Three idiots who were rather wise..

When one goes into hibernation for a good part of the year and returns to make a movie on an annual basis, expectations are very high. This was the same expectation that I had from Aamir. I expected to see a movie which would bear the Aamir insignia from start to finish, instead I saw a movie that bore the trademark of a “Munnabhai team” , which it was anyway. The medical fraternity from Munnabhai was replaced by a mechanical engineering team and the story revolves around three friends who studied together at the Imperial college of engineering ( ICE ), the bonding that they developed and Rancho’s ( Aamir ) ongoing attempts to change the conventional attitude towards education. Rancho is actually a wonder kid who tops his class with his passion for the subject, the passion slowly but surely culminates into success for Rancho towards the end. More importantly, he teaches his campus friends Quereshi ( R Madhavan ) and Rastogi ( Sharman Joshi ) to be passionate about what they belive in and to follow their hearts. And reminiscent of the “Munnabhai” set up, Rancho falls in love with Sahastrabuddhe’s ( Bomman Irani as ICE Director ) daughter, Pia ( Kareena Kapoor ).

The story commences ten years post ICE days in an Air India flight that Quereshi embarks from Delhi. While the plane is taxiing for take off he receives a call from an ICE batch mate Silencer / Chatur  Ramalingam that Rancho’s ( Aamir ) whereabouts are now known. Quereshi feigning a heart attack gets the AI flight to return back to Delhi and along with Rastogi ( Sharman Joshi ) and Silencer they embark on a journey to find Rancho who dissapeared after graduation. Silencer’s motive to trace Rancho is to establish his present success as a mark of vengeance over a humiliation that he suffered in Rancho’s hands.Chatur Ramalingam is the sacrificial lamb for extreme humor content. Chatur is a Tamilian who had lived in Uganda and has a weak grasp of the hindi language and is the cause for a laughing riot. Chatur competes with Rancho to top the class and dreams of receiving the “anti gravity” ink pen from Shastrabuddhe who rather nonchalantly wishes to give it to a “deserving” student by his terms. Chatur is the brainy, mug potting types who most students get rather irritated with and Chatur tops the list of this” irk” factor for Rancho and his mates. There is a scene when Chatur pays tribute to the Director Sahastrabuddhe’s achievements at ICE with an eloquent speech in hindi. Hilariously, words that are meant to make the Director shine like “chamatkar” is replaced with “balathkar” by the conniving Rancho. This scene is the best in the entire movie in terms of creating a laughing ruckus from all quarters. During this scene not only were the audience at ICE in splits, so were we.

The movie keeps winding back and forth taking us to ICE campus days to the present trail in search of Rancho. The scenes are well blended and there is no scope for boredom as wit and humor blankets most of the story. So much so,  that emotional scenes portraying Rastogi’s poor family living in a hovel with an emaciated father lying on the death bed , while Rastogi’s mother laments over the rising prices of “bhindi” makes you giggle. The songs are light and “zoobie zoobie” reminds us of the talented Kapoor family and the foregone era that she re-portrays. Kareena has shades of “jab we met” in her , she is effusive and charming. Madhavan does full justice to be an integral part of the delightful trio of friends. He is naturally at ease and portrays an innocence synonymous with lovers of the wild life! Sharman moves you with his sincerity especially at the time of his all important campus interview when his candor gets the better of him. Aamir is controlled, without coming across as trying too hard to explain his philosophies of life and  on “teaching”. He is convincing enough to pass off as an Engineering student despite being in his 40s and due credit must be given to his puppy face, ignoring the slight crow’s-feet around his sparkling eyes. He reminds us of the Aamir from “dil chahta hai” days.

Finally Boman  , what a marvelous actor this man his. In my opinion, the best performance in this movie has come from him as Sahastrabuddhe. He looks like a nutty professor, his trousers pulled up to his stomach and propelled upwards with suspenders. He is eccentric , acute in speech and hard-hearted in his approach with the ICE students. His hair is dishevelled and his gait is like that of a Goliath striding in a campus full of rats. His lisp of certain words, his pronunciations that are punctuated with authority and his dialogue delivery are nothing short of exceptional. His acting stands out more than the rest of the cast and he has portrayed Sahastrabuddhe like no one else could have. Hats off to Boman!

Overall, this movie is no Lagaan or TZP, it is the end product of VV Chopra and Hirani per say. It would be disappointing for someone who expected something out of the box from Aamir.  However, the movie is a must watch as it provides entertainment to the hilt. The social message is secondary. 

Cast – Aamir Khan, R Madhavan , Sharman Joshi ,Kareena Kapoor , Boman Irani
Director – Rajkumar Hirani
Rating – 3.5/5

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13 Responses to “Three idiots who were rather wise..”

  1. masterpraz Says:

    Thanks for the review Sharmila…..can’t wait to see this!

  2. archana(bengaluru) Says:

    Thanks for a wonderful review sharmila.. About to leave now to watch.. but was tempted to read ur write-up.

  3. Sharmila, the review was sharp and straight from the heart. Brilliant. But please don’t become a professional reviewer, you know how biased they are.

  4. Salman Shahid Alvi Says:

    WOOO……seems good

    Has Boman performed better than Amir too……..

  5. Shubha Nagarajan Says:

    Hi Sharmila,
    Found the last 25 mins a bit too foolish.They could have conveyed a serious message in a humourous way till the end without the sillyness which kept on dragging.

    • Hi Shubha – The movie was hilarious and entertaining. I never found any seriousness in the message at all. You are right about the 25 mins, it did not make a difference.

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