I think that the first Bollywood movie that I really enjoyed is the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” It is a movie of a young man who joined the Indian version of the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” His life story, and the whole film, is narrated through the young man’s recollection based on the questions during the show. Slumdog Millionaire is full of drama, humor and dance numbers. I thought that I would never find another Bollywood film that as enjoyable as Slumdog Millionaire, until I encountered this:
Three Idiots is a movie about three friends; Farhan, Raju and Rancho who are studying at Imperial College of Engineering (ICE) in India. ICE is one of the leading engineering institution in India and many engineer-wannabes dream of entering that college. The three friends have different motivations in entering ICE. Farhan entered the engineering institute to obey his father's wishes even though his dream is to be a photographer. Raju, on the other hand, wants to be engineer and also to raise the status of his family. Rancho entered ICE because his passion is learning new things.
|Raju, Rancho and Farhan.|
Three Idiots is filled with laughter. I especially love the part when Rancho entered the college dorm. The upperclassmen are making fun of new students by making them do silly things. Rancho managed to avoid the initiation by “electrocuting” the upperclassman who peed in front the door of his room. The electricity reached the upperclassman from the spoon, which connected to the fuse box, by traveling through the urine. The upperclassmen never bothered Rancho again.
There are other funny episodes in Three Idiots and I suggest that you watch the movie to see those funny antics of the characters in the movie.
The real struggle in the movie is between Rancho and the terror professor who is nicknamed as “Virus.” Virus represents the things that are wrong with the engineering education in ICE. Virus is the professor who always aims to finish first. He treats college as a form of competition between students and he consider those who have low grades as worthless. This form of thinking caused the students to prefer rote memorization over understanding the concepts in physics and engineering. Intense competition was also fostered and it pressured many students to fight for the top spot. This pressure caused the suicide of one of the engineering students and Virus' own son.
Three Idiots trailer.
Rancho, on the other hand, is the opposite of Virus. He doesn't care much about grades and competition. His goal in college is to learn as much things as possible so that he can use it later in life. He doesn't rely on rote memorization but uses his creativity to make engineering concepts work in real life. Rancho's style was successful in the end because he became the most famous inventor in India who has hundreds of patented inventions.
I like the way the movie is presented. It showed what is lacking in college education nowadays, and that is not only confined in India. My country, the Philippines, also have such problems. Creativity and in depth study of concepts was replaced by shallow means, which just aim to get high grades on the class card. College is only seen as a means to get employed, not to develop mental capacity that can be used to invent and innovate things. I believe that this is one reason why there is a lack of inventors here in the Philippines because students were trained not to become inventors or innovators but only as employees of some high-level corporations.
|A shot of my favorite dance segment in Three Idiots.|
Three Idiots is a good movie. It is full of laughs and also has enough drama for those want it. The dance segments, which is very usual in Bollywood films, are well-made and has catchy tunes. So, if you are looking for a good Bollywood movie, I suggest that you watch the Three Idiots.