Monday, January 11, 2010

3 Idiots - Film Review

Personally, i felt a HUGE sense of loss after watching the film. I have missed out on something really important in life - my parents NEVER forced me to choose a stream of education, or anything else for that matter. Was i unduly lucky, or is the film an exagerration? Methinks its a bit of both.

First, the summary of the review - its a 2 out of 5 stars film. Am sorry, but the backsides of random college students, or multiple top shots on potty do not make good enough entertainment for me. Dropping pants might be part of saying Hi at the Imperial College, but am sure the director could have thot of another gesture without taking anything away from the film. Also, whats with the ridiculous delivery scene? I mean.. seriously!!!

The overall feel of the film is:
A. All Indian parents force their children to study engineering or medicine. thats not true. Not true at all. I mean, even Pia's sister is not a doc, for god's sake!
B. All student suicides are because of the "pressure from the system". The issue is a lot more complicated than that. Parents and "the system" are not the only , or even the main culprits. How come some children are able to cope and some others are not? There cannot be any one sided answer to these questions, and the film takes sides without even explaining the whole issue.
C. It is more important to enjoy your education. If you like what you do, you will automatically excel. Not true. The converse is also not true - just because you do something really well is not reason enough for you to want to do it. But the overall point is well taken.
D. The principal is a caricature. I do not know of any such principal, and can safely say that such principals, even though they might exist, are not the norm. It is not nice or kind to promote such a caricature, imho.

Basically, I am confused. Is the film about entertainment, or is it about a message? Or is it about plain nostalgia about college?

If it is about entertainment, i really did outgrow the chaddi based entertainment a long time ago and should be excused.
If it is about a message, the message can be argued really hard. Not enough time goes into exploring the various dimensions of the message.
If it is about pure nostalgia about college days, sure, that one is spot on. One did laugh a lot during the film, and, except for the parts about the Mona Singh delivery (am yet to get over that one) and the Sharman Joshi suicide attempt, the editing was pretty slick and kept u glued for what happens next.

The music, though a hit at the moment, is not exactly memorable and except for the "Give me some sunshine.." song, none of the other lyrics even register for a more than 4 week period recall.

Kareena has done much better work - this is not one of her benchmark performances, or even looks.

The lighting in the film is really weird - whats the point of that blue flicker in most shots of the film - i mean, why? Or maybe it was just our screen, but one came back with a solid headache from all that flickering.

And finally - Aamir, Madhavan, and Sharman. there is only one line to contribute - Sharman, as an actor, was severely under used in this film. This is a film for which his casting is perfect. And he has done his work really well.

Will i see it again? No. Is a one time watch recommended? Sure. Especially if you want to relive your college humour again.


!!! said...

It has become downright fashionable to deride education nowadays. In days when Obama is urging American kids to emulate the Indian/Chineese kids on the way they study, our idols and leaders (Sibal) etc are busy undoing a lot of it. Yes, there are abnormalities to sort out in our education system. But often the ills are not because of the system - but because of reasons outside it - primarily OUR HUGE POPULATION. Everything evil about the competition and the stress thereof is basically a side-effect of the demand-supply constraint arising out of the population explosion. Dont kill education for it...!!!

Its so simple to preach one to follow one's heart... but the fact of matter is that 90% kids dont exactly have a passion...or know what they will be good at. And to create those evaluation avenues in India is not feasible with the resources. This is not US where the govt is support u with social-security doles if u dont turn out good enuf to earn for yrself...
Hence the competition is a necessary evil.

peenuts said...

I found a message in this film - a message that we should do what we want to do, and not because we are in a rat race - coz in a rat race even if we win, we will still be a rat

Anonymous said...

haven't seen the movie.

On the principal's depiction, how many bollywood films after the 70's have represented teachers or education in good light?

I think the level of humour and caricatures also has to do with the kind of directors/actors/producers... of today. Most of them are runaways of the education system . What else can one expect from them?

Bollywood movies have nothing to do with any social message, just tickling of the masses, which is really such a pity.

Sonia said...

I came here cos I read your comment on MM's blog about how if you're not dead, it isn't fatal. :o)
That was a complete "whoa!" moment for me! :D Thank you, for that!

Regarding the movie, I don't see what the hype is about. It has it's funny moments, yes. But otherwise, there's really nothing khaas about it. Most of the jokes are from forwards that we've seen a million times anyway. the delivery was of course, the icing on the mud pie pretending to be a cake!

Manish Raj said...


I respect your observations and interpretations.

My observations are:

- the message is right on the education content and method. We are often forced to memorise things than learning how to apply.

- talk to a small town guy (like me). Most of the parents there force their kids to pursue a particular line.

- lengthy ragging scenes were unnecessary. Specially when all colleges/ institutes/ government are trying to get rid of ragging.

- finally the point on whether we should 'do what we enjoy' or 'do what we require' can be discussed till rest of our lives. Introspect, I think, you will enjoy working and excel as an amazing 'documentary writer', since you write well, like to connect to people you don't know and you can travel. But socially you are required to earn and bring up kids.

I think it is finally our choice and the level we can take risks. Enjoyment never comes witout a risk.


Id it is said...

I agree with your rating on this movie; despite the rave reviews it got from the Indian community in NY & NJ I was not convinced the movie was worth all the hype that was created around it, and for the very reasons you mention.

Soumyaranjan Dash said...

I respect your observations and feelings but, I enjoyed the film and also enjoyed the popcorn and hot coffee during watching it. If you ask me: "did you hear any social message?" Then, I'll say, "Yes, I did hear something about education that I had experienced before in real life." Unlike you, I'll give it 4 out of 5 stars. After all, choices differ, don't they??

Prabhakar Lal said...

3 idiots celebrates stereotypes in the form of Principal as many bollywood movies have done for policewallahs, doctors etc. Film is certainly educating a lot of young ones in our society when they are running around asking the meaning of Balatkar.
Another thing which I noticed is that absence of girls in the engineering college which may be a rare scene is today's times.

Onkar said...

I found the film meaningful as well as entertaining. Of course, some deficiencies have been well pointed out.

dEEPs said...

i liked this movie. ya, some scenes are not social but these are parts of college life.

my space said...

Hmm... i think it was fun.brought back beautiful memories of college..but yes its an exagerration and larger than life...but aren`t all movies so ? .i agree with most of your arguments..u r v methodical in ur approach :-)

Anonymous said...

I felt a little of the same that you have written about. I could not really relate to being forced by parents to a particular stream. I was given the freedom to do whatever, just that I give my best and not slack. Well that is acceptable cos they were paying the bills ;) Though I do know that quite a few of my peers did not have a choice. It all boils down to need & want. They might want to do something, ornithology for eg., but that would probably not help feed their family like how being a software engineer would!

The pants dropping, the potty shots, the delivery were a bit over the top. One thing though, I seriously wish guys would get that kinda shock when they pee in public anywhere & everywhere - will be one lesson learnt!!!!

How do we know said...

Hi !!!: I totally agree with you there. In fact, i have been lecturing people around me about the "message" of this film. But since this blog already has a post in favor of the exam system, one might as well say no more. Thank you.

Hi peenuts: I agree with the follow your heart message. There is exactly one problem though - who says that Farhan Qureishi could not be a wildlife photographer AFTER his graduation? I don't see what is wrong with getting a basic graduation before one soars on them heart wings.

Hi Anonymous: Probably you are right when you say there is no social msg in Bollywood films, but somehow, some movies do come to mind. Perhaps they are exceptions to the rule. But in most cases, what you say is sadly true. I have a problem with packaging these films as "message" movies though.

How do we know said...

Hi Sonia: :-) i guess u were wondering if this blog will have the reason for that comment.. were u?

Thank you for agreeing with me on the film.. even i was wondering what all these stale jokes were doing in the film. And i loved the analogy - mud pie pretending to be a cake. ROTFL!

Hi Manish: Thank you for taking time to read this. You and i shld have this discussion over a cuppa chai sometime.

Hi Id it is: Am glad we agree, and thank you!

Hi Soumyaranjan Dash: Wonderful! In fact, most people have given the movie rave reviews and i m rather in minority... and pop corn and hot coffee... hmmmm... :-) that WOULD have been nice..

Hi Prabhakar: ROTFL at that line - Meaning of Balatkar. I was in office saturday and made everyone read that line of ur comment bcs i was laughing too hard to read it out! Super!
Re. absence of girls in engg college, maybe they were talking abt IITs, where the ratio is still pretty abysmal... not sure, just guessing..

How do we know said...

Onkar sir: Thank you.

Hi Deeps: Yep, most ppl loved the film.

Hi my space: "you are very methodical in your approach." i will assume that as a compliment :-) thank you.

Hi myheadtrip: "I seriously wish guys would get that kinda shock when they pee in public anywhere & everywhere - will be one lesson learnt!!!!" - LOVED this line, and soo agree.

Tanvi said...

Will I see it again?
I second you. No!!!

Honest review. Luv it!!!

J P Joshi said...

I just finished watching the film, and have a different opinion about the film. I respect your right to your opinion though.

I enjoyed the film although felt that the second half was a little streeechted. The movie has a central message that comes out loud and clear.

The Phosgene Kid said...

If it was like our "Three Stooges" there is no message, unless there is something hidden in a guy hitting another in the head with a monkey wrench. Nope, just pure clean fun. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!!!

Smi said...

I so agree that the toilet humor is something most of us have outgrown and couldn't care less about.
Also, the way Imperial is supposed to be the alter ego of IIT is apalling. To mock one of the most respected institutions and more so, the faculty is so not done.
But yes, I like Aamir Khan and I blindly watch his movies, knowing this guy does good stuff(barring the occasional 'Fanaa's). I did laugh through some of the genuinely funny scenes(like the dhokla-thepla one) and although some "emotional" scenes were just a rehash of the MBBS movie, they did leave an impact at times. But the biggest joke to me was casting Madhavan as a college student. Puh-leez!

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