Student of the Year is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama film directed by Karan Johar, based on a story by Johar and a script by Rensil D’Silva and Niranjan Iyengar, and produced by Hiroo Yash Johar under the banner of Dharma Productions and Gauri Khan under Red Chillies Entertainment. The film stars Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan in the lead roles, and also features Rishi Kapoor, Sana Saeed, Ronit Roy, Sahil Anand, Ram Kapoor and Farida Jalal in major supporting roles, with Boman Irani, Kajol, Farah Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant in guest appearances. This was Johar’s first and only feature film directorial venture without Shah Rukh Khan, as his next film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, had Khan in a cameo appearance.
Student of the Year was released on 19 October 2012 in over 1400 locations across India. It was one of the highest-grossing Bollywood film of year 2012.
A temporally unrelated sequel, Student of the Year 2, helmed by Johar’s protege and I Hate Luv Storys & Gori Tere Pyaar Mein director Punit Malhotra, was released on 10 May 2019, as a quasi-sequel, starring Tiger Shroff alongside debutantes Tara Sutaria and Ananya Pandey.
Former principal Dean Yogendra Vashisht of St. Teresa’s High School, Dehradun, had aged and fallen ill. His last wish was to see the students from his last batch, who were part of the “Student of the Year” competition. Some former students arrive at the hospital to meet the Dean and talk about their regrets from ten years ago in high school. They hold themselves responsible for the lively Dean having fallen ill. The film then goes into a flashback set ten years back at the high school.
The richest and most popular guy in the high school, Rohan “Ro” Nanda, is the son of a huge business tycoon Ashok Nanda, who also is the chief trustee of the high school. His father wants him to be a businessman just like him and disagrees with his passion for music. Shanaya Singhania, a fashion addict and the most popular girl in the campus, is Rohan’s girlfriend. She is dis-satisfied with her family, as her mother constantly divorces and marries rich men. Shanaya gets upset with Rohan’s regular flirting with Tanya Israni, another student and Shanaya’s arch-nemesis. Abhimanyu “Abhi” Singh, a new student, arrives at the high school and becomes the classy new heart-throb. An orphan from a middle-class family, he lives with his aunt, uncle, and grandmother. His dream is to become a big business tycoon like Ashok Nanda. Ro and Abhi initially don’t get along but soon become best friends. Ro introduces Shanaya to Abhi, warning Abhi not to get involved with her romantically, though Abhi convinces Ro that Shanaya is poles apart from him and that she better be with Ro only.
Abhi is invited to Ro’s elder brother’s destination wedding in Thailand, which Shanaya and other rich family friends are attending as well. In Thailand, Shanaya sees Tanya and Ro flirting again and gets even more upset when Ro is rude to her and takes sides with Tanya. Abhi tells her that they can teach Ro to respect his girlfriend. At the sangeet, Shanaya openly flirts with Abhi, attempting to make Ro jealous. The plan works but Ro discovers she did this to get him back on track.
On the wedding day, Ro apologizes to her and is easily forgiven while Abhi realizes that he is in love with Shanaya. They head back to India, where the “Student of the Year” competition, which determines the best student intellectually and also the best sportsperson, commences. The first round is the quiz in which Ro, Abhi, Shanaya and most of their friends win. The second round is the treasure hunt. Abhi and Shanaya’s team wins the hunt, though Ro’s team also qualifies. Abhi’s grandmother falls sick and eventually dies. Shanaya stands by him during this difficult time. Upset with his grandmother’s death, Abhi tries to send Shanaya away, but she feels attracted to him, stays back and they happen to share a kiss. Ro sees this and is heartbroken, which leads to a heated argument and fight between him and Abhi, resulting in them becoming enemies again.
In the third round, the Prom, a confused Shanaya picks Ro’s friend Jeet Khurana as her partner as she can’t choose between Abhi and Ro. Disowning Jeet and ending his friendship with him over this issue, Ro goes with Tanya and Abhi goes with Shanaya’s former best friend Shruti Pathak after she had a split with Shanaya, who is disqualified for leaving the dance before it ends. The last round of the competition is a triathlon. Abhi is winning but slows down and Ro wins. In the award ceremony, Ro declines to accept the award citing personal reasons. Yogi is abused by a drunken friend of theirs, Kaizad “Sudo” Sodabottleopenerwala, due to which he eventually retires.
In the present, Ro has succeeded in becoming a pop star but is still single. Abhi and Shanaya married each other and Abhi at present is a successful investment banker. They all run into each other when they come to visit their ailing principal. Abhi and Ro end up fighting during a confrontation when Shanaya tries to get them talking, and happen to release everything they were holding back for the last ten years. Ro comes to terms with his anger over the entire drama when he discovers the truth about the triathlon, as to how Abhi saw Ashok happy when Ro was losing, and that he intentionally allowed Ro to win because he didn’t want to be too evil like Ashok and that it was his way of surpassing Ashok in stature. Both of them realize how important friendship is, and reconcile.
Alia Bhatt as Shanaya Singhania
Sidharth Malhotra as Abhimanyu “Abhi” Singh
Varun Dhawan as Rohan “Ro” Nanda
Rishi Kapoor as Dean Yogendra Vashishth
Sana Saeed as Tanya Israni
Sahil Anand as Jeet Khurana
Manasi Rachh as Shruti Pathak
Kayoze Irani as Kaizad “Sudo” Sodabottleopenerwala
Manjot Singh as Dimpy
Ronit Roy as Coach Karan Shah
Ram Kapoor as Ashok Nanda, Gayatri’s husband; Rohan’s father
Gautami Kapoor as Gayatri Nanda, Ashok’s wife; Rohan’s mother
Farida Jalal as Abhi’s grandmother
Akshay Anand as Abhi’s uncle
Manini Mishra as Geeta Singh, Abhi’s aunt
Prachi Shah as Ashok Shah’s wife
Nandini Sen as Shanaya’s mother
Boman Irani as Harkishan Sanon, the principal of St. Teresa’s football match rival
Sushma Seth in a cameo appearance as Yogendra’s mother
Farah Khan in a guest appearance as a judge in “The Disco Song”
Vaibhavi Merchant in a guest appearance as a judge in “The Disco Song”
Kajol in a guest appearance in “The Disco Song”