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Idiotic times

3 idiots hit the theaters on the day I got married and is being hailed as the biggest grosser ever - while nowadays every new film which reaches even a decent box office milestone is hailed as the biggest grosser ever - 3 idiots is indeed a nice film.

Raju Hirani has developed this very unique ability to transform real life into drama. Which is why I feel that the next movie Rajkumar makes should be on entrepreneurs. Now that India's most successful entrepreneur Dhirubhai is already taken (Guru), he could pick up a Kishore Biyani (Big Bazaar) or Sanjeev Bhikchandani (Naukri.com). But my personal pick would be Steve Jobbs or Bill Gates - the only problem being that these characters may not ring a bell with the Bollywood audience.

Coming back to 3 idiots - there were a few scenes which I could relate to - one of them was the suicide scene, but its too vexing to talk about memories which it sparked.

The other scene which touched me was where Sharman Joshi's character faces the interview panel. While, I did not quite agree with the outcome of the scene - the lines of the character were veridical. The amount of hue and cry made about competition and the importance of scoring-and-being-at-the-top in the Indian society (schools, homes, friends) does scare the shit out of students.

I felt this fear myself and have even seen some of my batchmates breaking down under it. As Sharman's character explains - when you leave your school and enter an meritorious engineering college and find that each student there was among the top 5 in his respective school, you do feel intimidated and some students (especially those coming from humble background) may loose the hope of success thereafter.

Such loss of self belief is often a self fulfilling prophecy. For example: since, you do not hope to score well, you don't study hard in the first place resulting in a bad result. It usually takes a super-failure (like the suicide of Sharman in the movie or less dramatic failing a semester exam) followed by a surprise success which marks the phoenix like rise which breaks the I-am-not-capable myth for the individual.

And more often than not, once a person has come through such a metamorphosis, the confidence thereafter is too tough to break. Once you have come through a bottom-of-the-pit-failure-and-riding-to-success experience, you finally learn to believe that 'main kuchh na kuchh to kar hi loonga' as exclaims the character in the movie.

As I said earlier though, I did not quite agree with the outcome of the scene. A more fit outcome would have been Sharman being rejected in the interview and then going to start his own business and making a super success out of it - coming back to ICE for recruitments. Of course, this would have taken another movie for Raju Hirani and eroded the climax of the movie.

All in all - while the current success of the movie is clearly overhyped - 3 idiots does justice to the topic it tried to address and adds a lot of chutzpah to the dry discourse on the subject of 'need to improve education'.

Update
The acting credits are worth a mention ...

I liked Madhavan and Sharman more than I liked Aamir. You could blame that on over-expectation from Aamir, but frankly he has become too predictable now.

One name which deserves mention for the most authentic and brazen acting is Omi Vaidya - the 'Chatur' in 3 idiots. Not only his depiction of a mugging nerd in the first half is authentic, but the portrayal of slightly demented corporate honcho is purrrfect!

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