3 Idiots (3I) is one of the most recent movies around the “common man stack” (closer to the experiences of the common man) from the Vidhu Vinod Chopra – Raj Hirani – Amir Khan stable of movies. They have been credited for some of the most successful hindi movies around these themes (not together as a team though) for Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Munnabhai MBBS (Part 1 and 2), Dil Chahta Hai.
3 Idiots does bring in that association with the common man in today’s Indian middle class where parents strive to put their kids through the best education, though it is well beyond their means. It challenges the convention that though we bow down to society pressures to get into an engineering degree or medical – is it really worth running the rat race, when you don’t know if you are the right rat in the right race?
The movie does make one think about this seriously amidst the experiences of the three protagonists – Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi during their days in an engineering college. If you have been through an engineering or MBA course in India, you definitely would associate with the movie. The storyline of 3I is like a sketch of a huge painting, which is the storyline. As you continue watching the movie – you start filling this sketch with the colors of your experience. Your mind rewinds back to the days when you were ragged in college or those funny moments you had with your friends which may now look silly with the newly acquired “professional maturity” and “inside the box” thinking. This flashback of things in your life, which didn’t come out so far – does hit you real hard when you watch this movie and makes you laugh louder or perhaps cry more than what the storyline or characters can bring out. This is perhaps because you identify some parts of you, your friends,similar circumstances, your family and your professors with each of those characters as the movie winds along and kind of makes you pleasantly relive those long forgotten days.
This movie would be a hit and recoup its investment as it caters to all the classes – the students who are currently studying in colleges in India and between the age group of 18-25 (about 2-3 lakh), those folks who graduated out of their courses between 10-15 years till now (about 20 lakhs), and the last class would be the parents of such kids and bringing out their struggles in putting their kids through school.
The movie may definitely not be one of the best you would have seen in the past few years (Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Munnabhai MBBS (Part 1 and 2), Dil Chahta Hai) , but the judgment for this reality is blurred further as you see yourself in the movie in the various experiences portrayed by the characters. So you may end up liking this movie and rave about it citing “All izz well”!
But – when you head back from the cinema hall, back to the confines of your routine after reliving your experiences, it does make you think – “Are you doing the right thing that you can with your skills and abilities? “ “ Is this where you want to be?” “ Would life have been different if you would have pursued your passions?” But can you act upon it now or is it too late? Comments welcome!