Aamir Khan’s annual Christmas present has opened to a fantastic response. I was expecting a lot from this film for 2 reasons – first because it stars Aamir Khan and second because it is directed by Raju Hirani. From the two earlier films of Hirani it is clear that he literally thinks out of the box and is secure enough in his rather ethical outlook on life, to try and convert the cynical viewer. To get the audience to agree with Gandhi in India is astonishing. And yet he managed it triumphantly in his last film. In 3 idiots he has a much easier task. That of telling us that our education system stinks. We know that already, and agree wholeheartedly.
Aamir does his role of a genius-with-not-the-slightest-interest-in-marks as brilliantly as one could expect from him. Am more than a little sick of the ageing 40+ stars playing students, one of the reasons I was not sure about this film – but that just doesn’t come up as a glitch, as Aamir looks seriously young. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi who make up the other 2 idiots, are reliably good too. Kareena Kapoor plays the simple girl well enough, but really, there is not much for her to do. ( Manish Malhotra dresses her in pretty but fuss-free clothes for a change and she looks super). Boman Irani shuffles around in his typical professor attire looking like grim the reaper and inducing you to chuckles.
The story uses Chetan Bhagat’s 5 point-someone as a base but makes some significant changes, the most important one being the mystery behind Rancho (Aamir). Hirani’s refusal to be in awe of the wealthy or the titled or the certified, makes up much of the altered vision in this story. The black-and-white take on the poverty-stricken parents of Sharman whose filmily sad lives still manages to evoke good-natured-humour must be a first for hindi cinema. The movie packs in every dramatic situation – from the runaway bride to natural birth by engineers-turned-nervous-obstetricians. It’s all there - masala entertainment that still tells you the hero could be from some godforsaken part of unmainstream India. I believe the critics are holding back their stars after gushing about something as insipid as New York. Fikar not – you are going to love this one.
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