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December 29, 2009

3 Idiots: Munnabhai Chale College

3 Idiots is Rajkumar Hirani’s latest offering after his previous socially-relevant Munnabhai series films. This time, he doesn’t have Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi. So, this time we have Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and R. Madhavan playing college students. The hype is tremendous. But what about the movie?

Our heroes enter a top engineering college with shining eyes full of dreams, and hopes for a better future. Life gives them a reality check in the shape of Viru Sahastrabuddhe, their dominating principal who believes that life is a race, and that is the only way it has to be lived. Rancho, (Aamir Khan, looking surprisingly youthful, but still older than an engineering student) keeps motivating his friends to learn rather than mug the subjects. While most people refuse to take the path less traveled, Rancho continues to excel on this path, and even beat those who take the conventional track. The frequent run-ins with the Principal, what happens to the friends in college is what forms the crux of the story.

Loosely based on Five Point Someone, the story has been reworked and actually improved upon; but the screenplay loses some of the Raju Hirani charm. To make things understood in simple terms, he sometimes takes the help of measures that are not only over the top, but sometimes unbelievable. Why a principal would not rusticate a student after so many insubordinations and misdemeanors is beyond measure. The delivery scene looks incredulous as well. Some things can be termed cinematic liberties, but others leave you confused.

Raju Hirani the director is in top form again. His affection for socially-relevant comedies sees him unveiling a new phrase ‘All eez well’ to follow in the footsteps of ‘Jaadu ki jhappi’ and ‘Gandhigiri’. In my opinion, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ was his best effort to date, and even though he doesn’t reach those peaks with Idiots, it is very good work indeed. He is the star of the show.

Aamir Khan as Rancho does extremely well, considering he is the most out of age in this movie. With constantly widened eyes and loose clothes, he gets into the skin of the tireless learner-cum-inventor. Though things he does look incredulous, he mostly makes them feel real. Sharman Joshi and Madhavan as his friends who are on the rote path only to be ‘enlightened’ by Khan are competent. Joshi is especially good in the principal’s office scene. Kareena Kapoor is good in a brief, albeit important role. The real scene-stealer though, has to be Omi Vaidya. The actor steals the show as the stereotypical opposite of Rancho, Chatur. Note his expressions in the speech scene. Hilarious! Boman Irani as the principal is good, but the unnecessary lisp in his voice could have been avoided.

Shantanu Moitra’s compositions are situational and complement the narration. Zoobi Doobi sticks out like a sore thumb though, and seems more like an item song. Jaane Nahi Denge Tujhe tides over a tough period in the story, while Behti Hawa serves as an excellent introduction. The background score serves its purpose.

Binod Pradhan’s cinematography is commendable. I spent half an hour dissecting the introduction scene with a friend and we still could not figure out how it was done. The set design is good. The special effects, though minimal, are well executed.

Final Verdict: With 3 idiots, Raju Hirani stays in the Munnabhai franchise, albeit with different actors. The story has its heart in the right place, but the execution is far from perfect. Still, I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 for this look at the education system.


Abhishek Chopra said...

Bhery Good post!! :)
A comprehensive review, this one. Loved the discussion we had about the movie on gmail.

Keep 'em coming.


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