January 26, 2010

Three Idiots (2009)

Seen earlier in the month with The Bollywood Fan, and then seen twice more (!), Three Idiots was bound for everyone's Must See list as soon as it was announced.

Title: Three Idiots
Year: 2009
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Madhavan.

Madhavan anad Sharman meet Aamir while all three are in engineering school at ICE (a thinly veiled composite of IIT and IIM). Aamir marches to his own drummer, and guides his friends towards self-actualization, growth and a healthy enjoyment of being, all while romancing Kareena, harassing College President Boman (her dad) and hiding a sizable secret of his own.

And while clearly the movie is one of the best of its times, and a perfect precursor to Aamir's recent national honors, I don't always agree with its narrative.

First, the Good:
  1. Aamir and Hirani are at the top of their game- the movie is the next logical step after the former's Taare and the latter's Munnabhai series; the kids from Taare appear to have grown up and embraced Munnabhai's jaadu ki jhappi to turn into our three idiots singing All is Well- brilliant that.
  2. With its message of self actualization, the entire cast is truly all it could be. Everyone turns in stellar performances, and kudos to Kareena for having eaten well. Even the supporting cast- Javed Jaffery, the ragging senior, Sharman and Madhavan's families, are brilliant and perfect.
  3. Its a fantastic product for the masses- highly entertaining & engaging, healthy, slightly lecture-y, somewhat romantic, largely happy, and of-so-slightly tragic (the Christian is the only casualty- a Bollywood requirement historically it seems).

Then the bad:

  1. While the movie is a happy culmination and extension of Taare and Munnabhai, it sometimes feels as little else. It is all the movie that one expects from Aamir and Hirani teaming up- there is no surprise anywhere in the narrative. For all the talk about innovation, the tag line "All is Well" is Munnabhai's "jhappi"-rehashed, warmed over and served.
  2. Millimeter, the teenager who helps out at the boys' hostel, in no way resembles the grown-up Centimeter. Seriously- did the teen's softer, darker features grow up to become sharper, become more eastern, and he grew fairer- all because he moved from Delhi to the mountains? Other than changes in surroundings, there appear to have been genetic changes as well.
  3. The pre-climatic scene where Mona gives birth with the help of the entire boys' hostel (pretty much)- requires a leap of disbelief- the entire hostel is mobilized and back up generators established and connected in minutes, which is only explained via 2 words- "movie magic."

But then, the only reason why we'd even have this criticism is because the movie is such a superior product. If you have been living under a rock, or just refusing to be like every one else and seeing it, give up already, and check it out!