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3 Idiots: All Izz ‘partly’ Well!

December 27, 2009

Rajkumar Hirani, the director who gave us two of the finest films in the recent few years (Munnabhai, Lage Raho Munnabhai) is back to wave his magic wand once again. His latest film ‘3 Idiots’ is loosely inspired from Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Five Point Someone’. The film stars Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor and Boman Irani. This is the third time that Rajkumar Hirani has teamed up with Vidhu Vinod Chopra who produced the film on his own banner ‘Vinod Chopra Productions’. ‘3 idiots’ is a heart-warming tale about friendship and narrates the story of three friends as they discover the road to their destiny.

Farhan (Madhavan) receives a phone call during a flight take-off which shocks him beyond imagination. He feigns illness and escapes from the airport. Farhan calls up his college buddy Raju (Sharman Joshi) and the two quickly reach their alma-matter, Imperial College of Engineering. However, they don’t find their other college buddy whom they were hoping to meet, Rancho (Aamir Khan). Soon, they find out that Rancho is living in Shimla and the duo along with another classmate, Chatur Ramalingam (Omi Vaidya) hit the road to find Rancho. Who is Rancho? Why does he occupy such an important place in Farhan and Raju’s life? How did Rancho change their lives in college? This forms the rest of the story in this heartwarming tale which interlaces themes like Indian Education System and its fallacies, love, friendship and one of the biggest questions of life- To listen to your heart or to follow others?

Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi, who wrote the story, infuse a great amount of life into the film. ‘3 Idiots’ is the kind of film which takes you on a roller coaster ride right from the word go. It also tries to address the root of the problem which is plaguing the Indian Education System. The method of teaching has turned colleges into pressure cookers and the students are made to compete rather than excel.  What’s really good about the film is it has the right dose of funny moments which are brilliantly enacted by all its characters. Aamir Khan brings the much needed star power to the film. His conviction to get into the skin of the character (Rancho) is evident right from the first scene where he proves his smartness. The magic words ‘All Izz Well’ which Rancho advocates throughout the film are addictive and everyone around him falls for its magical charm. Sharman Joshi portrays the role of Raju to perfection. He makes his presence felt despite sharing the screen space with Aamir Khan and Boman Irani.  Boman Irani is terrific in his role as Viru Sahastrabuddhe , the Principal of the college. Although it’s almost a repetition of his role as the Principal in Munnabhai MBBS, Boman Irani does extremely well to terrorise the students and run the college with an iron hand. Madhavan’s role in the film takes a backseat, however the scene where he confronts his father about his ambition in life is truly one of the defining moments of the film. The entire story is narrated in intermittent flashbacks and it is well spaced out throughout the film. Kareena Kapoor is good in her role and her conversations with Aamir are a pleasure to watch. The biggest showstealer of the film is Omi Vaidya, who plays the role of Chatur Ramalingam. His accent is funny, his chuckles are hilarious and he has a great screen presence.

Not everything is perfect with this film. ‘3 Idiots’, in a way, lays too much emphasis on comedy that all other emotions go for a toss. The genuine lump-in-throat moments are rare and that’s a pity because the film tries to address some serious issues like suicides, fallacies with the Education System, following your dream instead of listening to the society. Also, the screenplay technique which Hirani uses in the film makes it a bit tough to genuinely immerse yourself into the lives of Rancho, Raju and Farhan.  Surprisingly the traditional Three Act structure is hard to find in‘3 Idiots’. To compensate for this lack of proper form of the story, there are so many scenes in the film that it’s hard to keep track of how the film had progressed when we walk out of the cinema hall. The emotional graph of the film has its share of highs and lows because Hirani never lets the audience to think about anything. The only thing which is consistent in the film is Rancho’s free advice to his friends. In a way, the film gets too preachy at times especially about suicidal tendencies of students. ‘3 Idiots’ gets too filmy especially towards the end when Aamir uses all his nerdiness to deliver a baby. It’s surprising that Hirani chooses to plagiarize some scenes like ‘Pencil vs zero gravity’ and ‘placing the answer sheets’ from other sources, although they fit into the scheme of things.

Shantanu Moitra’s music is good especially in songs like ‘All Izz Well’, ‘Sunshine’. Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi prove their mettle once again in lacing a typical masala film with a good message to the youth. Muralidharan’s cinematography is stunning! The scene featuring a beautiful landscape of the hills enroute Shimla and the breathtaking views of Ladakh are gloriously captured on the camera. The black and white tint in Sharman Joshi’s house, ‘Zoobi Doobi’ song’s picturization is pretty well done.  Hirani and Abhijat’s screenplay lays more emphasis on individual scenes and conversations. Rajkumar Hirani’s third film as a director, perhaps lacks the emotion of his earlier films, but there’s no denying the fact that ‘3 Idiots’ is a fun film to watch. His brilliance can be scene in almost every scene right from Boman Irani’s introduction, to Omi Vaidya’s speech and from Javed Jaffrey’s dramatic entry to Madhavan’s confrontation with his father.

‘3 Idiots’ falls short of being an emotionally engaging film and certain scenes are way too predictable! It lacks the sensitivity of Aamir’s ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and the brilliance of Hirani’s ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’. It’s preachy and over the top at times. The script is also very calculative about the degree to which audience can laugh or cry and as a result of that it’s hard to empathize with some characters. However, We, the audience, are bound to be manipulated by the film-‘3 Idiots’. We hardly care about the fallacies in the film, what the film is and and within no time it transports us to a time which we would want to relive again and again. The biggest strength of ‘3 Idiots’ is its ability to conjure the nostalgic moments of our college lives. Anyone who has ever been to college will easily relate to all the characters in ‘3 Idiots’ right from the professors to Chatur Ramalingams from their college days. The film has ‘Blockbuster’ written all over it. Does that make ‘3 Idiots’ one of the better films of the year? Probably. Is it the best film of the decade? No. Then, what’s so good about this film? It’s a fun film to watch and gives a taste of our own lives with a magical dose of ‘All Izz Well’ medicine. Go, watch the film, for Aamir, Sharman, Boman Irani and most importantly Omi Vaidya’s hilarious portrayal of Chatur Ramalingam. Although ‘3 Idiots’ is not a groundbreaking film, it definitely is popcorn entertainment at its best.

P.S:- Some people go to watch films and films only, others go to “enjoy” on their weekends! I hate buying popcorn when I go to watch a film. ‘3 Idiots’ turned out to be only a good film for me while the rest of 99% population believes that it’s one of the best films they have ever seen.  I disagree.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2009 2:28 pm

    Excellent Review … Even My feeling was exactly same as yours .

  2. Pavan permalink
    December 29, 2009 11:56 am

    Hemanth, it’s a good effort !! I see that you will become a great critic down the line. Please do read my review @

    good luck and Cheers !!

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