3 | Bollywood | Cinema Of India

Cast: Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor and Boman Irani. Director: Rajkumar Hirani.

Going home after watching 3 Idiots I felt like I'd just been to my favorite rest aurant only to be a tad under-whelmed by their signature dish. It was a satisfyi ng meal, don't get me wrong, but not the best meal I'd been expecting. 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan, produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and written and d irected by Rajkumar Hirani, is a film of impeccable pedigree. It's a breezy ente rtainer and it's got its heart in the right place, but it appears to be lacking in the naiive idealism and old-fashioned sincerity that propelled Hirani's two M unnabhai films to cult status. Loosely based on Chetan Bhagat's pulpy bestseller Five Point Someone, 3 Idiots t akes light-hearted but pointed jabs at the Indian education system, raising pert inent questions about the relevance of learning by rote, the obsession with high grades, and the dangerous repercussions of parental pressure to pursue traditio nal streams. Set on an engineering campus in Delhi modeled after the IIT, the film features A amir Khan as free-spirited student Rancho who dishes out important life lessons to his roommates Farhan and Raju (played by R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi), even as Naziesque campus director Viru Sahastrabuddhe (played by Boman Irani) clashes with him for brazenly rejecting conventional wisdom. Rancho, as it turns out, can do just about anything. From empowering Farhan to c onvince his family he wants to be a photographer not an engineer, to nursing ano ther friend back to health after a failed suicide attempt, Rancho even helps an unsuspecting girl open her eyes to the superficial jerk she's about to marry, an d believe it or not, at one point he even delivers a baby on the college ping-po ng table following instructions from a doctor on webcam. But soon after teaching them these valuable lessons and touching their lives in some way or the other, Rancho vanishes. The film is told mostly in flashback, wi th Farhan and Raju setting off to find their buddy a few years later. And because no Hindi film can be complete without a romance, Hirani and his co-w riter Abhijat Joshi also manage to squeeze in a love track between Rancho and th e college director's daughter Pia (played by Kareena Kapoor). The film's first half breezes by effortlessly between Hirani's trademark comic f lourishes including a hilarious ragging scene, two witty confrontations with tea chers, and even an uproarious Farrelly Brothers-style gag involving a rolling pi n and a paralysed man. Expectedly, the humor is alternated with moments of poign ancy like that delicate scene in which the group first discovers a fellow studen t's suicide. Problem is, the genuine lump-in-your-throat moments are few and far between, the screenplay populated instead by a batch of scenes calling for push-button emoti ons. Where the Munnabhai films cunningly tricked you into shedding an unexpected tear, 3 Idiots goes for full-throttle melodrama. The film's second half in particular, is a tiring mess of ridiculous back-storie s, convenient coincidences and sappy sentimentality. Despite these hiccups, the film still works to a fair extent because of the inhe rent optimism in the plot and the sheer good-naturedness of its characters. It's hard to resist Rancho's cheery "All izz well" chant even if Hirani does push it a little too far when he ties it to a baby's first in-womb kick, and the scene I mentioned earlier involving a delivery on a ping-pong table. Of the cast, Sharman Joshi has a meatier role than R Madhavan, hence succeeds in fleshing him out more competently. Kareena Kapoor makes her presence felt despi te the small role, and Boman Irani - although he's trapped in a caricature - ins pires hearty laughs. But for me, the performance that stood out in this film belongs to lesser-known LA-based actor Omi Vaidya who stars as the Hindi-challenged Chatur Ramalingam, w ho deserves credit for turning an old childish gag into what is one of the film' s funniest scenes on the strength of his pitch-perfect expressions and delivery. And then of course, there's Aamir Khan as Rancho. Who never quite passes off as a 20-something-year-old, but remains the heart and soul of 3 Idiots with his spo t-on comedy, his measured histrionics, and his immense likeability.

it is far fr om his best work.and hence it's unquestionably an enjoyable watch. All The Best or De Dana Dan .think Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. because it's the season to be jolly. and good laughs are guaranteed. However it's warmer than any other comedy this year . Watch i t anyway. I'm going with three out of five for director Rajkumar Hirani' s 3 Idiots. however.The film. . is a broad entertainer that plays to the gallery. well-int entioned but sadly muddled. in the end. From the man behind those decade-defining Munnabhai films. but never flies. an earnest but calculated effort that runs.

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