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Movie Review – 3 Idiots

At the outset I would like to make one thing clear to the readers – I am a hard core fan of Chetan Bhagat…So those of you who wouldn’t like to hear any negativity against anyone who has maligned him in the last few days or months or whatever please stop here itself!!!

First of all I would like to thank Mr Chetan Bhagat for giving us a novel called “Five Point Someone (FPS)” which everyone in the present generation would surely identify with! Chetan,  You made India read like never before and I sincerely salute you for that!

What a start to the 2010!  Watched 3 Idiots (an adaptation of FPS) on 1st at E-Square finally. This is one movie which cannot be described in mere words or any special kinds of adjectives. Words like amazing, fantastic, stupendous, marvelous, too good and whatever fall short in telling us how good the movie really is. This isn’t merely a movie but an experience one would remember a long time after one has left the hall.

This movie is a journey, a journey of three friends, of what all they go through the four years at college be it love, ragging, fights, fun, drinking, flunking exams, taking the teachers cases everything. Though the movie has been changed from the book at many places, but the underlying theme remains the same.

Three students – Aamir Khan as Ranchoddass Shyamaldas Chanchad (Rancho), Sharman Joshi as Raju Rastogi and Madhavan as Farhan Qureishi embark on a journey of life. The film starts of with Farhan Querishi stopping an Air India plane by faking a heart attack because he wants to meet Rancho and Sharman going with him in just a shirt and no pants. The movie thus moves on with constantly moving between the present and a flashback of them as students at the Imperial Engineering College (ICE) – based on the present day IITs.

So many scenes and incidents like the speech scene, the ‘Joy Lobo’ character, the ‘Chatur Ramalingam (an award worthy performance by Omi Vaidya)’ character and his amazing speech (My god that scene is probably the funniest scene I have ever scene in Hindi cinema srsly!!! I laughed my guts much that I almost ended up crying:P), the Viru Sahastrabudhhe aka Virus (another award worthy performance by Boman Irani) character, the scenes where Aamir Khan criticizes learning by rote, encourages learning something new by talking about “PreRajulization” and FarhanNitrate, how students are forced to take extreme measures such as suicide because of marks and the parents expectations, the heart – warming camaraderie and bond of friendship between Farhan, Rancho and Raju (Moh, Arun, Giri – It really reminded me of you guys…U ROCK!!!) and many more has given this movie a cult status.

The most amazing thing about this movie is the fact that even though it is about three college going students, the way it has depicted all the human emotions – be it love, hate, fun, sadness everything in such a beautiful way is what has touched a chord with the audience of this nation. From the word go, it promises entertainment and never does it stray from its path. What strikes a chord with me along with thousands of others across the nation is the fact that it talks about why the education system in this nation is in a mess today despite us having millions of great brains, good colleges, good teachers and whatever. The problem lies in the fact that learning by rote is encouraged with least importance given to understanding concepts. There is no link between the academia and the industry. Students end up mugging one night before the exam and vomiting the next day in the paper and forget everything the following day (I am in the same boat…After doing B.Tech Biotechnology, I really wonder whether I really know anything…cuz application of our technical knowledge in the practical world wasn’t ever taught). The way Aamir Khan explains this with the “PreRajulization” and “FarhanNitrate” concept is a treat to watch. The way the parents force their children to become engineers or doctors when they are born has been shown really well in the movie as it still happens even today. The students are put under so much pressure and stress that they end up taking their lives. While in VIT, over 4 years I had heard of many suicides. So I can only imagine what percentage of students in IITs would end their lives in such a way. Some of the famous phrases include “All izz Well” and “Kabil bano, success jhak maar ke peeche aa jayegi. Kareena is really good in the small role which she has in the movie. Her scene where she talks about the names of the different Gujarat food items is hilarious.

One of the greatest things I loved in this movie as well as the book was the friendship between the three. The way they make cunning plans to irritate teachers, care for each other so much so that they dared to go to Virus’s office just to get the question paper for Raju so that he could pass to support his family, their jokes, their discussion on stupid issues, their talk about the education system all in all their amazing camaraderie reminds me of my times at VIT. Though Giri, Moh, Arun and me were never like them in terms of doing daring stuff like this. But our friendship was something which surely defined my 4 years there. And this more than reminded me of them. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST SRSLY!!! (I hope none of my other friends would take this in a wrong way cuz all you guys are sweet…Thanks soooo much…just dat this movie reminded me of them…)

The film’s soundtrack is composed by Shantanu Moitra with lyrics penned by Swanand Kirkire. The picturization of all the songs along with their placement in the movie is really good. My personal favourites are Behti Hawa, Give me Some Sunshine and Jaane Denge with Behti Hawa being the best. I used to love Behti Hawa even before watching the movie because the lyrics and the way Shantanu and Shaan sang, it really reminded me of my days at VIT. After watching the movie and the amazing picturization, I love it even more. The cinematography is brilliant to say the least. The stunning locales of Himachal and Ladakh have been spectacularly shown on the celluloid.

The recent credit controversy has brought a lot of unwanted or wanted publicity for the movie depending on how one looks at it. The supposed agreement between Chetan Bhagat and Vidhu Vinod Chopra was that in the rolling credits, his name would appear as “Based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat”. The problem arose when Chetan Bhagat found that the makers were claiming that the story is original which wasn’t right as many facts are based on the book. He was shocked to hear that. He wrote 3-4 blogs over the last 4 days over this issue on his website which attracted a plethora of comments over this whole issue. The main fact which I too don’t agree with is that how can the makers claim that the movie is just about 2-5% based on the book. Though I cant claim that the movie is 2% or 90% based on the book, the underlying theme that is the story of the three friends, the ragging incident, the main protagonist wanting to change the education system and him falling in love with the director’s daughter, the ragging theme, Raju’s family being poor, them studying at an engineering college and not a medical college or arts college and many more scenes are all based on the book. So it’s really difficult for me to comprehend as to how the makers of the movie can claim it to be an original story. This just resembles a plain case of intellectual property violation

Here I have put a comment on the Chetan Blog by a person named Prodigal Nemo who is somewhat of an IP expert

ProdigalNemo says:

January 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

In UNITED STATES “Copyright confers the following constitutional “exclusive Right” of “Authors” to their works includes the rights “to do and to authorize any of the following”:
(1) reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords, as when a novelist authorizes a publisher to reproduce a book or composers authorize recordings of their musical compositions;
(2) create derivative works, such as a screenplay based on a preexisting magazine story;
(3) distribute copies of the work to the public, as when a software manufacturer authorizes a wholesaler to market floppy diskettes containing a copyrighted program;
(4) perform the work publicly, as when a playwright or songwriter authorizes a production of a play or the broadcast of a song;
(5) display the work publicly, as when a magazine authorizes displays of its copyrighted images on multiple computer screens;
(6) in the case of sound recordings, perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.” [COPYRIGHT LAW: A Practitioner’s Guide;Release No. 8, September 2006; by Bruce P. Keller & Jeffrey P. Cunard]

Therefore based on point number (2) above, at MAX, they can produce derivative work such as adapted screenplay. However, in this case what they have done is (a) ‘coppied’ 70-80% of Chetan’s work from the book (which is fine if they wanted to adapt it to screenplay); (b) Write a ‘fresh’ story copying 70-80% from Chetan’s book which is credited to Abhijat Joshi and Rajkumar Hirani (this is grave crime);and (c) ‘creating a original screenplay’ based on point (b) which is credited to Abhijat Joshi and Vidhi Vinod Chopra (this is ‘crime de la crime’).

As as result, Chetan was not given his due credit as an original story writer, which they should have. At max Abhijat Joshi, Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra could have been credited with ‘co-story writers’ (provided Chetan agrees to this too) and for ‘adapted screenplay’.

I m commenting on this in my capacity as I’m Intellectual Property professional.

Kudos to you Chetan. I read your book in Jan 2006 and it was so interesting that I read it in one go.


And what the hell does bloody VIDHU VINOD CHOPRA think of himself??????? What the hell did he try to prove by shouting at the media person the other day?? This just shows his monstrous crappy behavior..Abhijit Joshi is I agree a good scriptwriter but how the hell can they call it is his original story???? Mr Aamir Khan has told Vidhu Chopra and Hirani to file a case against Bhagat for making false statements. How can he talk about this when he hasn’t even read the book? He’s seriously making a fool of himself by making such mindless, baseless and senseless statements.


Indians are not fools. People may think that Chetan needs money and fame and is publicity hungry and what not. But tell me one thing, what does a guy who already is the greatest English language author in the history of the nation in terms of the number of books sold, writes columns in newspapers, is moving to movie script writing want in terms of publicity. I seriously don’t understand. Millions have read FPS and the truth is out that a lot of the movie is based on it and that’s it.

In the end I would like to say, in Taran Adarsh’s words “Do yourself and your family a favour – Go for 3 idiots!! It’s emotional, it’s entertaining, it’s enlightening. The film has tremendous youth appeal and feel-good factor”. It ranks up there as one of the bestest movies I have seen since I was born.

Rating – 5 / 5 (Yes it deserves that every bit!!)


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  1. vijay

    That was one long review!!! I totally am with you on the Chetan Bhagat part. The movie folks have added stuff here and there, but the core is definitely there. I still don’t understand what they would have lost, if they just mentioned “Based on Five Point Someone”, kind of like how it is done in the Harry Potter movies.

    Lost track after some time, because it looks as though you are commenting on other issues as well, and soon the movie review turned into something else.

    Also, just a tip (I learned this from some other wordpress blogger so passing it on to you). Use the “Central Justify” option available in the WordPress Post creation window. The right side of your blog entry is all jaggy, and does not look good, aesthetically speaking.

  2. mini

    Just waiting to see the movie yaar 🙂

  3. Hey, This website is great! Keep up the amazing posts. I just bookmarked it

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