Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3 Cheers for 3 idiots

Following up the Munnabhai series on one hand and also doing justice to something like Chetan Bhagat's 'Five point Someone' on the other must have made Rajkumar Hirani evolve his 'Aal izz Well' philosophy! And it worked, just like 'Jaadu Ki Jappi' and Gandhigiri. Rajkumar Hirani, the man who resurrected Gandhi for the theatre-goers is back with a rehash of Chetan Bhagat's 'Five point Someone' and with his honesty intact. Chetan Bhagat would be proud of this take on his novel. But did he actually get the credit? I am not sure I saw his name in the opening credits!!

The novel's critical take on Indian education system and its lush portrayal of the joe de vivre spirit of the 3 friends the system takes it toll on is the perfect canvas for Hirani, who excelled the art of hammering in messages through comedy. So here he is taking the essence of the novel, especially its humor and adding the Bollywood masala and deducting the matter-of-fact tone of the novel. While the Five point graders in the novel go thru unbelievable lows to salvage something in the end and pass out, this 3 hour Aamir starrer is designed as triumph of the underdogs, as is the filmi wont. The humor is multiplied many times over.

To start with, The IIT background is shifted to some prestigious private college so as to not arouse a scandal by commenting on its education system. The Ryan character becomes Rancho, borrows Rajesh's girlfriend here as he is playing 'hero' here, again because of which he ends up a top-of-the-line scientist, not some research assistant. Ditto with other 2 friends who in the novel just manage to scrape through into software careers (man, are we so cheap!!). Here in the movie, they are made for better things. One even follows his heart to become a wildlife photographer. The novel didn't have the lofty ideals of follow-ur-heart thing and it just was a coming of age story of 3 folks, even as it enlightens the Hitleresque HoD of Mech Engg. While the HoD thread continues to be the emotional core here, the movie includes more sub-plots in its canvas to add more masala. Rancho is more altruistic here than Ryan was, there is also some drama thrown in for his background which helps the flashback narrative. And here we have a Chatur Ramalingam's character who is fully-blown out from the mugger Venkat in the novel (to elevate the 'success' of Rancho towards the end). So much blown up, he stinks all time! His on-stage Hindi performance is outrageously funny (Why do the southies suit so well for the studious characters is something to ponder! Remember the bespectacled medico Nagarajan in Munnabhai).

Aamir suits the central character to the T. In fact the project wouldn't have been possible without his dynamism. 3 idiots is the first serious take on Indian education system and that very fact keeps it in good stead to become a huge blockbuster. Madhavan and Sharman do well too. Boman Irani seems to be a resident evil in all Hirani's ventures and with a very good reason. He makes it very easy for us to loath him with his menacing. The first half of the movie just flies by in all wit. The second half slows a bit and even the dialogue at some places look laboured but the joyous mood of the movie so overwhelms that these technicalities don't matter much except to rank 3 idiots a few steps below the finesse of the Munnabhai series. But then, maybe, we don't always need Hirani's best to keep the viewers agog and the box office on fire. Hirani would have feared matching his early successes and must have said 'Aal izz Well' to keep himself going! And it works big time in all its honesty. 3 cheers to 3 idiots :)


Harisha said...

Dude, I am yet to watch this movie but your review leaves me more curious. Of course we can expect good stuff from someone who gave munnabhai series to us, so will come back with comments after watching it.

Harisha said...

Listen to your heart and do it with conviction, as if there is no alternative.'Aal Izz Well' is another form of 'jaadu ki chabbi' and the movie has the same unbelievable optimism and positive energy that Raju Hirani pours into his movies.
awesome movie!

jshanthkumar said...

I found that the movie is all about suicides and success, It could have been better if some practical incedents are included. Other wise it is nice movie, one need to watch. Direction, concept, choreography, background music and the take is awesome.

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