Sunday, January 03, 2010


Cast: Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R. Madhavan, Boman Irani, Kareena Kapoor
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Runtime: 180 min. (citation needed)
Verdict: Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Meh.
Genre: Comedy, Drama

        Mr. Hirani is a filmmaker I used to hate, for he represented utter mediocrity of choices, and a preachy attitude that did nothing but rehash morals out of Aesop’s fables. I used to be disappointed for he supposedly represented our example of a brilliant filmmaker, when all he could manage drama and plot resolution barely one level above that of a regular television soap. But then, I don’t anymore. You see, we all are wrong here. You reading about this movie, and discussing it as some serious work of art, here and everywhere else, and me criticizing it with a straight face. Who is right? I speak to my better half, and explain my reservations about Hirani and his immoral choices. She exhales, and says, much like Hitchcock did many years ago – It is just a movie. And that is what it is. Mr. Hirani is not an artist, and certainly not the wise and enlightening filmmaker everyone has made him out to be. And if that were the case, David Dhawan stands right next to Stanley Kubrick.
        So I reconcile, and as I enter 3 Idiots, a movie which I was sure I would hate, and which I now don’t mind at all. Mr. Hirani is simply anti-establishment. He doesn’t understand that his film is contradicting itself, and neither should we mind that at all. You see, dear reader, on one hand we say that competition and race is all bad, and is more importantly unhealthy. And this is supposed to be the competition that everybody is running in. On the other we say, winners do things differently. I don’t know, but aren’t we saying the same thing differently. To put it simply, Mr. Hirani is advocating the radical thinking of a winner while advocating against competition. It is stupid to whine against competition. It is like advocating for a socialist system just because you aren’t good enough to get the dough. What is 3 Idiots advocating but the pursuing of one’s talent? And what’s talent but the winning formula to success? But never mind.
        3 Idiots at the end of the day is a funny film with a heart. There is a nice little buddy film, with likable characters, right down to the small ones (Millimeter), and that is always pleasant. Yes, I find the right word dear reader to describe the film – pleasant. A pat on my back please. Thank you very much. Coming back, the film is irreverent in a calculated measure too. And don’t bother if you have heard 70 percent of the jokes elsewhere, through mails, through anecdotal quips, through text messages, and what not. You know, like the stuff with pencil in space. Many of those. And the ending delivery sequence is utterly ridiculous. There’s a YouTube video and it is the film’s funniest moment, though I know not if it was intentional. The fact is Mr. Hirani is terrible with scenes of serious drama, and what his solution is keep punching with funny liners. As I say in my review of Funny People, humor has always been a defense mechanism, or in this case, a neat little diversion to keep you busy. The dramatic scenes just don’t stick.
        But why am I still discussing it seriously? Is there anything to be learnt from this film? Not really. We already know humor works in Hindi films. Be it this, or be it No Entry, although the latter, mind you dear reader, holds no pretensions of enlightening you, and is instead cheerfully irreverent. What else? Ah yes, Mr. Khan does look old. The stuff below his eyes that I suspect has been done during post processing is patchy, and makes his eyes look weird. Apart from that? Oh yeah, that envy we still hold for the class topper. God do we fantasize stuff. And that Mr. Hirani has found a golden goose in that Munnabhai character. You see, after Munnabhai and Munnabhai Reloaded, this is Munnabhai Revolutions. Nothing more, and nothing less.


Just Another Film Buff said...

re, aren't you? 4 reviews in 3days!

Haven't seen 3i, but this is what Mr. Hirani told yesterday, paraphrased here, on a News Channel during the Bhagat-Hirani-Chopra spat:

"We are not making some commercial masala movies here. We are making movies to improve people's lives."

Reading your review, I couldn't stop laughing at Mr. Hirani's own contradiction, leave alone the film's.

Aravind Ganesan said...

I hold the same opinion about the movie as you do. This movie is being taken more seriously than it is supposed to be. I had a lot of fun watching this movie. Dont remember when I laughed so loud in a hall. But that is it. This movie is not beyond laughs.

man in the iron mask said...

Srikanth, that is the thing I hate. Mr. Hirani thinks he has figured it all out, and now it is time to enlighten and bless us with his wisdom. And give us what? Sheesh. Message movies are a disgrace man. You say commercial movies are exploitative, right? Prime reason - Messages. That is what spoils the party.

Don't you think movies are supposed to be journeys, not guided tours? What's the fun then?

And I am a man with a mission. I had slowed down a bit last year, but I guess your stats say it has been a great start to the year. There are more coming your way man.

man in the iron mask said...

Aravind, you know what? Most audiences know it. They don't take these movies that sriously. It is just the urban pseudo-sophisticated audience that assumes this is what "cinema is supposed to be" with messages and all.
For them, I got only one thing. I want to rub shaving cream all over my face. Put some lipstick, or pull out some Close-Up and rub it on my lips and all around my mouth.
And say to this misguided section of the audience - WHY SO SERIOUS?

P.S. - You knew it was coming don't you?

Perx said...

"Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Meh."

This line is the one of the best reviews I have ever read.. it just says it all..

Shantanu Dhankar said...

At one point, I felt that the movie mocked at the audience with its blatant and explicit preaching..but then I think it is in the genes of every indian director to 'preach' (at least whereever relevant) or worst conclude. Why cant they make good cinema and leave education to better and qualified individuals?

But, then it seems that I did the movie more seriously ;-)

Cherish said...

"It is just the urban pseudo-sophisticated audience that assumes this is what "cinema is supposed to be" with messages and all"

Excellent follow up to an excellent review. Spot on!

I was wondering the following situation - Aamir an ordinary student, no Javed Jaffery, no delivery scene, and no last scientist thingy...for me the movie at 2:30 hrs would have been more ideal (with less preachy of course)

!Teq-uila Del Zapata said...

I am not going to watch this one, the reason. I disagree to the fact that 40 year old actors can play role of 20 year old students. And as you say these movies are strictly mediocre by any standard.

Amar said...

As far as the comedy is concerned, I prefer 'In the Loop' anytime. Sorry Mr Hirani, but 'all-is-not-well'. No, not this time...

man in the iron mask said...

That is unfair Amar. Expecting an In the Loop from these folks, or for that matter most folks, is asking for too much. Way too much.

feroz_dude said...

Hi Satish,
This has nothing to do with 3 Idiots. I read your reviews and am impressed with the insight you have about movies. Last week I saw Children's of Heaven and Colors of Paradise - Irani movies by Majid Majidi. They are not new movies though but are excellent. Please watch this movie as I am sure u will like it. and also please review them.

saurabh shetty said...

check this out-

satish, you should start doing something similar.. :)

Rajesh said...

I disagree that Munnabhai movies were preachy. While watching those movies, I never felt it.
However I agree with you completely for 3I. I consider this movie as just a funny movie and thats it. The characters never grow on you, aamir khan seems to be trying too hard, etc. I feel that though the movie borrows some sequences from 5 Point Someone, we see the movie from the perspective of Rancho, the genius. FPS on the other hand was always from the point of view of Hari - a mediocore.

Tulus Sitompul said...

Thank you 4 ur post....!!!!!