3 Idiots (थ्री इडीयट्स)

Rating: 3/4 (An entertaining movie on the education rat race in India)

3 Idiots (थ्री इडीयट्स) is the 2009 Bollywood movie that went on to become the highest grossing movie of all time. The story, revealed through flashbacks, revolves around 3 students who meet at ICE (an IIT clone), one of the top universities in India. Rancho (Aamir Khan) is a free spirit, who is at ICE because he loves science and engineering, while his friends Farhan and Raju represent the plight of most Indian students. That is, Farhan (Madhavan) loves wildlife photography but is at ICE due to his parent’s wishes that he become an engineer. Raju (Sharman Joshi) is God-fearing and is at ICE so that a job can lead his family out of poverty. In their midst is Chatur (sic), a student whose only aim in life is to ace the exams, by hook or crook. Teaching them at ICE are the typical Indian lecturers and professors, mechanical uninspiring robots, who spout lines from textbooks and kill any sign of creativity from students. They are led by the head of ICE, nicknamed Virus (Boman Irani), who always reminds the students of the rat race in India and how one must succeed at any cost to ace it. Tempers flare and egos clash between Rancho and Virus, students commit suicides due to academic pressure, campus capers happen, the 3 idiots face family pressures and debarment, Rancho falls in love with Virus’s daughter (Kareena Kapoor), and they all finally end up following their dreams.

The enormous success of 3 Idiots might not be only due to the cast and script, but also because it is an apposite movie. The rat race of blindly chasing careers with enormous salaries is truly on right now in India and China. Based on the novel Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat, the script excellently mixes its important values with comedy, intrigue and romance. The production of the movie looks great and the acting is excellent too. Aamir looks too old to be a student, but Madhavan and Boman Irani are memorable. 3 Idiots is a movie of the times that should not be missed.

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