January 05, 2010

Aall iz not well...

I went to see the much-talked about Three Idiots, looking forward to 2 hrs of entertainment. The first half is fun, and there are lots of funny moments...however, post-interval, I felt a headache coming, and, in the darkness of Prasad's multiplex, the same old irrationality that had been bothering me lately raised its head once again. I looked at Aamir Khan and thought, "Et tu...Aamir?"

I am very disappointed. Here's why:

- This film is neither an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's book, nor is it Rajkumar Hirani's Munnabhai MBBS. It is a hotch potch.
- The storyline is inconsistent and weak, as though the script evolved as the film was shot. I felt as though a fun-loving film crew sat around a table, and as each one came up with a funny idea, everyone else guffawed and said, "Yes, yes...let's include this in the film."
- Characters are cliched, and serious issues trivialised and laughed at. And what is Aamir Khan supposed to be? God?
- The actors: Boman Irani, though brilliant, reminds one of Munnabhai's Mamu; Aamir Khan's body language makes him look amazingly young, but there are times when one wonders whether he is Akash (Dil chahta hai), Nikhumbh Sir (Taare Zameen Par), or Stan Laurel (Laurel and Hardy). However, I was most touched by the actor who plays the creative-and-frustrated genius who commits suicide. The actor who played Chatur is brilliant and Madhavan is good, as always.
- Caricaturing of Raju Rastogi's paralytic father and his stressed-out mother is just not funny, nor is taking the father to the hospital on a scooter.
- AND, what's with the delivery scene? Anyone wondering how to teach their children about how babies are born?...take them to Three Idiots. The reviews didn't talk about it, did they? I wonder why...
- Stories woven around the quest for excellence have been written by many writers and philosophers, including Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull) and Antoine St Exupery (Little Prince). In this film too, Aamir gives the same message: "follow your heart, do what you love to do in life, and not what your parents force you to do, pursue learning and excellence." I have no problem with this, and I too have lived my life trying to do just this. "BUT", he adds in the last scene, "like me, become successful...keep your no. 1 rank even 10 years after you pass out; if you are passionate about what you do, you will always be better than the nerd who was no. 2."

What about plain, simple happiness? Couldn't the film have ended with Aamir becoming a fantastic teacher and not the mysterious Wangdu, the award-winning scientist/teacher who can decide the fate of Chatur, the no. 2-in-college?

Vidhu Vinod, Raju Hirani, and co. must be laughing their way to the bank, singing "Aall iz well, but who's the idiot?"

I suspect it is me.

Here is a link to Sagarika Ghose's review of this film. I agree with her on most aspects.

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