October 31, 2012

Student of the Year

Or Delhi Boys and A Bimbo
Student of the Year is full of surprises. I mean it. It's full of surprises because you won't laugh at the supposedly funny parts. Nothing is sad about the supposedly sad parts. Supposedly serious bits are funny. And matter-of-fact statements are the truly sad parts of the movie.

(Beware: Post contains spoilers. If you intend to watch SOTY for its storyline *snigger* please leave now.)

Coming to SOTY. It's a high school story. Which Karan Johar first did when he was 26, and is now repeating at 40 with far more retarded characters. (On some level one can empathise, because the older one gets, the more idiotic 17-year-olds begin to look.)

So there's a blonde girl with expensive bags (basically the movie Aisha compressed into 1 character), and 2 guys who first hate each other, then are friends, then hate each other again, then become friends again, then... *yawn*

The first half of the movie is spent in introducing everyone with their own personalised song. We're told that Siddharth Malhotra is a poor kid (not really borne out by all his designer clothing, but hey, Manish Malhotra is his uncle so how can he wear regular clothes?) whose family hates him, Varun Dhawan is a rich kid whose dad hates him. Alia Bhatt is also a rich kid with a mother who's too focused on the stepdad. These one-liner family stories are the reason why all three behave with such complete idiocy (or so the film tries to tell you).

All 3 children (2 of whom have large biceps and six pack abs, like every 17-year-old) go to a school for the super-rich, which looks like the set of Mohabbatein met the set of a bad Hollywood sci-fi movie and had a baby. The school is a premier institution with no teachers, no dress code and no fixed schedule. Rishi Kapoor is the Dean of this place (completely over the top), and why Karan Johar of all people would choose to be so offensive to gay people is something we'll never know.

In true Johar style, the movie has 1 wedding song, 1 nightclub song, 1 party song and a few love songs in the snow. In true Johar style, most of these are in Punjabi and sound more or less like the others. Good so far. Now you have a competition (basically a Triwizard Tournament ripoff) where kids have to prove themselves to be the best student in the school.

So, they first take an IQ test. This IQ test is preceded by students studying really hard (background song goes, Ratta maar). To study for an IQ test is... well, unfortunately it's a rather accurate reflection of the Indian education system. Go, KJo. Even if this was unintended.

Alia Bhatt, easily the dumbest person in history (not just this school) is in the top 16 of that IQ test.

In real life this would happen only if all the other people taking that test were chimps who had been hit hard on the head 3 times each.

The next round is a dance competition.

Because that, apparently, is how a lunatic house like the premier school judges people. No boring things like social work, debates, extracurrics or responsibilities. Nope. It's gotta be a dance competition. So that Alia gets to dance and both guys can wear tuxes that have been taped to their abs.

Finally, you have a triathlon. Where you pit men, women, short people, tall people, heavyweights and lightweights all together in swimming, cycling and running.

Decision makers at the premier institution clearly haven't seen any sporting events either. Or, for that matter, used their brains.

There are obligatory sardar jokes, fat jokes and gay jokes. In a blow to intelligence everywhere, this competition plays out. In a blow to common sense, Rishi Kapoor practically goes into depression because two 17-year-old boys stop talking to each other.

In a blow to women at large, all women in the movie are bimbos, their participation in the competition is token, and the one girl who does manage to do something with it is, at the end of the movie, appropriately pretty-fied and a "happy housewife". Joy to the world.

But those aren't the most shocking bits. The most shocking bit of the movie is the football coach (Ronit Roy), being Gujarati. Come on. When has any Gujju you know, shown a single sign of being able to play even TT well? :P

October 28, 2012


There are many reasons one could love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the foremost being reading it. I haven't yet met a person who hasn't absolutely loved it, which is saying quite something because there are people who dislike Wodehouse. :-/ Clearly humour is a subjective thing... but as I said, everyone agrees on HGG.

The books are mostly logic-defying humour with a bit of sci-fi (people from all across the galaxy are travelling all over the place to do something that no one is sure of. Basically.) They cover a bunch of philosophical questions, life crises and whatnot, but one of my favourites is pasted below.

A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox’s table, a large fat meaty quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips.

‘Good evening’, it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, ‘I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts of my body?’

It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters in to a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them. Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox.

‘Something off the shoulder perhaps?’ suggested the animal, ‘Braised in a white wine sauce?’

‘Er, your shoulder?’ said Arthur in a horrified whisper.
‘But naturally my shoulder, sir,’ mooed the animal contentedly, ‘nobody else’s is mine to offer.’
Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling the animal’s shoulder appreciatively.
‘Or the rump is very good,’ murmured the animal. ‘I’ve been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there’s a lot of good meat there.’
It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew the cud. It swallowed the cud again.

‘Or a casserole of me perhaps?’ it added.
‘You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?’ whispered Trillian to Ford.
‘Me?’ said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes, ‘I don’t mean anything.’
‘That’s absolutely horrible,’ exclaimed Arthur, ‘the most revolting thing I’ve ever heard.’
‘What’s the problem Earthman?’ said Zaphod, now transferring his attention to the animal’s enormous rump.
‘I just don’t want to eat an animal that’s standing there inviting me to,’ said Arthur, ‘It’s heartless.’
‘Better than eating an animal that doesn’t want to be eaten,’ said Zaphod.

‘That’s not the point,’ Arthur protested. Then he thought about it for a moment. ‘Alright,’ he said, ‘maybe it is the point. I don’t care, I’m not going to think about it now. I’ll just … er … I think I’ll just have a green salad,’ he muttered.
‘May I urge you to consider my liver?’ asked the animal, ‘it must be very rich and tender by now, I’ve been force-feeding myself for months.’
‘A green salad,’ said Arthur emphatically.
‘A green salad?’ said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.
‘Are you going to tell me,’ said Arthur, ‘that I shouldn’t have green salad?’
‘Well,’ said the animal, ‘I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.’

It managed a very slight bow.
‘Glass of water please,’ said Arthur.
‘Look,’ said Zaphod, ‘we want to eat, we don’t want to make a meal of the issues. Four rare stakes please, and hurry. We haven’t eaten in five hundred and seventy-six thousand million years.’
The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle. ‘A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good,’ it said, ‘I’ll just nip off and shoot myself.’

He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur.
‘Don’t worry, sir,’ he said, ‘I’ll be very humane.’