Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani
What's It About: Bring out the bugles for the biggest celluloid celebration in a long, long time. God bless Rajkumar Hirani for ending an otherwise mediocre Bollywood year on a smashing note.
You go in to see 3 Idiots expecting the genius combination of Hirani and Aamir Khan to weave magic on screen.
But despite the mental conditioning, the impact of the film is so overwhelming that it leaves you spellbound for hours after it has ended.
Based on Chetan Bhagat's novel, Five Point Someone (though only a miniscule part has been adapted from the book; the rest is all original), here's a story of three friends studying in an engineering college Rancho (Aamir Khan), Farhan (R Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi).
Rancho is the rebel among them always questioning things and believing that learning is more than just the usual mode of education.
He encourages his friends to look beyond the ordinary and soon earns the wrath of the college director Viru Sahasrabuddhe (Boman Irani).
Despite his fun and frolic, Rancho always surprises everyone by topping the class. He even manages to win the affections of the director's daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor). But Rancho's greatest contribution lies is making his friends realise their true calling.
The twist comes when on Graduation Day. After being awarded the Student Of The Year title, Rancho mysteriously disappears into oblivion.
Years later, Farhan and Raju, finding a common thread, embark on a journey to find their friend. 3 Idiots is a story of friendship, hope, aspirations and most importantly, the goodness of life.
With 3 Idiots, Rajkumar Hirani proves beyond doubt that there's no better storyteller than him in the present generation.
This isn't an easy film to make the interplay between characters and the narrative is interestingly woven.
The film switches from present to flashback mode often but not once does Hirani lose the momentum. The medley of emotions that he brings forth as he establishes the film's structure is indeed commendable.
Like the peppy Aal Izz Well song drawing towards a tragic climax it's so cleverly done that it has the desired effect. There are scenes that'll make you laugh, they'll make you cry and they'll make you think.
Hirani does it all so beautifully that you want to go back to college and relive all those moments.
The falling in love, the harassment by professors, the secret drinking sessions, the ragging of fellow students it's all there.
Hirani also sends across a message on student pressures but there's no preaching here it's all done in his inimitable style.
Most films have their own set of 'highlight' scenes.
3 Idiots is different because every scene is special and brings with it something that's out of the ordinary.
But there are a few that have a far lasting impact the entire ragging sequence; the camaraderie between Rancho and Pia; Chatur's (the 'brainy' student) hilarious speech; the entire black-and-white depiction of Raju's family; most of the scenes between Rancho and Viru; the sequences that lead to Raju's recovery in the hospital and many more. After a point, you just stop counting.
Dialogues are snappy and totally effective ("In India, you get a pizza in 30 minutes guaranteed but not an ambulance"). The soundtrack, background score and cinematography is top class.
Among the performances, Madhavan delivers his most retrained act ever. He takes the film back and forth with his narrative and is splendid even with comedy.
Sharman Joshi is brilliant, especially in his breakdown scenes. Boman Irani is sincere as expected, with his lisp act getting all the right nuances.
Kareena Kapoor gives her finest portrayal in recent times as Pia. Her "dhokla, fafda, thepla, khandwa, khakra" scene is simply too delicious. Here's a performance that proves why she's indeed the best we have.
The life and soul of 3 Idiots is of course Aamir Khan. His perfection lies in the fact that he makes everything look so easy and spontaneous.
And at all the right moments, he brings the film alive with his sheer brilliance. From his look to his walk to his manner of speech, Aamir breathes life into Rancho and that's what stays with us.
If you thought Aamir Khan couldn't get any better than he is, think again. Aamir is the heart and soul of 3 Idiots and he proves why he's simply a class apart.
What To Do: Book your tickets for consecutive shows because one viewing isn't enough to savour 3 Idiots. Quite easily, this is the film of the year. Nothing else comes even close.
Volvo XC90 R-Design makes its first appearance in Bollywood with 3 Idiots
The number of cities that Aamir travelled to in disguise to promote an alternate reality game (Varanasi, Palanpur and Sourav Ganguly's house in Kolkata)
Rs 50 Cr
The cost of making the film
The number of copies of Five Point Someone sold in India since 2004