.
And why wouldn’t I love it? It created icons of college coolth. It told us, kids, that, “Pyaar Dosti hai” (Love is friendship). It made us fall in love with the concept of summer camps. And most importantly, it taught us that plain Janes grow up to be the hottest women.
What’s one thing that’s essential to make a Karan Johar movie? It’s not the foreign locales or the super-scenic love songs. It’s the love stories and the love triangles. With movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Karan Jahar redefined college life and family drama for us. I realized that life was a little ‘extra’ in these movies, but nonetheless, I am guilty of being a fan.
So, a decade and a half later, Karan Johar came up with yet another refreshing love triangle set in a boarding school-Student of the Year. This time around, I watched it with my school friends. The movie released at a time when I was in my final year of schooling, and we were all excited to watch a story of love and friendship at the backdrop of a school. But, when we draw parallels between KKHH and SOTY, just like the former, the latter, too, is all about unrealistic students. The students who are under glossy clothes and a heavy dose of Johar’s idea of beauty are caught in their conundrums that arise out of love, friendship, and family. Well, looks like we are forever trapped in this realm of cinema.
Just like I did, do you too, find a resemblance between the two movies?
Here’s what I noted when I compared the two:
1. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is about Rahul, Tina, and Anjali. Student of the Year is about Abhimanyu, Shanaya, and Rohan. What transpires between the three is obviously a love triangle. I realized that both the movies are both built on the same foundation.
2. Rahul was the coolest guy in St. Xavier’s college, and Rohan was the most sought-after, rich and handsome hunk at St Teresa. Is it a coincidence that they both stroked their egos with the amount of female attention they got? Shanaya was crazy about Rohan, but Rohan always kept his options open for the hottest babe in town. Does that ring a bell? Rahul did that too, right? Anjali was always by Rahul’s side, but he unabashedly distributed friendship bands to all the women. Rahul and Rohan were all about following beautiful women and flirting with them.
3. I realized that it always takes a third person to make one realize that a woman is pretty and worthy of being loved. In SOTY, Abhimanyu’s growing affection towards Shanaya made Rohan jealous and finally acknowledge his love for her. And, in KKHH, an eight-year-old girl does this job.
4. Let’s talk about the Principals. Both the Principals in question are single, and are lusting after the love of their lives- in SOTY, Principal Yoginder Vasisht, has a crush on the football team coach, and in KKHH, Malhotra is seen having the hots for his colleague Ms. Braganza. The only difference is that SOTY talks about queer love.
5. There’s not much difference between the liberal attitudes of the principals. Both, Rishi Kapoor and Anupam Kher play the roles of liberal and loveable principals who are trying to keep the students in line.
6. Irrespective of the innocent portrayal of love and acceptance, both Alia and Kajol are reduced to being just love interests of Rohan and Rahul respectively.
7. There’s something about sports and these two movies. One had basketball, and the other had football. Both the movies use the area of sports to build a relationship between the lead characters. In KKHH, Anjali and Rahul are basketball buddies, and in SOTY, Abhimanyu and Rohan are seen competing with each other to not just win the trophy, but also Shanya’s heart.
8. Both the movies teach you that the toughest thing in college and school isn’t anything to do with studies, but a lot to do with broken friendships, twisted competitions, and complicated love triangles.
9. I realized that both the movies believe that friendship is what leads you to fall in love with each other. In KKHH, it’s quite obvious, but in SOTY, Abhimanyu and Shanaya’s relationship is a product of their friendship. There is a strong emphasis on Bollywood’s most popular notion that Ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte (a boy and a girl can never be friends).
10. And, on the flip side, the young kids of Student of the Year do not shy away from shooting expletives with tact, locking lips with panache, and parade around comfortably in their skimpy beachwear. That’s quite unlike the distinctly coy temperament of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Student of the Year and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai were both films that the youth loved and cherished. Irrespective of their similarities or differences, both the movies did create history and were the talk of the town for the longest time. Don’t you think so?
What do you think of the two movies? Let us know in the comments below.