Hindi Movie : 3 Idiots Review
3 Idiots is the perfect end to an exciting year for India: the year when the aam aadmi voted in progress, liberalism, secularism and turned his back to corruption, communalism, regionalism. The three idiots, Rancchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad (Aamir Khan), Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) and Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan), are perfect archetypes of the new age Indian who is essentially a non-conformist, questioning outmoded givens, choosing to live life on his own terms and chartering new roads that consciously skirt the rat race. Of course, they begin on the beaten track -- due to societal/parental pressure -- but refuse to become cogs in the wheel. Naturally, they end up as the Frostian hero (Robert Frost's Road Not Taken) who made all the difference to his life, and the world, by taking the road less travelled by. The film begins with the entry of our threesome in the city's elite engineering college. It takes the first tryst with the mandatory ragging sessions which enunciate who the leader of the gang is going to be: new entrant Baba Rancchoddas, as his friends fondly call him. Rancho not only leads his friends through the maze of India's competitive, high-pressure, rote-heavy, illogical and almost cruel education system, he tutors them on several life mantras too. Like, running after excellence, not success; questioning not blindly accepting givens; inventing and experimenting in lieu of copying and cramming; and essentially following your heart's calling if you truly want to make a difference. So, you have the threesome embroiled, time and again, in a confrontation with authority, as represented through the domineering figure of Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani), the unsmiling Principal who venerates the cuckoo because the bird's life begins with murder. Kill the competition, because there is only one place at the top, believes the Princi. Poor, mistaken Princi! Doesn't he know that competition is effete, model students like Chatur (Omi) end up as duhs in real life and non-conformists (Rancho and Rocket Singh Inc), who care tuppence about being on top, could end up as eventual winners. More importantly, they could be high not only in IQ (intelligence quotient) but in EQ (emotional quotient) too, never losing their humaneness and social networking skills. The high point of the film is the fact that director Rajkumar Hirani says so much, and more, without losing his sense of humour and the sheer lightness of being. The film is a laugh riot, despite being high on fundas. Certain sequences almost have you rolling in the aisle, like the ragging sequence, Omi's chamatkar/balatkar speech, the threesome's wedding crasher sequence, their mournful meal with Raju's mournful mum and Rancho's sundry demos to prove how Kareena has chosen the wrong guy for herself. Add to this, the strong emotional core of the film that makes gentle tugs, now and then, at your guts, and you have an almost perfect score. Hirani carries forward his simplistic `humanism alone works' philosophy of the Lage Raho Munnabhai series in 3 Idiots too, making it a warm and vivacious signature tune to 2009. The second half of the film does falter in parts, specially the child birth sequence, but it doesn't take long for the film to jump back on track. Amongst the performances, Aamir Khan is stupendous as the rule-breaker Rancho. But the rest of the cast doesn't remain in the shadows. Both Sharman and Madhavan manage to carve their independent characters as lovable rebels too. Even Kareena shines out, despite the minuscule length of her role. A special mention for Boman Irani who is impeccable as `Virus', the vile Principal and newcomer Omi who perfectly slips into the stereotype of the best, albeit bakwas student. Shantanu Moitra's music score, which may have sounded pheeka in the audio version, comes alive on screen with lyricist Swanand Kirkire giving India its clarion call for 2010: Aal Izz Well. Rush for it.