India is an amazing country, as I have already stated in the linked post. I have finally watched these days, a real Bollywood masterpiece, one that has broken the box office record outside India at the time of release, in 2009. Usually it is a matter of tastes regarding this musical tragedies, some of them are really entertaining, others are just boring and stereotypical. Not this one. 3 Idiots is a perfect mix between comedy (it is more of a comedy than a tragedy), drama and music. Actually it is so good prepared and acted, that one doesn’t want it to end.
The message is highly positive, and with all the tragedy around, it’s hard to fail to see or feel it. The title is inspired by the anecdote told in the film by one of the main characters, “Rancho”, played by the great Bollywood star Aamir Khan, as follows: In the place Rancho was born, the night watcher used to march trough the city or village or whatever it was the place, and chant the words “all iz well”, meaning that people could go to sleep in peace, which they literally did, all is well, so sleep in peace.
The movie is inspired somehow (with some explanations) by Five Point Someone, a book written by Chetan Bhagat, but after comparing them, one can see that the movie kept only the spirit of what happens in the book, and I’ll say more of that a little bit later. The movie is about three friends with different backgrounds, passing their days through the Imperial College of Engineering in Delhi, an institution made after the Indian replica of MIT, the Indian Institute of Technology, IIT. Since the book seems to be a comical guide of how not behave during your studies in such a prestigious institution, the movie reveals some general aspects present almost in any modern University, and suggests the contrary.
The modern superior schooling seems to have all as the final scope, the graduation symbol, the diploma, forgetting the main purpose, that of developing the individual to use his aptitudes in a better way, based on the new acquired knowledge of efficiently processing data. The students are programmed to become the new robots in an already established system, with methods that are not leaving room for progress, for innovation. The initiative is stopped quite before it is evenly outlined.
Rancho, is a “phenomenon” who uses his brain, his thinking along learning new knowledge. Because I don’t want to spoil the action at all, I’ll continue with the trivial subject about the novel’s author credits. The director, Rajkumar Hirani, read the book, liked it and said that he will produce a script based on it. Together with Abhijat Joshi and partly with the movie producer, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, he released a script very different to the book, but he promised to credit the book’s author in the movie, so he did. The names are different, a lot of things are different, and the central character actions are different, even the actors don’t match entirely the book’s characters.
Aamir Khan is maybe the best Indian actor at the moment, and he played here along Kareena Kapoor (as Pia), , R. Madhavan (as Farhan, one of the trio), Sharman Joshi (as Raju, the third member of the trio), Boman Irani (as Professor “Virus”, Pia’s father and the Institute’s Rector), Omi Vaidya (as Chatur ‘Silencer’, a comical rival student), and Mona Singh (as Mona, Pia’s big sister, Virus’ other daughter).
The movie is one of the best Indian movies ever made, and was the first Bollywood movie to achieve a real international success when released, in 2009. It is an 8.3 on imdb, and I assure you that not only the Indian natives voted there. The name though, 3 Idiots, is very unflattering, at least in my opinion, because it suggests a light comedy. There are not any idiots in the movie, not even the geeks.
Down here, is a scene from the beginning, which I consider to be more relevant than the official trailer.
I found just a Hindi official, and it was too revealing. There are a few surprises there, remember that the Indian cinema is full of imagination. It was a movie appreciated by the Western movie critics as well, so I’m sure you’ll like it too. As a bonus, you’ll travel to some of the most beautiful locations in India, from New Delhi, to the Himalaya Mountains.
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