Anime Reporter shares some thoughts on 3 Idiots, Rajikumar Hirani’s Bollywood adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, Five Point Someone.
The film starts with Farhan, (played by R. Madhavan), getting a text seemingly important enough to make him bring the flight he’s on to an end. He calls up his old friend Raju, (played by Sharman Joshi) and shanghai’s him into an abrupt quest with the news that “Rancho” has been found.
Rancho, as it happens, was a very strange and altogether extraordinary student (played by PK’s Aamir Khan), studying with the pair to be engineers. The news that he has been found is more of a bluff by another former classmate, Chatur, (played by Omi Vaidya). Chatur recalls placing a bet with Rancho to see which of them would become the most successful after their studies and declares the time to settle the bet as here. The three men take off across the country with only a few crumbs of information to lead them towards Rancho.
While they drive, Farhan recalls his years at university, how they all first met Rancho and how much he came to mean to everyone around him. Rancho railed against what he saw as a factory, rather than a college, encouraging his fellow students as well as professors and even the head of the university to throw away mindless regurgitations of facts and embrace the joy of learning. Rancho’s love for practical learning was first demonstrated when he lightly electrocuted a minor bully through his urine.
We’re given a few windows into the boy’s time at their studies and how Rancho brought some light to everyone’s life. The main exception to this, aside from Chatur, could be said to be the ill-nicknamed head of the university, Virus (played by Boman Irani). Virus prides himself on running a competitive and respected place of learning and doesn’t take kindly to Rancho’s penchant for making smart people look very, very stupid.
This film is, in so many ways, a beautiful thing. The humour, which is abundant, is light and so well executed. The plot is a wonderful glimpse into different people’s lives as they came together for a few years and the impact one soul made upon them all. Fair warning though, this is a weepy. Unless you’re made of some stone-titanium compound, there are moments in this film which will touch you deeply, if not bring you openly to tears more than once. It’s no easy feat, but this film manages to be warm, inspirational, funny, romantic, suspenseful, moving, chilling, thought-provoking and original.
The cast is phenomenal, hitting all of the right emotional tones between heartbeats and capturing a wonderfully cheeky sense of humour as well as oh so many moments of love, shame, dread and remorse. There are a few musical numbers of the typical Bollywood style which seem to be poking fun at the conventions of the genre while also forming important parts of the tale.
There is a lot to be said about this film, but, failing a blow by blow account of the entire plot, there’s little that will accurately convey just what this film is about. If you enjoyed the cheeky charisma of Ferris Beuller, the profound simplicity and humanity of Forrest Gump or the wonder of Big Fish, then I must recommend that you see 3 Idiots on the very next rainy afternoon you come across.
It should be said that the runtime of this film is almost three hours, falling short by just 16 minutes, but it is to the credit of all involved that I didn’t, and you may not, notice the time go by at all. The language for the film is a mix of Hindi and English with English subtitles throughout.
3 Idiots is currently available on DVD and Bluray from Reliance media.
That said, the entire film has also officially been released on Youtube.
93% – “All Is Well” – Moving, entertaining and original; 3 Idiots is a profoundly well told story, with enough warmth and emotion to win over most viewers, and I include robots that don’t understand what you humans call “emotion” in that claim. Seriously, this is a great film. It might just become your favourite.