Written By: Urooj Zulfiqar
The latest phenomenon sweeping the Bollywood these days is the new movie starring Aamir Khan, 3 Idiots, directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the duo who presented movies such as Munna Bhai M.B.B.S and Lage Raho Munna Bhai with witty comedy. They have done it again and this time in a new form of comedy.
The movie is a must-watch in theater. I had the absolute time watching it, as if I was eating my favorite chocolate cake and then savoring the chocolaty goodness in my mouth afterwards. It depicts the audience with its bang on comedy, not to mention unexpected surprises put together here and there to catch their attention. The comedy and story is simple and direct. It carries the right message and is aiming at the right target but compared to Hirani’s last two movies, it fails in getting the idealistic and old-fashioned sincere message across.
3 Idiots takes on the Indian educational system in a light-heart comedy. It rightly points out the harsh reality of the system and its effects on the society by questioning the relevance of rote learning, the obsession with high grades, and the dangerous consequences of parental pressure to pursue traditional streams. These themes have a powerful meaning but they failed to reach the audience in the right context.
The movie is set on an engineering campus in Delhi modeled after the IIT. Aamir Khan, who played a free-spirited student named Rancho, did an amazing job as an actor. Once again, he excellently killed his role (killed being the understatement here). Not once did he look like his age but rather a perfect 20-year-old kid ready to lead a college life. From the first college scene till his last college scene, he did full justice to his role. His character, Rancho, teaches important life lessons to his roommates, Farhan and Raju (played by R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi) while clashing with his Hitler-type campus director Viru Sahastrabuddhe (played by Boman Irani) for rejecting Rancho’s free-spirited life-style.
Rancho seemed to have put an unspoken spell on everyone with his unique way of seeing life. He is portrayed as that one college guy who got the looks, the mind, and the personality. He is practically known as “super-cool nerd”. He has the ability to make the best of life in any given situation. He helps Farhan into convincing his family that he wants to be a photographer not an engineer. He even has the ability to nurse his friend Raju back to health after a failed suicide attempt. If that is not surprising, he also helps an unsuspecting girl open her eyes to the materialistic jerk she is about to marry. If that isn’t enough, he successfully delivers a baby on the college ping-pong table with Pia’s (played by Kareena Kapoor) help through a web cam. That pretty much sums up the type of guy he is, he could just about do anything, as it turns out.
Rancho touched their lives and taught them some valuable lessons but then soon after he vanishes. Farhan and Raju, who are searching for Rancho few years later, tell the story in a flashback.
In all this hassle, the director has managed to squeeze in a love track between Rancho and Pia since all Bollywood movies are incomplete without one.
The first half of the film breezes by with Hirani’s trademark comedy. The humor is alternated with moments of seriousness like that suicide scene in the beginning. However, even with the comedy squeezed in to lighten the mood, it fails. The problem is that it depicts the full-throttle emotional melodrama rather than the few small tears here and there like Hirani used in the two Munna Bhai movies.
The second half of the movie is put together with unwanted back-stories, suitable coincidence, and foolish sentimentality.
Despite these rough edges, the movie still creates magic on screen with its optimistic plot and its cordial characters. It’s hard to surpass the catchy tune of Rancho’s “All Izz Well” chant and his down-to-earth personality. Even though Hirani took Rancho’s character way too forward as to have him deliver a baby on a ping-pong table but one manages to overlook that scene somehow.
Of the cast, Sharman Joshi has a better role than R Madhavan. Kareena Kapoor, despite the small role, works her magic again. And Boman Irani, the perfect man as that of a college director, manages to bring hearty laugh despite his ruthlessness with which he is presented. Then there is the performance of Omi Vaidya playing the character of Hindi-challenged Chatur Ramalingam, whose speech is to watch-out for. The best performance still remains that of Aamir Khan, who never quite passes as some 20-year-old, but remains the heart and soul of 3 Idiots with his bang-on comedy and his colossal likeability.
The film, in the end, is a good pastime or can be a huge relaxation. I highly recommend it if you are looking for some alone time, need to take your mind off tensions, or just had a bad-time or bad relationship; it is a great relief for your mind. I highly recommend going to this movie with your family and your loved-ones, you and they will love it!
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