3 Idiots: Lacks punch, but feels really good

December 23, 2009

3idiotsI must admit I had apprehensions going in to watch Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘3 Idiots’, inspite of the immense buzz that has surrounded the film.

One of my biggest qualms was how the director could hope to get away with casting middle aged men as college going boys.

That apprehension disappeared within the first 15 minutes of the film, because R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Aamir Khan play their roles so convincingly and with so much heart, that the age factor goes out of the window.

The film starts extremely well. Hirani infuses the first half of this film with his trademark sense of everyday humour and shapes up his characters with so much affection, that you are sucked into the story.
Aamir Khan plays Ranchoddas Shaymaldas Chajaad, an engineering student who has so much optimism and good will to share that some times it seems too good to be true (which it is, but we shall come back to that later.)

His two roommates Farhan and Raju don’t share his bubbling enthusiasm, but willingly go along with him on the many rides he takes them on.

They include fudging up a speech, fooling professors and playing tricks on all and sundry, as they go through their life in engineering college.

Rancho develops a strained relationship with the college dean played by Boman Irani, who believes in the old fashioned methods of teaching.

Rancho however, is of the opinion that education should be for the pursuit of knowledge and not the pursuit of success. (Munnabhai redux?)

Hirani introduces some interesting characters like Milimetre, the canteen boy who runs errands for the boys and Chatur Ramalingam, a whiny, sly NRI kid who is easily the funniest character in the film.
The film is told in flashback and is told through the eyes of Farhan, as he and Raju set out on a search for Rancho, who we are told in the beginning itself, has been untraceable after college.
As the friends set out to find him, they reminisce about the past.

The first half of the film is mostly brilliant, with some funny and poignant moments.
Watch out for the teacher’s day speech and the visit to Raju’s house, both of which provide great humour.

However, the second half loses its easy, understated feel and becomes too overbearing. There are one too many dramatic scenes, and too many incidents, many of which reduce the effectiveness of the film.
Also, the climax seems a little forced and convoluted, not what one would have expected from Hirani.
I know this is a director who is known for the feel good factor in his films and he definitely delivers that, but I would have liked to see some grey shades to Aamir’s character.

That doesn’t happen and he seems almost too good to be true. However his chemistry with Kareena Kapoor is crackling; watch out for the “zoobi doobi song.”

This film has some great performances, some great moments and brilliant writing by Hirani and Abhijat Joshi.
It doesn’t have the punch that the Munnabhai films had, but it does feel really good. You could even forgive the unnecessary drama in the film because it is done so honestly. Watch this one.

9 comments

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Hi,Shilpa Jamkhandikar may I know which is your fav movie. I am keeping watch on evry reveiw posted by you…
If you directly reach on the top of Everest , then there is nothing to go more up….
Sachin hits a six, the crowd goes beserk. Next ball Sachin hits a four, the crowd still claps. They do not compare the six with the boundry. So why compare Munnabhai with Idiots, as it is said that everyday is not a Sunday. So you Appreciated the six, now Appreciate the four….

Posted by DKKZM | Report as abusive

I wonder what more punches and what kind the reviewer needs (may be the real ones). It’s an excellent movie with great moral.I didn’t feel any dramatic scene or overbearing. Reviewer needs to do better job if she has some passion for her job. Anyone can write this kind of time-pass review.

Posted by WhyDoYouCare | Report as abusive

I don’t think the movie lacks punch in any way. The reviews of such a movie will be purely based on individual likes and dislikes, however, majority of viewers will hail this movie for its outstanding and innovating way of delivering the message, which was also visible in Amir Khan’s role in Taare Zameen Par.

The only negative side of the movie was its length and some scenes that could have been omitted. Yet sitting in theater was a pleasant experience and this movie is a fresh breath of air amongst the usual Masala that Bollywood churns multiple times a day.

All 3 Idiots stood out in their roles and both Madhavan and Sharman match Amir scene for scene. The humor scenes and Amir’s act drew applaud from the audience while I was in the theater. I rate it 9/10.

Posted by folkpoet80 | Report as abusive

This is a fab fab movie.. it does have a lot of punch.. a lot i say. i personally liked it over munnabhai and even the recent rocket singh.
It conveys so much, and it is so so true about Indian parents.

I would give it a 105/100

Posted by AdityaK | Report as abusive

terrific review….summed up the film perfectly.

the first half ruled but the plot was surely lost in the second half with plenty of over-dramatic scenes.
Anyone who thinks such a fairytale like ending is not dramatic surely has no sense of reality and cant appreciate the same.
My advice to such people- never watch a hollywood film….u wont get it.

Posted by yeah | Report as abusive

Terrific review….summed up the film perfectly.

The first half surely dealt quite a punch but the second half dampened it all with the over-dramatic scenes.
And anyone who says there was nothing over dramatic (even with the last one) cant possibly comprehend reality and think sensibly. My advice to such people, never watch a hollywood film, u wont get it….

Posted by yeah | Report as abusive

“Never watch a hollywood film”…… Then why people are wasting their time in writing the Blogs?????????..

Posted by DKKZM | Report as abusive

IT IS A VERY NICE FILM.THE BEST MOVIES I’VE EVER WATCHED 3 IDIOTS IS AMONGST THEM. YES SHILPA WROTE VERY TRUE THAT 1ST HALF OF THE FILM IS VERY BRILLIANT.THAT SCENE MADE ME CRY WHEN THE BOY COMMITS SUICIDE..ACTUALY THIS IS THE MIRROR OF TRUE EVENTS..AND NOT ONLY INDIAN PARENTS ARE LYK DAT I THINK MANY ASIAN COUNTRIES PEOPLE HAVE SAME MENTALITY FOR THEIR CHILDREN… NEXT HALF ALSO GOOD BT SOME SVENES WERE LITTLE DRAMATIC.WHEN KAREENA’S SISTER GOT LABOUR PAIN AND HOW AMIR AND OTHER HELPED HER FOR GIVING BIRTH THE BABY.BUT THE INVENTION OF SCIENCE AND THEIR USES WERE BRILLIANTLY SHOWN.HOPE STUDENTS WILL LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS FILM AND PARENTS AS WELL AND ALSO TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS…

Posted by zaiadi | Report as abusive

It’s a good movie. I have analysed it at http://chapter18.wordpress.com/2010/01/0 5/3-idiots-and-the-three-ds/

Do check it out.

Posted by nara | Report as abusive