Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Monday, 4 February 2013

#244 - '3 Idiots' (2009)

"Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down." - Rancho.
My first ever foray into Indian cinema, '3 Idiots', is a comedic tale of college life, friendship and love. Old friends Fahran and Raju hope to re-unite with their college buddy Rancho, who they have not heard from since leaving years ago. Expecting to find Rancho, they are instead faced with another former student, Chatur, who is now a busninessman. Chatur reminds the two friends of a bet he placed with Rancho ten years ago that very day. The bet being that in ten years times he, Chatur, will be more successful than Rancho. The film goes back through the years Fahran, Raju and Rancho spent at college intertwining the past with the modern day search for Rancho. Will the three idiots ever be reunited?
The three idiots - Fahran, Rancho and Raju
There were a few funny moments and some interesting song sequences. Not being familiar with this type of cinema, this was a new experience for me. And I liked it. The main issue I had with it was that it was far too long. Clocking in at a meaty two hours and fifty minutes, my interest began to wane after the two hour mark.The story arc was interesting enough, although a lot could have been cut and wouldn't have impacted the narrative. The cinematic device used when portraying Raju's house was effective. In the dialogue, Raju's house was described as 'feeling like going back into a 50's film'. Therefore, all of the scenes that took place in the house were in black and white.
Fahran and Rancho in Raju's house.
One thing that bugged me throughout the film was the main character Rancho, played by Aamir Khan. After the first few minutes I thought he looked familiar, but couldn't work out where from. Then it hit me. He shares a slightly similar aesthetic to rapper Eminem, post peroxide-blonde days. Once I had noticed this, I couldn't unsee it. At no point did he break out into a rap or in fact do any boxing. Although it was no fault of the the actor or the film-makers, I did find it very distracting. But that's just the way I am.
Would the real Rancho please stand up? (Picture doesn't really do it justice).
This challenge has opened up some new filmic avenues for me to explore. This is the first of a few Indian cinema films on the list and I went into it not knowing what to expect. As it was a comedy, it was easy to follow and, for the first two hours, enjoyable. I was expecting there to be songs and there were. Not as many as I thought there would be, but as I've said, I know very little about this genre. The songs were good but, like the rest of the film, went on a bit too long. Overall, it was a solid narrative with comedic and romantic elements - not between the three idiots, that would have been a different film entirely - but a love interest for Rancho. The motif of family was prominent. The notion that all girls will be doctors and all boys will be engineers was brought up in a discussion about the sex of a baby. The scene in which Fahran has to tell his father that he want's to be a photographer rather than an engineer is quite emotional.

Up Next #243:


  1. Hey Rob. Got here from #imdbtop250. I really liked your approach as well. I am from India so was curious how you will like this movie. I am glad you did anyways. it draws a lot of the social issues that persists in India today and that too with a light heartedly. Academic, family, economic pressures and things like that. Anyways, wish you a happy journey till rank 1. In case you happen to draw any interest in Indian movies, here is my list:

    Feel free to get back, will be happy to help with the same.:)
    p.s. twitter handler @jinxedenigma

  2. I wish I could re-type the typo in my previous comment.:O

  3. Thank you for your comments! I have also watched 'Like stars on Earth' which I enjoyed as well. I think I liked it more than '3 Idiots' because it had a more heart-warming story.

    Thanks for reading :)