In the light of Karan Johar's Student of the Year trailer doing the rounds, I started thinking of the better teen movies Bollywood has produced over the years. Although the new ones that have been recently released are mediocre and forgettable, there have been many instances of Bollywood doing right by the genre.
Here is my take on the Best Bollywood Teen Movies (in no particular order):
Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na
JTYJN was a movie that stayed true to the genre; the romance, the heartbreak, the comedy, the drama all revolved around a group of college friends while the grown-ups played supporting roles. Although the film was formulaic, it was a heartfelt breezy romantic comedy that made Imran Khan an instant star and brought back Genelia D'Souza into the limelight.
Wake Up Sid
A coming-of-age dramedy done right, Wake Up Sid had all its elements in place: a top-notch cast, a debutant director with a fresh vision, and story that was all heart. Ranbir Kapoor effortlessly portrayed the transition from a careless, privileged boy to a mature, independent man and Konkona Sen Sharma struck all the right notes as a catalyst in that transition. The movie was relatable and realistic and left you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander
A modern-day classic, the movie combined the themes of friendship, love, competition, victory and staying true to oneself. Even though the movie was made 20 years ago, the story, the performances, and the music are timeless and would be just as entertaining no matter how many times you've seen it. JJWS is definitely India's answer to the 80s John Hughes's Teen movies.
Rang De Basanti
RDB is definitely one of Bollywood's best movies and is so much bigger than than 'Teen Movie' genre. A drama with elements of friendship, patriotism, politics, love, and loss, RDB is one of those rare films that make you laugh, make you cry, make you feel, and make you think. The movie doesn't have a happy ending but a hopeful one and it stays with you long after the credits have rolled.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Although not entirely a teen movie, a decent chunk of the film was based in college and it showcased the fun, casual lifestyle of teens and their romance and heartbreaks. SRK as the college hunk and an incorrigible flirt, Kajol as a bona fide tomboy, and Rani as the prettiest girl on campus put heart into their characters and made the film a universal pleaser.
Although the leads were nowhere close to being in their teens yet set in an engineering university 3 Idiots was not only believable but so well-liked that it is the highest grossing Bollywood film of all time! A unique, relatable, and completely hilarious take on campus life and life-long friendships, 3 Idiots also had something to say about the pressures of excellence in education and creativity and knowledge over grade point averages.
Much like JTYJN, Ishq Vishq stayed true to the genre and was a sweet, fun-filled depiction of young love. The concept might be formulaic; the treatment of the film was fresh and actually managed to capture the essence of teenage love and friendship pretty accurately and effortlessly. The characters were charming and interesting and never seemed to be trying too hard and it brought Bollywood a new male lead in the face of Shahid Kapoor.
Here are the good ones I could think of, sound off in the comments below about your favorite Bollywood teen movies and let me know if I have missed any!
Special Mention: Thank you @Fri, 2012-08-03 09:47 — Anonymous for pointing out Ishq Vishk, completely forgot about that one!
Credits: my brain