ReviewWriter: Sivarasa SothivadivelWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Rang De Basanti”, “Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.”, “Laage Raho Munna Bhai”
Finally, a movie that no reviewer can be faulted for giving five glowing stars to - Rajkumar Hirani's winsome "3 Idiots". Reuniting "Rang De Basanti" stars Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan, the "Munnabhai" maestro has delivered an endearing crowd-pleaser that is educational, substantial and most of all, resoundingly entertaining. Backed by producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and built on a refreshing source material in Cheetan Bhagat's 2004 novel 'Five Point Someone' (a bestselling English novel in India about three friends not making the grade at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi), looks like Bollywood saved the best for last in 2009's curtain frame.
This is a triumphant picture in every sense of the word. Chronicling varsity days never looked more fun than when a 44-year-old Aamir Khan plays Rancho, an avant-garde ME student at India's leading university who knows the difference between getting a degree and getting an education. Told in flashbacks, we follow Raju (Sharman Joshi) and Farhan (Madhavan) as they track him down, years after he disappeared from uni mysteriously. Thrown in the mix are a colourful set of characters - the draconian, by-the-book Don King-lookalike dean Viru Sahastrabudhhe (Boman Irani) they not-so-fondly dub Virus, his disillusioned daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor) and also the unrelenting sore loser Chatur "Silencer" Ramalingam (Omi Vaidya) who insists that academic distinction is achieved solely by acing exams.
The heart of the story is about missing out on fun and the true meaning of learning, as most students in India (and obviously elsewhere) chase their parents dreams in pressure pots called universities. However, while this screen treatment can be preachy and overly simplistic at times, it's delightful narrative keeps the movie at a zoobi doobi pace, allowing the audience to overlook some of the more contrived and predictable sequences. There are only five music tracks ('Aal Izz Well', 'Zoobi Doobi', 'Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh', 'Give Me Some Sunshine' and 'Jaane Nahin Denge') but they serve ever so well to keep the momentum of the adventure.
It's truly a wonder how "3 Idiots" can be successfully driven by three male leads with relatively little screen time for the only female lead played by Kareena Kapoor. The end product is a memorable knockout picture that surely sits well with the handful of films in every 10 years or so that we concede as both commercially and critically acclaimed. Although the movie will be available for download on YouTube three months after its theatrical release (in a move to fight piracy), this isn't a movie you would want to miss at the cinemas. Watch it, if only to learn how chasing excellence will result in success following you, pants-down - literally!Cinema Online, 26 December 2009