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!
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.
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.
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 friend...you 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.
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!
All: AAL IZZ WELL!
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!
** 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
Cast: Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor
Producer: Vidu Vinod Chopra
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes
Buy Music Album from Itunes store
3 Idiots lyrics translations by Ashu