3 Idiots Movie Review by Sputnik

Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Omi Vaidya, Mona Singh, Parikshat Sahni

Two friends Farhan (Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) embark on a quest for a lost buddy. On this journey they encounter a long forgotten bet, a wedding they must crash and a shocking revelation about their lost buddy. Farhan reminisces their college days and how their friend Rancho (Aamir Khan), touched and changed their lives. It is a story of their hostel days that swings between Rancho’s college romance with the spirited Pia (Kareena), and his clash with an impossible mentor Dr Viru Sahasrabuddhe (Boman Irani).

Some scenes are excellent like the scene leading to the first suicide, Rancho’s explanation of his ‘Aal izz Well’ philosophy, Pia’s fiancé mentioning price tags, Rancho telling a paralyzed Raju that Farhan will marry his sister, Pia’s outburst against her dad, Professor Viru telling Rancho about the pencil in space and the final scene. Chatur Ramalingam’s speech is definitely one of the most hilarious scenes ever and is laugh out loud funny. Yet, it conveys the great message that one should not just mug up.

The movie starts off with guys being stripped and being stamped on their butts. Yes, things like this happen in college hostels but does the camera have to actually show the act of being stamped? The movie could have avoided all the top view shots of guys on toilet seats and all the toilet and fart humor. There are far too many scenes in the movie when some guy is pulling down his pants and showing us his butt. Raju’s (Sharman Joshi) family is shown in a scene that is supposed to be a spoof of those old 50’s movies which showed dire poverty but comes off as a bit insensitive. Now not every scene has to be funny. The whole delivery scene is too filmy and the kid kicking Ranchos face to ‘Aal izz Well’ seems a bit too much.

The story is obviously based on Chetan Bhagat’s 5 Point Someone but Rajkumar Hirani has made a lot of changes by his own admission. The movie flits between the past and the present and is a bit lengthy. But just when the movie seems like it is dragging a bit there is a funny scene that makes one forget that. The screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijit Joshi is excellent and the way the whole ‘Wangdu’ thing is woven into the movie is just brilliant. Dialogues by Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijit Joshi are excellent. The movie borrows a lot from the Munnabhai movies. The rebel rebelling against the authority figure and being in love with his daughter is similar to Munnabhai MBBS. Scenes like trying to revive Raju or the little kid are similar to the carrom scene from Munnabhai MBBS. Farhan confessing to his father that he does not like engineering is similar to Jimmy Sheirgill’s confession scene in Lage Raho Munnabhai.

Cinematography by C.K. Muraleedharan is good and he captures the beautiful outdoors of Shimla very well. The camera work at the beginning of the movie is a little annoying though. Music by Shantanu Moitra is just ok though it fits in well with the movie. ‘Give Me Some Sunshine’ has good lyrics by Swanand Kirkire and is picturized well. ‘Zoobi Zoobi’ is choreographed well though it is the latest tribute song in a long list of songs starting from Pathar Ke Phool’s “Kabhi Tu Chalia Lagta Hai” to the latest one from RNBDJ.

The movie revolves around Aamir’s character Rancho. No amount of makeup or botox can make the 44 year old Aamir pass off as a 20 year old. His oversized clothes do make him look young but his face still looks old. Aamir, in his eagerness to pull off a 20 year old, slightly overplays it. He should have instead played it naturally like he has played other college characters in the past. They could have made Aamir a slightly older character perhaps. Aamir does overact in the sentimental scenes though. Sharman Joshi has the weakest role of the three and his performance is strictly ok. His being scared reminds one of his Rang De Basanthi character.

Madhavan gets his best role in Hindi cinema and gives a natural, flawless performance. What’s surprising is that the 39 year old Madhavan pulls off a 20 year old character so effortlessly. He is equally good as the older Farhan. Just when every other movie has a Muslim character who is either a terrorist/criminal or a victim of suspicion, thankfully Madhavan plays Farhan Qureshi, a regular Muslim. Omi gives an excellent performance as Chatur Ramalingam. Boman Irani gets a caricatured role but he still pulls it off. Kareena is good but she does not have much of a role. Her nose ring is a turn off though. Pareekshit Sahani is good though his character resembles his Lage Raho character. Mona Singh is decent and the rest of the cast is ok.

Rajkumar Hirani’s direction is excellent but he could have avoided all the toilet humor. He gives a similar message to Taare Zameen Par while making one laugh. He asks everyone to follow their passion and not just study to have a secure life. The message “Seek excellence and success will follow” is conveyed very well without ever coming off as preachy. He follows in the path of Hrishikesh Mukherjee in making entertaining movies with a message. Rancho’s character is similar to Rajesh Khanna’s character in Bawarchi in that he influences the lives around him with his philosophy and the shocking revelation.

The movie is in the same vein as his previous two movies and he proves that he can make an entertaining movie even without Munnabhai and Circuit. Rajkumar Hirani, who worked as an ad film maker, can certainly come up with popular catch phrases. After the popular “Jadoo ki Jhappi” and “Get Well Soon” there is a new one “Aal izz Well”. He makes the most implausible situations work with his honesty and conviction. There are scenes where one might think “this is ridiculous” but one will still want to believe it. 3 Idiots is all heart – an excellent feel good entertainer and the best movie of the year 2009.

Rating: 4 / 5 (Brilliant)

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