If any movie has been eagerly awaited worldwide this year, it is â3 Idiotsâ (3I), and the wait has been even more phenomenal than Ghajini, mainly because the movie in question here is more than just about Aamir Khan. Fans of Chetan Bhagat, on whose novel,"Five Point Someone" (FPS), this movie is very loosely based on, would love to see how it has been transitioned to the big screen. Also, this is Rajkumar Hiraniâs third film as director, and this time heâs back after almost three years, his last movie being the commercial and critical blockbuster Lage Raho Munna Bhai from the Munnabhai franchise. Bollywood buffs have been waiting to see if he can recreate the same magic in a different movie.
So does the movie deliver? Does it fulfill the expectations of the potential viewers of this movie? And most of all, does the movie hold your attention throughout the almost-mammoth timeline of 2 hours and 50 minutes?
As a unified answer to all the three questions above, all I can say is, âGaadi ghuma, phillum ko jaa, ticket kataa ke bol BHAIYYA AAL IIZ WELL!â. Oh yes, 3I is surely the must watch for the end-of-year celebrations! Itâs the perfect Christmas present for all the Bollywood buffs, Aamir fans, Raju Hirani fans, and of course Engineering students (and their parents too)!
3I traces the lives of two of the three idiots, Farhan (R. Madhavan - the narrator of the story, and the Hari in FPS), and Raju (Sharman Joshi - the Alok in FPS) who set out on a rollicking journey across Shimla, Manali and Ladakh to find the third idiot Rancho (Aamir Khan â the Ryan of FPS). They are accompanied by Chatur âSilencerâ Ramalingam (Omi), who wants to prove himself for a random bet that he made 10 years ago, when they were all in the Imperial College of Engineering. That college was headed by Viru âVirusâ Sahatrabuddhe (Boman Irani), who was always at loggerheads with the three of them. And thus starts a journey down memory lane; a journey Farhan and Raju could never forgetâŚ
First things first! 3I is not "Five Point Someone". Yes, it retains the soul and charisma of the novel, but whilst that focused mainly on friendship, the movie covers more issues than that. It is about the ongoing crisis the students face when their parents force them into a field they have no interest in. It is about the educational system and the hypocrisy surrounding it. It is about how rote (the process of memorizing) wins over hard work and understanding; about how teachers of today enforce nothing but rote work and how the headmaster enforces the students to get grades and not study for excellence. It is about how grades and marks create divide among students. It is about how seniors harass juniors in the process of ragging.
Basically, 3I is about everything and everyone surrounding the education system, be it the students, the teachers, the founders â or anyone!
And the best part about the movie is that it maintains its pace with the sheer execution of the screenplay by Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi. And though the film is almost three hours long, you never feel bored. The screenplay has been penned in such a way that the whole movie has a smooth flow athroughout it â and guess what? It doesnât dip at any point in the narrative! There are no exaggerated scenes, no over-the-top songs forced into the narrative, and no odd characters. In fact, even the caricatures of the characters of Boman Irani and Omi are really not caricatures at all â in fact, they are very real, and can be found frequently around us!
Which brings me to character development. Each character has been written (and researched, for that matter) very beautifully, so much so that you can relate a bit of yourself in each, be it the free-spirited Pia (Kareena Kapoor), or Farhanâs ideals clashing with his parents, or Rajuâs constant fears and himself getting trapped in the myths of the world, or even Ranchoâs ways of getting past the system by doing things his own way. Kudos to the writing team of Hirani and Joshi who have written something very intricately detailed and how impressively it shows on screen!
But however well-developed the characters are on paper, the intricate nuances have to be very powerfully executed by the actors themselves to bring âaliveâ the characterization and the deepest, sometimes apparently unnecessary habits that make way for a more endearing, well-developed character. And that requires actors; rock-solid actors. And thatâs what this movie contains â a truckload of actors who can do almost anything!
Starting with Aamir Khan, the versatile actor who has proved that he can do any role with an ease that nobody else has â be it Mangal Pandey in Ketan Mehtaâs (failed) biopic, or the cool, flirtatious dude in Dil Chahta Hai, or even the young, free-spirited teacher in his own directorial debut Taare Zameen Par, he knows what heâs doing and does it with all his heart. Here too as Rancho, the I.D.I.O.T. (I Do It on my Own Terms) wins over everyoneâs hearts again!
And though the movie is based upon his character being the conflict and the solution, it is narrated first hand by R. Madhavanâs character Farhan, and Madhavan has literally spellbound everyone with his simplistic performance. In fact, his emotional breakdowns and his giggles are so real you start to giggle with him too. Sharman Joshi though is a revelation, and does a fantastic job playing the âpoor guyâ (Raju Rastogi) to the hilt. His fears, his clinging to unnecessary rituals to gain success all show up really well and so much so that, when emotions evoke in his heart, they are felt in your heart too!
Kareena Kapoor as Pia is such a natural that youâd never know if sheâs acting or if sheâs really the part. Thatâs the difference she makes with her role, and her fabulous acting proves the viewers yet again that actors have to be placed in the hands of competent directors. As far as supporting characters are concerned, Omi stands tallest as Chatur âSilencerâ Ramalingam, the Uganda born Tamilian who is desperate to reach the top. And who can forget Boman Irani as the classic conflict, Viru âVirusâ? He is amazing, and perfects his lisp so well that you donât look at his character trait as a caricature but rather do what is best for him â hate him to the core. The other memorable characters include Millimeter; played efficiently by Rahul Kumar, and Farhanâs father, played to the hilt by Pariksheet Sahani.
Which brings me to the movieâs technical aspects. The Directors of Photography and Cinematographer have together done an amazing job by capturing the lush locales of Manali, Shimla, and Ladakh; not that they have given injustice to Delhi â Delhi looked just picture perfect! Visual effects were limited but not cheesy at all! The camerawork is smooth and not jittery at most places, save for the shots on the road where the camera (undoubtedly) shakes a little, but that only enhances the realism that the car is in motion. Editing by Rajkumar Hirani is flawless, to say the least. Being an editor myself, it was my dream to see a flawless edit of a movie without any unintended jump-cuts to cover up. I think the last time I saw a perfect edit for a movie this year must have been Love Aaj Kal, and before that Dev.D.
And lastly comes the music of the movie which had been thumbed down by many at the time of its release on CD. For me, it took time for the music to grow but once it did I surely loved it. But for those who didnât, the movie sure enough will work as a catalyst â the songs have excellent videos, and by videos I do not mean flashy dancy videos â I mean narrative; storytelling based videos. Of all the picturised songs âBehti Hawaaâ takes all the plaudits, as itâs not the theatrical effect but the subtlety of the expressions that make you feel the song. Of course, for the people who want song-and-dance, these are well catered for in âAll Izz Wellâ and âZoobi Doobiâ, both of which are structured superbly into the narrative, so much so that we donât care about the entry and enjoy the song while it lasts. Mind you, the CD will work now that the movie has released, as the audience in particular will be more synonymous with the situations of the songs. Very classy, and yet very upbeat, Shantanu Moitra has (again in partnership with VVC) given some very good songs for the movie!
Overall 3I is a must watch movie and arguably the best of 2009! Just remember youâll be seen shouting âAAALLL-IIIIIZZZ-WWEEELL!!!!â on the way out of the cinema halls!