I have no idea why, but 3 Idiots kept popping up on random lists. Maybe they had seen the Last Movie Outpost Livestream? Anyway, so I put it on my watch list to check out later. I heard good things about it. Some people had really rated it. So I gave it a watch, and here’s my review.
3 Idiots And A Spoiler Warning
Before I go on, be warned that there will be some mild spoilers. Also, be advised that the movie is in Hindi. If you’re not into subtitles, you might want to miss it. I will say straight off that it was one of the best movies I have seen in a while.
I’m not big on Bollywood movies. In fact, I don’t think I have ever watched one in its entirety. This movie has a couple of Bollywood numbers in it, but I wouldn’t call it Bollywood, just an Indian movie.
The story is simple:
Two friends are searching for their long lost companion. They revisit their college days and recall the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently, even as the rest of the world called them “idiots”.
We join the story with two of the main protagonists, Raju (Sharman Joshi) and Farhan (Madhavan), at an old meeting spot they used to go to when they were in college. One of the other guys from college has called them there to show how successful he’s become. He also is to tell them that he has found their old friend Rancho (Aamir Khan).
Raju and Farhan haven’t seen Rancho in many years and really want to see him again. As they reminisce, we are taken back to when they first joined Delhi’s Imperial College of Engineering and when they first met Rancho. The two are going through an initiation ceremony and Rancho turns up late. Rancho is told that if he doesn’t take part, he will have his front door pissed on every day as penance. The college guy threatens to pee on his door right there and then.
So Rancho makes a device and hooks it up to the electricity mains. When the guy does piss on his door, the results are pretty funny. Never mess with an engineer.
From here on in 3 Idiots follows the main players and sees how the two main guys are there because their families have scrimped and saved to send them there. Rancho seems to be there for fun, and simply for the thrill of learning.
Rancho’s outlook on life is completely different from the others. The others HAVE to get a job, they have to support their families. Completing college leads to a home, a wife, and a better life. Rancho just wants to take in knowledge. He doesn’t care about the future and what life he might have, his philosophy is:
“Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down.”
There’s a whole joke in there about the pants down, but I won’t spoil it.
The college is run by Viru Sahastrabudhhe, who they nickname Virus. He is all about pressure, grades, and being the best. If you are number one in the class you will succeed. If you are last, you will fail. He thinks he pushes the students to their full potential and so, he has a run-in with Rancho. Rancho isn’t about stats, percentages, or anything like that. He has a passion for engineering and that’s what he is there for.
Virus is played very comically. He has high trousers, a lisp, and may look silly but at the same time he’s quite the bastard!
There is a moment when one of the students commits suicide. This was brilliantly handled. It comes just after a happy Bollywood musical number called “All is well”. The way the movie played it, with the switch, it really pulls the rug from under you.
I won’t go into many details about the rest of 3 Idiots, but there is a love interest, you learn more about the guys’ families and the struggles they go through. It deals with things like the pressure people can be put under, and how it can push people too far. Overall, the movie is about friendships and the people you can help, and can help you, along the way.
The movie is 2 hours and 50 mins. It has a really good set of characters to follow and a lot happens to them all. I haven’t seen a movie that made me laugh and cry like this for a long time, probably not since Cinema Paradiso. It is very silly in places, but then pretty hard-hitting in others.
I found the movie funny, emotional, scary, and inspiring. Life isn’t just about getting grades. Life is about following your passion, finding out what you are good at, and making a living from it. I haven’t enjoyed a movie like this for such a long time and I will be watching it again.
In fact, I would put 3 Idiots in my top ten of all time. It may not be for you, but I would give it a try. There are good laughs, good acting, and a story that I loved. And always remember:
“All is well!”