|:| eXcLuSiVe DVD Review | 3 Idiots | Rating : 5 |:|
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Omi, Boman Irani
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Music: Shantanu Moitra
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire
Rajkumar Hirani is one manipulative director. The man doesn't just know his job; he in fact brings in a different dimension to his job, hence following the very philosophy that he advocates in the film. In one of the crucial scenes simply told, one of the three protagonists challenges the entire point behind studying - 'Is it merely about following what is already in place? Or is it about inventing something out of all that has been established?' Raju does something similar while telling a story through his movie. He learns from some great cinema that could have been made in different parts of the world and comes up with something as original as '3 Idiots' which doesn't have any predecessor and tells an absolute fresh story.
Which brings one to another important point i.e. 3 Idiots being entirely a director's film. This can be pretty much gauged from the fact that when an entire opening paragraph (in this review) describing the film doesn't mention Aamir Khan, there would be something intrinsically brilliant about it. Yes Aamir Khan is brilliant and so are the other two idiots - Madhavan and Sharman. They look like the character, make you forget their on-screen image and bring you into the campus. But what remains with you are not the characters, actors or their histrionics; it's the scenes that remain etched in your memory hours after the film is through.
In such a scenario how does one pick and choose the most memorable of them all? Is it the one where Aamir runs with a box of sweets in one of the crucial moments in the film (with the song 'Jaane Nahi' playing in the background), is it the entire climax sequence at Ladakh, is it the interval point which is the 'baap' of all shockers that one may have witnessed in a film, is it the ragging sequence, is it the one where Aamir is asked to deliver a lecture, is it the opening sequence featuring Madhavan, is it that riotous college speech, is it Sharman's interview, or is it Kareena's first interaction with Aamir at a wedding?
The list is endless and so is the fun that remains as a consistent element of this near three hour long film which actually makes you ask for more. Rajkumar Hirani follows the basic principle of story telling - 'Don't bore your audiences'. He doesn't and while doing so, he manipulates the entire story telling in such a manner that you just go with the flow. He makes you laugh hysterically, he brings on the smiles and in the process of doing so he makes sure that you also weep incessantly. The tears belong to the kind which flow not because you are laughing non-stop (as it happens in a Priyadarshan film) or getting emotionally charged (as witnessed in a couple of Sanjay Leela Bhansali films). They flow because Raju creates such scenes where a viewer shifts gears from being attentive to sheer euphoric. The idiom of 'smile on your face with tears in your eyes' fits in perfectly well in the story telling of Rajkumar Hirani and hence the reason why he gets hailed as one 'manipulative director' - of course in a positive sense!
Because Raju uses Aamir as a central protagonist who brings to screen the thoughts which are basically his (Raju's) own, it doesn't mean that Madhavan and Sharman have any lesser part to play in 3 Idiots. In fact not just the three of them have an equal screen time for themselves, they also have quite a few scenes that are entirely their own. Due to the very fact that the story is narrated by Madhavan, he as well as Sharman do enjoy quite some moments in the film where it's just them who have to do hold audience's attention.
This is where their own talent as well as Raju's smart story telling comes into picture due to which one doesn't miss Aamir's momentary absence (that does happen quite happen actually) in the film. As for Kareena, she may not be the key protagonist in '3 Idiots' but shines in each of those 7-8 scenes that she appears. As for Boman Irani, he is incredible and though he ran the risk of getting into Dr. Asthana (Munnabhai MBBS) mode, he doesn't let that happen even once in a role that requires him to be present throughout the film's narrative. What also stays consistent throughout the narrative is music. Let's acknowledge the fact that compared to Munnabhai series, the music placement is quite a few notches ahead in case of 3 Idiots, especially the track 'Behti Hawa' which stays on to be the theme of the film.
Of course just like Hirani's earlier two efforts, 3 Idiots too makes a statement, this time around pursuing that domain in your career where you truly believe in what you are doing rather than being a part of the herd just for the sake of it all. While watching the film, you do recollect shades (very very light ones though) of Hollywood's Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon's character looked at complex problems being something that are meant to be played with than worried about. In Bollywood's parlance, Aamir says it all with a simple phrase - 'Aal Izz Well'!
3 Idiots comes in comes in a compact packaging, something which was much required due to load of goodies that the DVD has to offer. A hard bound comic book 'Idioticomic' (which basically has some of the best scenes of the films reproduced as 'real comics') is the pick of the lot and worthy enough to be preserved. For kids as well as adults alike, there is a sticker book that again has a mix of real stills, quotable quotes and similes. Also, there is an additional DVD around the 'Special Features' (more about this later). However, there is a small area of improvement. The DVD itself is included in a paper case, which means that a buyer has to be extra careful in handling since there are all the chances of it slipping away from the case. For a movie as classy as 3 Idiots which would be preserved for many more years to come, a much better holding mechanism could have been thought of.
The film's duration is 165 minutes.
- Making of the Film
- Director's Commentary
Making of the Film
This is no ordinary 'making' DVD that one gets to see in case of 3 Idiots. Rather than a regular dose of 'making of movie', 'making of songs', 'deleted scenes' etc., the making is actually divided into snippets that make for a highly engaging experience. Of course it is a given that in a prestigious affair like 3 Idiots, trivial aspects like 'I loved working with so and so' won't be an inclusion. Instead, a little more than an hour that follows actually takes a viewer behind the scenes as well as on the sets to know more abut what really transpired.
This is the reason why it is an interesting watch to see the trouble that the cast and crew had to go through during their first schedule in Ladakh due to turbulent weather conditions. Also, there is an entire segment on how Aamir went through a change in physical appearance from Ghajini to 3 Idiots. There is quite some insight provided into how different looks were tried out for each of the protagonists while Omi's audition makes for a good watch too. What is most exciting though (relived in almost a thriller format) is the sequence where the production team had to actually run into the sets of another film and borrow some raw stuck even as actors were ready to give their shot a few kilometres away.
There are quite a few funny moments as well, most notably the 'pants down' sequence when the entire ragging was filmed in a place which was actually a girl's hostel. A few bloopers are added too (spelled as bloppers in the DVD - now that's one blooper, intentionally may be!) that add on to the fun. What is a huge highlight though is the photo album. Unlike a segment like this which in other films just appears to be an add-on, the photo album is a value add since it yet again highlights quite a few trivia (through text material), hence making the 'Features' DVD a wholesome experience.
It is always a fun watch to listen to Director's Commentary, especially when a film is good. This is what happens in case of 3 Idiots where Hirani gives an English commentary, something which is entertaining rather than preaching or self appreciation (which does happen in a few commentaries). He keeps it all lively and rather than getting into 'Oh, this scene was the most difficult to perform' mode, he shares quite an insight into what went behind the making of the scene, how things were happening in the background during the production or how tough calls had to made at places. There is ton loads of trivia which is shared and those who have read the recently released book around screenplay of 3 Idiots would be able to recollect quite a lot of it which was shared there as well.
Here is presenting some of the trivia:
- In the famous 'chamatkar' scene, the original plan was to change the entire speech, not just the key words
- The most difficult piece of casting was not one of the 3 Idiots; it was the man who played the role of Joy's father
- It was Vidhu Vinod Chopra who added the now-famous interval scene with a photo frame featuring Javed Jaffrey
- One of the easiest actors to work with was the boy who played the role of young Aamir
- There were (major) changes that were made to the script till even till a week before the commencement of shooting
- While each of the three idiots actually got drunk for their drunken scenes, Kareena refrained from doing so
- Much famous delivery scene of Mona Singh was actually written for Munnabhai MBBS
- Omi was made to wear someone else's underwear for the climax scene
- 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
- Subtitles - English
- Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo
Last couple of years haven't been particularly good for Bollywood but this effort from Rajkumar Hirani pretty much saves one from panicking. Till a few months back everyone was going gaga over how James Cameron is the God of cinema and there would be a pre-Avatar and post-Avatar world of movies. Well, one may not make similar claims for worldwide impact that 3 Idiots may make but the fact remains that with this effort of his, Hirani creates a new 'avatar' for Bollywood which would now be divided between pre - 3 Idiots and post-3 Idiots.