Movie Review: 3 Idiots

It has to be the most idiotic start to such a fascinating movie. You wonder where the movie is heading to when an aircraft returns to base after a passenger suffers a heart attack in the feeblest performance ever. But Rajkumar Hirani soon gets his act and cast together to deliver a stunning product. Education is not about success; it’s about pursuing excellence and doing what you are passionate about. In the end, success will chase you. This oft-repeated dialogue is beautifully portrayed in the last frame. I have never laughed so hard before leaving a theatre. Hirani actually manages to show success chasing you. Hilarious. Bhaiyya, All is well!

Take a bow Mr Hirani. 3 Idiots is a fantastic film, one that every parent, teacher and most importantly students will dig into. Like the jaadu ki jhappi in Munnabhai MBBS, “All Is Well”, will soon be a craze across the nation. Hirani this time looks at the education system. The staid, mechanical ways in which education is imparted where students are like machines. The setting is a prestigious engineering college and at the centre of it all is Aamir Khan, a genius student who likes to see some fun injected in the lectures.

Hirani touches on student suicides; parents pushing students into a field they are not keen on; students silently trying to excel in something they are not passionate about; overzealous students who learn by rote without knowing the meaning of what is going into their head, and also human emotions of how when a friend fails, you feel sad but when the same friend tops in college, jealousy takes hold. All these aspects and more are beautifully woven into the screenplay to sock you right under your chin without sounding preachy. There is a twist too, to spice up things at the interval.

To get to the story, Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan) Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) and Rancho (Aamir Khan) are three inseparable buddies. The film starts with Farhan and Raju getting some info on Rancho who has gone missing after their graduation. It’s been almost five years now. It then moves to flashback. Where did Rancho disappear? Who was he really and what is he up to now? These questions keep you intrigued throughout the movie.

Lyricist Swanand Kirkire needs special mention. His line from the hit song All Is Well: “Murgi kya jaane ande ka kya hoga, life milegi ya tawe pe fry hoga…” and other songs are quite a revelation. The music by Shantanu Moitra is excellent and dialogues by Hirani and Abhijit Joshi very inspiring. Although Hirani does not take pains to establish the friendship between the three, you overlook that fact because there is lot of meat in the screenplay. The film has been inspired from Chetan Bhagat’s novel Five Point Someone.

Now, for the performances: Santa Khan has done it again. Three Christmas hits in a row: Taare Zameen Par, Ghajni and now 3 Idiots. It’s sad, that like Santa, Aamir comes only once a year. But for excited kids, Aamir has created an air of expectancy for his audience for his next visit. Ho Ho Ho… he is surely going to have Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra jingle all the way to the bank.

To knock off almost 20 years and pass off as a 24-year-old is a herculean task, one, which the diminutive Khan does with aplomb. Watch him to believe it. I mean, you do not see any persona of the Aamir of old in any angle, in any shot, in any dialogue delivery. A brand new Aamir! You look for flaws but find none. Truly, a mark of a genius. The odd way in which he walks with his feet slightly apart is a delight.

Sharman Joshi is excellent too. Madhavan could have taken his role more seriously and tried to fit in as a college student. Kareena, though does not have much of a role makes an impact while Mona Singh who makes her big screen debut does not get enough scope to show her talent. The one who steals the show with Aamir is Omi, the over zealous student who mugs his way to the top. This character is simply hilarious. In fact, it’s a serious focus on how most students actually are today.

Boman Irani as the college head for once is not loud and over-the-top. A clever make-up and twist of the tongue is what sets him apart from his other roles, which have become monotonous.

There are many scenes that will grip you and others that will have you laughing silly. Like the last scene and the scene at Teacher’s Day when Rancho changes the script.

Go watch it… I’d say please watch it… The duo of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani now have Santa Khan for company.

Rating: 4 / 5

Martin D’Souza

This first appeared on on December 25, 2009

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