December 24, 2009

3 Idiots Reviews (Raja Sen, Taran Adarsh, Nikhat Kazmi)

Raja Sen - 2/5

Three Idiots, Two Stars, One Missed Opportunity

In Rajkumar Hirani's [ Images ] latest film, a character steps to a blackboard and chalks up, for the benefit of a befuddled engineering college classroomful of students, the word 'Farhanitrate,' daring them to tell him what it means.

The word is a pun on the character's best friend, Farhan, and while it may be a non-existant gag word in the film, the compound seems to exist in real life -- Hirani's film is doused liberally with Farhanitrate (in an Akhtar sense of the word) and several other directorial scents -- including Hirani's own touch, which is why by the time the end credits eventually roll around, you have a 'been there, sniffed that' feeling about it all.

There's also a tragic, overriding feeling of futility. Why, you ask yourself, does a college film have to be made with middle-aged men playing the lead? Can we not trust younger actors to deliver, or has the insecurity of the star system blinded us to all reality?

Why must Aamir Khan [ Images ], a man who told us of the last day of college 21 years ago, still play a fresh-faced student? He does adequately, and is impressively bereft of age-lines, but we really have seen it all before. For the actor, it's probably yet another disguise, that of the young man. But it's a role he can do in his sleep.

Ditto for Hirani and his partner in wordplay, Abhijat Joshi. 3 Idiots is a very average bit of fluffy Bollywood masala that tragically pretends, at times, to be making a profound point, one it loses in repetition. The result is a confused film, one that doesn't know exactly where it stands, torn between lump-in-the-throat filmmaking and amateurishly written juvenilia. There are a few moments which click, but coming from the duo that created the finest film this decade, this is a massive letdown.

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Caulfield said...

Taran Adarsh - 4.5/5

Life is all about listening to your heart and chasing your dreams. That's the essence of 3 IDIOTS, directed by the supremely talented Rajkumar Hirani. Let me come to the point right away. There are films and there are more films. And then there's 3 IDIOTS.

Come to think of it, 3 IDIOTS carries a huge 'burden' on its shoulders: The 'burden' of humungous expectations. And it's not without reasons...

3 IDIOTS is Aamir's next release after the record-breaker GHAJINI.

3 IDIOTS is Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra's third film together, after MUNNABHAI MBBS and LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI, landmark films.

Three actors from the path-breaking RANG DE BASANTI team - Aamir, Madhavan and Sharman - team up yet again. Plus, Aamir's teaming up with Hirani. It couldn't get bigger!

3 IDIOTS is over-hyped and that could be dangerous for any film since it's the expectations which kill a film if the content doesn't match up to the hype. In this case, all izz well!

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Caulfield said...

Nikhat Kazmi - 4.5/5

Rest assured, all ye desi cinema buffs, Aal Izz Well in apna Bollywood. If 2009 can begin with Dev D and end with 3 Idiots, it is indeed time to sound the seetis and taalis for one of the most exciting years of contemporary Indian cinema. Truly, this has been the year of the I.d.i.o.t in movielore: the Intrinsically intelligent, Downright smart, Inimitable, Original and Talented film maker, actor, story teller, musician, lyricist, dialogue writer and producer.

3 Idiots is the perfect end to an exciting year for India: the year when the aam aadmi voted in progress, liberalism, secularism and turned his back to corruption, communalism, regionalism. The three idiots, Rancchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad (Aamir Khan), Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) and Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan), are perfect archetypes of the new age Indian who is essentially a non-conformist, questioning outmoded givens, choosing to live life on his own terms and chartering new roads that consciously skirt the rat race. Of course, they begin on the beaten track -- due to societal/parental pressure -- but refuse to become cogs in the wheel. Naturally, they end up as the Frostian hero (Robert Frost's Road Not Taken) who made all the difference to his life, and the world, by taking the road less travelled by.

The film begins with the entry of our threesome in the city's elite engineering college. It takes the first tryst with the mandatory ragging sessions which enunciate who the leader of the gang is going to be: new entrant Baba Rancchoddas, as his friends fondly call him. Rancho not only leads his friends through the maze of India's competitive, high-pressure, rote-heavy, illogical and almost cruel education system, he tutors them on several life mantras too. Like, running after excellence, not success; questioning not blindly accepting givens; inventing and experimenting in lieu of copying and cramming; and essentially following your heart's calling if you truly want to make a difference.

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Caulfield said...

Masand on Twitter -

Falls short of Munnabhai standards, yet 3i is a broad, massy entertainer; pushes all the right emotional buttons. Melodramatic yet feel-good

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