Saturday, January 9, 2010

An International Take on 3 IDIOTS

3 Idiots is Rajkumar Hirani’s newest directorial venture and has become the biggest grosser in the history of Indian cinema in a matter of days after its release. The 3 members of our international film review team at the Hindi Cinema blog have watched the film in each of their respective locations around the world and are eager to give their take on it to you, our readers. Given that they are known to interrupt each other constantly, they have roped in journalist Woogie McFinklestein, correspondent for “Idiots Weekly Magazine”, to try and collect their opinions in the form of a civilized interview. Let us see if he succeeds.

 Warning: This interview contains spoilers.

What was your reaction upon seeing “3 idiots” for the first time?

Joanna: I had the biggest goofy grin on my face!

Aline: You look like that all the time, Joanna.

Joanna: Well, bigger and goofier! I wanted to immediately walk back up to the box office and buy tickets for the next show.

Pushker: I thought: “Brilliant! Enchanting! Lively! Got to go back again!"

Aline: I wanted to shout "I am an Idiot!" and then tell bystanders: "aal izz well, aal izz well" and take pictures of them all with their astonished faces, advising them to chase excellence and make viruses happy.

Did any part of the story make you cry?

Pushker: I don’t cry! What kind of question is this?

Aline: Pushker, weren’t you crying a minute ago screaming “I don’t want to give an interview!”? We had to pull you through that door…

Pushker: That was not me. That must have been Joanna who has a bad hair day.

Joanna: My hair is fine thank you and says hi!

Pushker: Well, to tell you the truth, my heart skipped a few beats and I got a lump in my throat when Raju's mother visits the hospital in her new sari.

Joanna: Honestly, I didn’t cry the first time I saw the film. However, upon second viewing I also cried during the sari scene and when Virus gifts Rancho his pen (gets weepy). See? I am getting emotional all over again, let me find my handkerchief.

Aline: I cried during several scenes and got goosebumps on Joy’s final scene but was mainly moved by the baby delivery one and entirely wept my way through it...

Joanna: Aline, seriously? You didn’t think it was a bit…filmy?

Aline: To me, if the whole film had not worked for me but there was still this one great scene, I would recommend watching the whole film just for that.

Joanna: (Blows her nose) If Rancho was coming at me with that home-made vacuum contraption, I wouldn’t just cry…I’d scream in horror! (Pushker leaves the room).

What made you laugh?

Aline: So many parts of the film were a riot! Rancho’s first appearance, the exam paper mixup and…

Joanna: I loved the scene where Pia (Kareena) compared the names of Gujarati foods to missiles. "Bush just dropped two Dhoklas on Iraq....." That was a great piece of writing and she delivered it well.

Aline: …the machine definition scene and the urn scene will become classics. So many to choose from! It is an extremely well written script. I was also itching to dance to Zoobi Doobi. Such a fun and sweet depiction!

Joanna: I keep getting interrupted, I wasn’t done with my list of fun scenes.

Aline: You interrupted me first.

Pushker: (back in the room, hands a hairbrush to Joanna) Here Joanna. Better hair means better mood.

Now, do you think Aamir Khan was really able to convince the audience to forget his true age?

Pushker: Age? What age? My wife and both my daughters wouldn’t mind going out on a date with him!

Joanna: They aren't the only ones. (Everyone looks at her.) I mean my don't know her. She lives in Utah.

Aline: Sure, Joanna. We believe you (winks at Pushker.) It was quite something to see Aamir with such an innocent look on his face. Even his voice sounded younger, to such a point that I forgot it was actually him.

Is there one particular scene that…

Joanna: Hey wait, I haven’t answered the question yet!

Well yes, but…

Joanna: Aamir Khan was brilliant. I think a lot of it comes from who he really is at his core. I’m so happy that he still seems to have a deep connection to his inner child.

Fine. So… is there one particular scene that defines the film?

Aline: Apart from all the moments in which Rancho thinks out of the box, which I think was the whole point of the film, I would say the birth scene.

Joanna: Not again! (Leans back against the chair and rolls her eyes.)

Aline: It has all of the power of Rancho's "aal izz well" in it and then... I always marvel at watching a birth, even fictional.

Pushker: That is too sentimental, Aline! I personally feel the scene that made it for me was the “Balatkar” speech. I was falling off my seat with laughter, like the rest of the audience.

Joanna: Silencer! (Laughs)

But guys, for me, it was more of a sequence than a single scene, beginning with the main suicide attempt and ending with a forgiving father. These were to me the crux of the statement that the director was trying to make. It was the lowest of lows, and the highest of highs. What do you think?

Aline: Did he just answer the question for us?

Pushker: It is the “Balatkar” speech yaar, what are you talking about!

Joanna: (upset) Hey Mr. McFinklestein, no offense, but you are here to interview us and now I have no answer because you just took the words right out of my mouth!


Joanna: What sort of an interview is this? I refuse to be a part of it. (storms out of the room.)

(Aline and Pushker shrug)

What other character apart from Rancho stands out in the film?

Pushker and Aline: Chathur!

Aline: And Virus. He was a wonderful creation and it had outstanding work by Boman Irani.

Joanna: (screams from the neighboring room): Rajuuuuu!

Describe the message you took home from "3 Idiots."

Pushker: Much more than a comedy, “3 Idiots” asks questions and gives insight to the basic need of self realization, opening up the human mind and reaching out to the natural instinct of growth.

Aline: How am I ever going to give a better definition than that? This is unfair! (leaves the room, crossing Joanna at the doorway, who was on her way back).

Can you get her (Aline) back here?

Joanna: No. I can’t stand her today.

Pushker: Let her be.

You people keep leaving the room! I am determined to win my challenge of keeping you all together throughout the interview. Go get her! (bangs his fist on the table) Now!

(Pushker leaves his chair and heads to the neighboring room. He reappears grudgingly pulling Aline behind him. Aline is leafing a book).

Aline: I have a quote to summarize the film message! “Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day”!*

Joanna: So which one are you, Aline, stupid or idiot?

Aline: The film also says that we need to fool our hearts to think positive when dealing with difficult situations and people (gives Joanna a dark stare).

Do you want to add anything?

Aline: We all would like to say that Rancho made us think of a grown up Ishaan**… Right guys? And that I found even the background music really good.

Joanna: The film is also very well cast. Everyone including the secondary roles did an excellent job.

Just one last question, how would you rate the film?

Joanna: Ok guys, ready? 1… 2… 3!


It seems as if Woogie McFinklestein has succeeded in making these 3 international idiots remain friends during an entire interview (phew!). Check out the video in which they pay homage to the way 3 Idiots was promoted before its release, featuring an incognito Aamir Khan (Rancho) travelling throughout India. Did these three reviewers and budding investigators manage to find him before the film's premiere? Find out here

* Original phrase by Samuel Goldwyn.

** The name "Ishaan" makes reference to Ishaan Awasthi, the main character of Aamir Khan's acclaimed film ‘Taare Zameen Par’.

Film: 3 Idiots
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor
Producer: Vidu Vinod Chopra
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes

Rating: 5*

Buy Music Album from Itunes store
3 Idiots lyrics translations by Ashu


  1. hmm..don't quite agree on the speech (to crude) or the delivery scene (to bolywoodish for my liking).

    I think the song "give me a chance to grow up once again" was awesome.
    The class room scene with Aamir as the teacher (not only because we saw the previous scene being shot live) , Sharman's interview , the tank scene before that define the film for me....


  2. Hello Sudhir,

    Thanks for telling us what scene touched you the most. I completely agree with you on the "Prerajulisation" scene. Lucky you who saw it being shot. It must have been quite interesting!

    I also love the moment in which the boys tell Rancho and Pia "Jahanpanah tussi great ho!..Tofa Kabul karo." announcing their respective successes.

    And I also personally enjoyed seeing Pia and Rancho ride around in a scooter with Raju's dad. :-)

    We hope you keep coming to read our reviews.

  3. Hey guys! Loved reading the blog! I have included this blogs URL into my yahoo messenger status message so that my friends could also know of this incredible blog. Will keep coming to read more reviews.

  4. Hey guys, love the blog so much. This was a unique idea. I will keep coming back to see more of u guys... loved ur interview... after a long day at work, you guys brought smile on my face. Tahnk you and many hugs

  5. Dear Elham, thanks so much for stopping by!

    Glad you enjoyed our pot shots at each other, hehe. We hope you keep coming back and that you watch our video.

    Many hugs!