I have stopped reviewing movies. I only watch and return in total dismay. I cannot recollect the last time I was at the movies having fun. Only English movies seem to be saving the day. In spite of the turmoil in Andhra Pradesh and uncertainty over the screening of movies, I bought eight tickets on Wednesday, the 23rd, for the first day first show at Ramakrishna 70mm, Abids, hoping to forgot all the hard times. Thankfully, the show was held and I am happy to report that from 11:30am to 2:25pm, including a short intermission, all the eight of us laughed, cried, screamed, whistled and had fun!
Essentially, the film is about three friends with a loaded message about the Indian education and parenting system that relies more on pressure and less on pleasure for the individual. Rancho (Aamir Khan), Farhan (Madhavan), and Raju (Sharman Joshi) are the 3 Idiots. Farhan and Raju are the ‘average joe’ kinda guys from middle class backgrounds and have come to pursue an engineering degree out of pressure and not passion. Rancho is a cool dude who has a cool and has an out-of-the-box answer for just about any situation in life. Rancho becomes a guiding light for the two of his friends and the rest (preaching) on a variety of issues from teaching methodology to an attitude of life called “all izz well”. College is over and Rancho does the disappearing act. It is five years now and Raju and Farhan are still looking for their friend. Due a bizarre call from a common irritant from college days their search for Rancho becomes a reality as they drive from Delhi to Shimla to Manalli to Ladak. There is an interval twist, but it is only for the sake of a twist as the movie would have been just fine even without the twist. Towards the end, all three friends unite and so does Rancho and his college girlfriend Pia (Kareena Kapoor in a highly sidelined role).
From the point of view of a plot or concept there is nothing to boast off in the film (unlike Mr. Hirani’s Munnabhai MBBS or Lage Raho…). However, it is the interesting narration—Madhavan is narrating the story in flashbacks as the drive up and down the hills of India—and hilarious sequences that keep the film alive. In addition, the film generally well directed to ensure that the audience is having fun. In fact, the film builds on Aamir Khan’s interest in reforming India’s education and parenting system as he did in Taare Zamin Par—-loaded with references to student suicides, pressure-cooker type educational institutions, the academic and professional rat-race etc. The film is an out-an-out Aamir Khan film with all others just supporting him or just being there. Better songs and a stronger love story between Aamir Khan and Kareena would only have helped make the film more entertaining. Although it is tough to imagine Aamir Khan and Madhavan as college students, they deliver quite a believable appearance and performance. Sharman Joshi and another college friend/enemy by name Chatur Ramalingam deliver the best performances of the film. In fact, it is Chatur’s teacher’s day speech that will have you fall out of your chair laughing! (the usage of words like balatkar for chamatkar!)
I will refrain from analyzing any further as this is not the season to analyze the film. After an awfully long time and in the midst of an industry steeped in depression we have a film where from the first scene to the last there is something fun happening on the screen. For this, I am much thankful to Rajkumar Hirani. After you complete watching all the funny and emotional sequences that fill up with film you too will heave a sigh of relief and say “all izz well!”
Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: One Thumb Way Up! Just watch it for the fun it offers. However, this is not a classic movie material and thus no two thumbs up.