Saturday, December 26, 2009

The 3 Idiots in Us…

The first question arising in the minds of all those readers of ‘5 point Someone’ is how “inspired” is the movie from this book. Rajkumar Hirani, prior to release of the movie, kept saying that it is only inspired from the book and is not an adaptation of the book itself. Just like Slumdog Millionaire was ‘based’ on Vikas Swarup’s ‘Q & A’, 3 Idiots is also based on Chetan Bhagat’s ‘5 Point Someone’. The basic plot of 3 students entering IIT ( here renames to ICE) remains the same. The movie and the book’s story differs. A few chapters from the book are entwined to form a different story. Let’s give credit to both – Chetan Bhagat and Rajkumar Hirani.

Chetan Bhagat penned a marvellous piece - a piece all we engineering grads(even though we did not make it to IIT but made to the states' best colleges) identify with. Rajkumar Hirani identifies the hidden message of “the education system gone wrong and people stuck in the indefinite rat race” and combines the two. Not his brilliant best but a great effort nevertheless.

Rancho, Raju and Farhan are not Alok, Hari and Ryan. Raju is the character closest to Alok. Rancho seems more based on Ryan but has a dark secret like Hari. Some events from the book are lifted such as Hari-Neha’s romance, Alok’s suicide attempt, the final climax of theft. But Hirani adds his own twist even to the sub-plots. It’s a story re-told, in a manner how he would’ve written the book.

Through his previous two films, Hirani with minimal melodrama and the usual Bollywood gibberish, kept his viewer tied to the film at every moment. I’m not sure I can say the same about 3 Idiots. The overall package is delightful but some scenes could have been avoided and the movie definitely needs some editing.

That whole scene about the baby delivery on a ping-pong table via a webcam and the kid kicking at All Izz Well could’ve really have been done away with. Pia’s wedding melodrama – the typical bollywood style could also have been avoided! A trifle hard to believe that she waited 10 years to finally cave in to marriage to the same Price Tag Character. And even more surprising is that Price Tag waited 10 years for a girl who dumped him. It could’ve been more realistic to bring in another guy or not bring anyone at all.

The plot though is witty, especially interactions between the professors and the 3 Idiots. Loved that bit about definition of a book, FARHANITRATE and PRERAJULISATION, Induction Motor and Exam Papers. My favourite scene though was the one where Chatur (Handicapped with Hindi) delivers the hilarious speech twisted by the mischievous Rancho. The theatre was in splits at the kiddish gimmick – but it works to tickle the audience.

Aamir is brilliant yet again, his Rancho steals your heart. He looks a very believable 19-20 year old with his gait, innocent looks and wise cracks. He is undoubtedly one of the finest actors of our time. No two thoughts about that! Madhavan is a favourite of mine since the Banegi Apni Baat days. I have liked him in every damn movie of his, his innocence is charming. But Sharman Joshi takes the cake – his amazingly simple face. He gets away with the wittiest of remarks while keeping a straight face and he shines in two scenes for me – one at his interview and the second when facing rustication. I liked the guy who played Chatur too. Brilliant – especially in that teacher’s day scene! Oh to keep a straight face and act that scene out knowing what the dialogues mean! Tough act for him and he does a brilliant job.

Kareena is good in the few scenes she is present – very true to her Geet in Jab We Met. Boman Irani is ok and we don’t grow to like him despite him being the villain; unlike the previous two Hirani movies where we loved Dr. Asthana and Lucky Singh. Irani’s Viru Sahastrabuddhe a.ka. Virus just does not grow on you and I felt this is another place where 3 Idiots falls short as compared to Hirani’s previous 2 movies.

I thought that the music was fairly decent and the songs were incidental to the plot not forced as is in most cases. Shreya Ghosal and Sonu Nigam are wonderful in the ‘Zoobi Doob Song’. I’m absolutely in love with ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh’ – Shantanu Moitra brings back the magic of Parineeta and Yahaan in this number. ‘Give Me Some Sunshine’ and ‘Jaane Nahi Deenge’ are good numbers too. In fact the one song which is a super hit and will almost be a national anthem just did not impress me in terms of music! Just my opinion, you could differ.

And finally, the movie gets you all nostalgic. It took me back to my engineering days where the average performers were not even recognized. If I go back to college today, I know only a couple professors will recognize me. My engineering memories are about my friends and about the weird characters I met. I thank them all for teaching me what life is all about! The pressure to do well in college was killing at times but I know some blokes and gals around, helped me in having fun and enjoying those crazy 4 years. I will never forget them for the rest of my life!

As the book was about real life characters whom we all have met in our life, the movie too keeps these characters real. I’ve met a Rancho in my engineering college, he was not as mischievous in the plot but he defied the norms of the education system degree, he is doing great in his life today.

I met a Chatur too in my college – many of them in fact and we average students were so looked down upon by them. I have no clue what he is upto – might be a millionaire by now:-) He mailed me once after my cricket articles were published on the net, expressing surprise at my ‘hidden talent’ – I never replied – don’t think he deserved one. I don’t need a stamp of approval from blokes like him. And there was another one who was pursuing his MS in the US of A and expressed surprise after learning I was among the top 5 in my MBA college!

We have at some point in our lives been victims to the peer pressure and the indefinite rat race. All toppers in our schools, but lost in the competitive world just like Raju and Farhan. I did not get to pursue my passion as my profession but atleast I’ve kept it going as my hobby.

The 3 idiots helped me reminisce lots of old memories. Revisit the lives of my long lost batch mates and secretly hoping that the most ignored ones have done far better than the ones who always hogged the limelight! Importantly, it sends a strong message that the bond of friendship is the strongest cause it does not come with any pre-conditions,expectations or requirements – the only one that is an exception to all the relationships that we have. I truly believe in it – for my friends have been around when it mattered the most.

Hope this movie renders a few lessons to our education system, the boring professors and the ‘my-son-will-be-an-engineer-or-doctor’ parents. Hope they learn to listen to what all the students are trying to say which is summed up beautifully in this number:

"Saari umar hum marr marr ke jee liye
Ek pal to ab humein jeene do jeene do
Saari umar hum marr marr ke jee liye
Ek pal to ab humein jeene do jeene do

Give me some sunshine
Give me some rain
Give me another chance I wanna grow up once again"


Sunil said...

excellent article. I just watched the movie last night and can identify with what you've written. Keep it up!

starry eyed said...

Great review! I think I'll just wait for the DVD! and yeah I get that abt being average...I felt totally lost in MSc after being a topper in B.Sc! Pretty sure I would not be remembered!

And I totally adore the 3 actors, esp Sharman rocks!

Hey, you write good reviews girl!

Vineeta said...

I watched the movie on the day of release as I was waiting to see how the movie is different/same compared to the book. And you knw -
What I was feeling after seeing the movie, I read it here! Hats off to you for analyzing it sooo perfectly!

And the last lines of the blog, is my favorite song of the movie!

The Legend Returns said...

Excellent piece Minal

Anonymous said...

Just saw the movie.. Loved it and loved ur review as must!
Can't resist complimenting u.. But must say that ur thoughts flow so smooth.. And they flow they just grow on the reader to accept them. U r a fab writer!
How do u do it with such an ease, I need to learn it from u.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the movie.. Loved it and loved ur review as much!
Can't resist complimenting u.. Must say ur thoughts flow smooth..and as they flow they grow on the reader to accept them.U r a fab writer!
How do u do it with such an ease. I need to learn it from u.


Minal said...

@Sunil: Thanks and nice to have you on my blog:-)

@Starry: My engineering day were the toughest on me - I was dead sure what I did not like , problem was I did not know what I like;-) They were a confusing 4 years for me and I don't know yet if I've found my calling in life! But they bring me back to ground zero everytime I think about them:-) I can quite empathise with the dilemma you would've experienced in your MSc days.
As for the movie - wow our tastes are similar when it comes to the actors.Sharman comes across as a sincere one and that is good enough to impress me!
Don't wait for the DVD - go to the theatres soon!

@Vineeta: Thanks so much!

@Maneesh: thank you sir!

@Swapna: Aww you flatter me! You are a good writer too - just get those thoughts going!

hitch writer said...

I just loved the movie too much to see any faults ... ! :P

for a guy who has been in a hostel about 11 years back.. it was a wonderful trip down memory lane !!!

simply loved the movie... and glad that I had not read 5 point someone or anything.. so it all seemed so very original !