Review - 3 Idiots: teach fun Hirani-style
Though 3 idiots is a little more slapsticky than the Munnabhai series, the crass humor seems to be with a purpose. What remains fascinating is the blend of comedy with his social messages, as usual. He makes being good look so simple.
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It is so simple to be good in Hirani-land. You beg, borrow or steal with good faith to be a lovable, charming person in the land of idiots. And how much ever I hate the use of fiction in a realistic set-up, I end up enjoying each of his worlds. Maybe because, like most people, I want to believe that it is possible to be good in this mean-mean world. Also it's nice to see a comment on the educational system and the Indian-parent psyche, both competing to kill invention and creativity.
In fact, this time around, it felt like Rajkumar Hirani has taken it upon himself to challenge every single complaint that I have against typical Hindi masala films. I hate slapstick. He uses it - it's justified after all (the setting is a boy-dominated college and an all-boy hostel.) And DAMN! He makes me laugh at Mr. Bean-Tom & Jerrystyle jokes. And out loud at toilet and sex-related jokes! :( He uses that sttuppid marriage-melodrama scene. Yet, I'm egging the bride on to run away, completely disregarding the little change in plan-of-action that Hirani employs.
As in typical slaptick comedies the actors ping-pong between loud and melodramatic. You can call that brilliant acting, or say you cannot judge the actor because he is doing what the genre demands - take your pick. Then there's that slapsticky, loud background music too. And the list goes on. I want to hate this man's guts, but can't help admire the way the typical toilet-humor so fluidly mixes with the insight that comes next.
Though I fear he's taking the slapstick a little further with each of his ventures. A little further towards making the content appeal to the palate of the "masses". Be it the overuse of songs or clichés which are smartly covered under the guise of spoofs. Using a 40 year old actor to play a 17 year old. It is mildly irritating this time, the next time the annoyance might increase.
But that doesn't mean he hasn't taken any risks. The lead lady Pia (Kareen Kapoor) makes her first appearance on screen only in the 45th minute of the film. The kind of humor he uses itself is risky. Such serious, sensitive, and real issues are laughed at whole-heartedly - by the characters. Such dark humor! And well, the audience too was laughing, but that doesn't reduce the risk taken, right?
This might be the most obvious statement that one can make about the film, but how can you not say it when you have seen it. This film would have been hollow without its dialogues and their delivery. And despite the occasional shallow humor. And even if a few of them are sms/e-mail forwards. Its what they lead up to that's more engaging. All fingers point back to the man, Rajkumar Hirani, who has written the dialogues and directed their delivery.
While some of the phrases coined will become references in everyday conversations, the mantra "Aal izz well" has been taken to the extreme in the film's writing. The screenplay makes sure the audience knows from the beginning that "aall izz well" in the end.
So, yeah, you can call it predictable. And some of the events are predictable because the screenplay has given that one extra second for you to think and guess what's going to happen next. But those are semantics. The point raised or answered after that predictable moment is not something you'd think of - at least not all the time.
Another huge element of writing - characterization - is mostly done by use of caricatures. From Chatur/Silencer to Prof. Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani); from his supposedly-soon-to-be son-in-law to even Rancho (Aamir Khan), they all look like they are out of a comic book. But then you have seen a character like that in your circle of friends - the one who names the price/brand of an object before you ask for it, the one who is competitive ad nauseum, the one who spouts philosophy every third second.
But that lingering element of masala is not to be missed. There are no gray characters. Rancho, for example, has huge strokes of Raghu from Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Bawarchi. But there was still something mysterious about Raghu, something that made you curious about him. But here, you know Rancho could do no evil even if he wanted to.
And yet Rancho makes you laugh, he jerks your tears. One or the other emotion is at a high, all the time. But, the question I have about all films that give a "message" in a lighter vein - will the laughs stick or the message? Will we just laugh every time someone says "o bhaiyya, aal izz well" or will we subscribe to the fact that "all's well"?
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Suicides are shown.
- Language: A lot of toilet and sex-related humor. Lines which could be construed as disrespect to teachers/parents. But I'd still take my kids, because I believe they have a right to speak their mind, even if it means insulting me.
- Nudity & Sexual content: None of that. But there's an elaborate baby-delivery scene.
- Concept: A comment on both the parental pressure to be a Doctor/Engineer and the educational system.
- General Look and Feel: A very happy 3 hours these are. Full of songs and bright colors. And you'll see humor even in the most serious topics under discussion.
3 Idiots - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions , Reliance big pictures entertainment
- Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
- Director: Rajkumar Hirani
- Lead Cast: Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor
- Supporting Cast: Boman Irani, Mona Singh, Parikshit Sahni, Jaaved Jaaferi
- Story: Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi
- Screenplay: Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi
- Dialogues: Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijit Joshi
- Cinematography: C K Muraleedharan
- Editor: Rajkumar Hirani
- Background Score: Shantanu Moitra
- Action Choreography: Shyam Kaushal, Rajnish Hedao, Shyam Kaushal
- Music Director: Shantanu Moitra
- Lyrics: Swananda Kirkire
- Costume Designer: Manish Malhotra , Sheena Parikh, Raghuveer Shetty
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 165 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Genres: Comedy, Romance