Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3 Idiots

Movie Review : 3 Idiots
Released : 2009
Language : Hindi
Director : Rajkumar Hirani
Genre : Comedy
Starring : Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R Mahadevan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani
My Rating : 9 out of 10

Vidhu Vinod Chopra has had an illustrious career. When he has teamed up with director Rajkumar Hirani, absolute wonders have happened in the Indian Comedy genre. Both "Munnabhai" movies had a refreshingly unique style of presentation. Now add to this team actor Aamir Khan who has made himself synonymous with movies that are fresh, different and worth watching. This definitely raises the expectations of their combined venture. Judging by the box office response to this movie, both in India and abroad, it's clear that the movie has met or surpassed the expectations of most.

There is not much point writing the synopsis of the story which is based on a popular book by Chetan Bhagat ("Five Point Someone") . Most must have already watched the movie. The story as such is minimal. The focus is on characters and their interactions. So let's just skip the formality of capturing the story.

Most of the movie is about what these 3 idiots - "Rancho" (Aamir Khan), Farhan (R Mahadevan), Raju (Sharman Joshi) - their classmate "Chatur", the faculty chief "ViruS" and his daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor). Much of it happens during their years together in a fictitious Imperial College (which is based on of course IIT), and this is presented in the form of numerous flashbacks. Right out of the gate, the movie sets its tone with a nice opening scene and maintains it till the very end.

The movie will be remembered for the relentless comedy. It should be. The director and writer do not shy away from using absolutely any situation to infuse with sudden jokes. Nothing is sacred and every character is a fair game. Sensitive viewers, take note. This style is refreshingly different in Indian cinema. Be prepared to feel surprised for laughing in what is otherwise a melodramatic scene. Even the deliberate use - I think its deliberate - of common devices like the bride running away, is full of hilarious punch lines.

But it's more than that. There is significant social commentary tucked in between the fabric of comedy. The comedy doesn't arise from some forced situations or impossible characters. The entire premise is firmly grounded in reality. The carefree crazy acts are common in numerous colleges and hostels all over India. The pressure to excel and its sometimes tragic consequences are real. The aspirations of parents and their sacrifices for their kids are real. Hence this movie touches you and strikes a chord, while making you laugh loud at the same time. The combination of realism and comedy is presented here with near perfection.

The movie is just a little bit on the longer side for my taste. Some trimming to keep it below 2:30 wouldn't have taken anything away.

This is correctly rated as U/A in India - which is PG13 in US. I do not recommend this for young kids. There are adult situations. For others, this is a movie you have to watch.

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