Movie Review: 3 Idiots (Hindi) 101

Coming from the director of the “Munnabhai” series, on the face of it, 3 idiots is a complete paisa vasool comedy. As with his earlier flicks, it has benign intentions at heart, and some lessons for the system. Vis-à-vis a goon do-gooder there, you have an enigmatic genius here who seems turn everything that he touches into gold; which includes smiles, encouragement, healing, love, creativity, tears and some hard lessons.

The system under attack here is similar to that in Aamir’s previous masterpiece “Tare Zameen Par”: Education as he steps up his ire from schools to professional colleges that emphasize on cramming and bagging ranks. One of the gags says: “if you don't run, you'll be like a broken anda”. Facing the attack is the fictional Imperial College of Engineering, modeled on the famed IITs and shot on campus at IIM Bangalore.

Drawing inspiration from Chetan Bhagat’s ‘5 point someone’, it tracks the lives of its 3 protagonists Ranchhoddas Chanchad or Rancho (Aamir Khan), Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) through their college days, their battles with the dictatorial Director Viru Sahasrabuddhe or ViruS (Boman Irani) and a dabbles into Rancho’s love interest and ViruS’ daughter and a doctor, Pia (Kareena Kapoor).

3 Idiots also tackles issues such as pursuing a stream of education against one’s own creative interests or heart’s calling, teaching a hard lesson to ragging seniors and an odd lesson to slimy nerds. While he goes about things, he gets Pia to fall for him too. Rancho’s bold methods irk ViruS, the similar antagonist from Hirani’s Munnabhai. Of course, as must all movies end, Rancho opens up ViruS’ eyes towards the end.

The funniest scene in undoubtedly is the one involving Rancho modifying Chatur’s speech. While it had to praise ViruS for his ‘chamatkar’ (miracles) in the college, the modified ‘balatkar’ (rape) brings out the reality. With Omi Vaidya delivering it to rote perfection, you’d be rolling on the floor laughing. Here, don’t also miss Hirani’s lesson that mugging up without understanding is ‘balatkar’ of knowledge.

While it’s not all perfect, there are times when the drama is overdone, especially the delivery scene on a TT table! But considering its other goodies, overlooking this is quite easy. The best goodie comes in the form of editing wherein it weaves the past and present events as Farhan and Raju accompanied by a vengeful Chatur try to unearth the whereabouts of the ‘real’ Rancho who disappeared during the convocation.

Aamir Khan is synonymous with quality films. It’s another thing though that I found last year’s "Ghajini” purely average and it turned out to be a hit. But, with 3 Iditots, his sole release for this year, Aamir, in my reckoning is back to his glory days of “Tare Zameen Par”. If the rave reviews and BO collections are to be believed, 3 idiots is a Smash-Hit. If you have still not seen this meaningful laugh riot, rush now for a bite of its gyaan.

Rating 8/10: Intelligent Script plus Munnabhai-esque fun = a sure entertainer