What a weekend Part 1 or 3 Idiots

Contains spoilers.

When you plan something for so long there's always a certain amount of expectations. This weekend was my first visit in over a year into the city. Reason: 3 Idiots and Dulha Mil Gaya. My sister is the person who sat me down to watch my very first Bollywood film, so I was excited to share her very first theatre experience with her. Her enthusiasm was absolutely contagious and it was difficult to even sit in our seats calmly! Never mind when the lights went out and the preview for MNIK came on. I thought we'd need to call the medics for both of us. Local Hindustani's were probably wondering who these crazy gori ladki's were!

Anyway, first on our double feature day was 3 Idiots. There are really only a handful of films that I would say have left a lasting impression on me, whether it's for the star power, the acting or the story. Rajkumar Hirani's "loosely based" adaptation will stay in my heart for a long time and lands very firmly in my top 10 films. Loaded with moral messages, in your face sight gags and clever dialogue, we are given the story of three engineering students, who, amongst the pressures of college life, find long lasting friendships, their own true paths in life and a little bit about who they are in the process.

There's been a lot of talk over Bollywood heroes and how they refuse to grow up and play parts their own age. Honestly, I could really care less if Aamir Khan wants to play a 44 year old, a 20 year old or a 70 year old. It's his acting genius that comes through in his roles and keeps me coming back for more, not how old his face looks (or doesn't look for that matter). As Rancho, he seems like someone you kind of want to hate, but just can't. He challenges authority at every turn, yet always manages to get away with it. He refuses to put emphasis on the age old tradition of studying, yet walks away with perfect grades. Despite being told that his influence could be the demise of his friends, he continues to put them in questionable situations. In spite of all of this, there's just something about him that draws you in and keeps you there. I think Aamir did just about as good a job at playing this pseudo man-child as anyone could. In fact, I don't think there's anyone in Bollywood today who could pull off such a role. His mannerisms were spot on, his body language somewhat awkward, but it all just fit for me.

While marketed as an Aamir Khan starrer, this film is 100% a collaborative effort and would be nothing without the amazing presence of all the other actors. Having only seen R. Madhavan once before in Guru, and Sharman Joshi in RDB, I'm not very familiar with either of their work. What I do know is that both of them did an outstanding job as Farhan and Raju respectively. Of the two, however, I am eager to see more of Joshi's films purely based on his portrayal of Raju. His journey is the most impactful of the three, as we see him rely heavily on his faith to get him through, to his despair, right through to the astounding amount of courage and faith his has in himself in the end. That isn't to say Madhavan doesn't have some shining moments. The scene where he pleads to his father to let him follow his own heart is absolutely stellar.

Boman Irani, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite character actors, is just brilliant as ViruS. I think it's interesting how Boman gives us some of the funniest moments in the film despite the fact that he is so obscenely malicious to our protagonists. Boman's character, though, reminds me of a caricature of Amitabh's Narayan Shankar from Mohabbatein. He believes in order, likes to rule with discipline and fear and houses a cold shoulder towards the problems of his students, but it's sometimes hard to take all of that really seriously when it's punctuated by an over the top lisp. However, the final scene between ViruS and Rancho is one of my favorites in the film.

Kareena Kapoor is fianlly starting to win me over I think. I'm so used to the self-absorbed roles she's played (though to be fair I've really only seen a handful of her films), but it is so nice to see her play someone who doesn't care whether her shoes match her purse. As Pia, she is refreshingly down to earth and really a pleasure to watch. I actually wish that she'd been more present in the story. Rahul Kumar was fun to watch as Millimeter. My only criticism, which isn't with the casting so much as the characters, is that Omi Vaidya's character Silencer, seemed to be created simply to be the butt of everyone's jokes and the appearance of Javed Jaffrey served as nothing more than a character created to wrap up a plot twist way too conveniently.

Okay, enough about the actors. I left the theatre thinking there wasn't anything about this film that I didn't like, but after pondering it a little more, there were two things that really aggravated me. Rajkumar's lead up to the birth of Pia's sister's baby was appropriately suspenseful, but the addition of the still birth seemed an unnecessary ploy to overload our emotional senses. Furthermore, to think that something as silly as saying three words would miraculously revive any baby is asinine. (I thought it was also silly earlier in the film when the baby kicked for the first time - what was she 7 months pregnant by then? You'd think if the baby hadn't kicked until that moment that a stillbirth was eminent). The only other thing that I wasn't fully on board with was the pre-interval twist, or more accurately the post-interval resolution. I had really hoped that we were going to see some real interesting reason as to Rancho's real identity. I immediately thought of Fight Club, but then again, Abhijet Joshi didn't write that kind of movie to begin with.

I really enjoy the music from this film. Where others are cursing the whistling that's sure to be classified a legitimate ear worm, I like pretty much all the songs, including All Izz Well. Zoobi Doobi and Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe are really my favorites though. The former has an absolutely wonderful picturization (and yes, the tv show bits are really funny!), and the later is sung so beautifully that it's hard not to hum along and get swept away by Sonu's golden voice.

You can watch this movie and see in it the message of friendship, how to follow your dreams or the problems with the educational system, but any way you look at it, it's Hindi film at it's finest. I highly HIGHLY recommend it. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hopefully walk out of the theatre and thank Rajkumar for making such a wonderfully entertaining and thoughtful film.

10 Response to "What a weekend Part 1 or 3 Idiots"

  1. rhilex says:
    January 12, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Ugh. I'm so torn on this one. It topped my 'most awaited films' list for last year, but after the seemingly slapsticky and mediocre-looking promos and music, my desire to see it sank into oblivion. Now everyone's raving about it! :S

    I'm saving my Bolly theater visit for MNIK (how great was it to see that trailer on the big screen?!), but going to watch 3 Idiots on youtube when it gets uploaded. Legal youtube is too good to pass up, whether I think I'll enjoy the film or not! :P

  2. shell says:
    January 12, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    I honestly don't know how anyone could not enjoy this film. Hopefully you will too. It's a definite on the "must own" list for sure.
    I just about died seeing the MNIK promo in the theatre. I don't know how my heart is going to take the whole movie. However I saw RNBDJ in theatres and managed to make it through that fully intact!

  3. Erin Georgia says:
    January 13, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Oh yay! I LOVED this film! I left skipping, I think, which wasn't easy since my theatre was packed. People were standing the aisles!

    Zoobie Doobie is MY ear worm, I don't think I've gotten it out of my head since I saw the film some three weeks ago. Arrrgh! It's lucky that I enjoyed the music, even though it took a while for ZD to grow on me. At first I hated it.

    I'm no big complainer about actors ages either. So what? If they look 22 when they're 44 let 'em at it. It's not like I've seen anyone spectacular in the younger generation coming up to grab the roles and do such a wonderful job. And without this cast ensemble I doubt the movie could have been as great.

    Ahhh, I remember when I was anti-Kareena Kapoor. Not anymore... the more I see of her the more I love her.

  4. shell says:
    January 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Hi Erin! I'm so glad that you liked it! I know there are a few people who say they won't see this one simply because of Aamir botox look, but they don't know what they're missing. And I totally, agree. The new generation has yet to really impress me, and I didn't feel like I was watching someone play a younger person, he just seemed younger.
    Anyway, thanks for coming by. I don't think you have before, but I've seen you around the blogosphere. Happy watching and come back again.

  5. Filmbuff Says:
    January 13, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Glad you enjoyed 3I on the big screen. I too liked it very much and saw it in a packed theatre. Yep MNIK tralier was awesome.

  6. shell says:
    January 13, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Glad to hear. One of Aamir's best I think. Can't wait for MNIK!!!

  7. Jules says:
    January 13, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Thanks for the wonderful mention, Sis! I was so thrilled that day and couldn't have imagined seeing that movie without you. Thank you for the tremendous day!

    As for the movie, I haven't officially placed it in order of rank, but it would be in my top 5, I'm sure. If the baby bits of the movie were the only troublesome parts, then for almost 3 hours, I call that brilliant!!!

  8. shell says:
    January 14, 2010 at 7:00 AM

    I agree. I can overlook the baby bits for the rest of the filmi goodness for sure.

    And you are so welcome! I was so happy to share it with you too.

  9. theBollywoodFan says:
    January 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Really glad you enjoyed this, Shell! I haven't laughed as much as I did while watching bits of 3i in a long, long time.

    Thought the music could have been a lot better, but then, it's probably Aamir and Rahman whose past collaborations have spoiled us over time. :)

    More later.


  10. shell says:
    January 15, 2010 at 7:19 AM

    I actually liked the music, well, most of it anyway. I also laughed so much more than I remember doing so in any other movie in a long time as well. I am so happy to have been able to see it in the theatre too. Enhanced the experience 1000%.