3 Idiots- A Millionth Re-watch – Aarnav Gupta

Okay, before I start, let me make something very clear. I am the biggest 3 Idiots fan in existence, and there’s going to be no debate about that. You just can’t claim to be a bigger fan than me, BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT. Fight me about it. I can recite the whole movie, without watching it, along with the background score, while sleeping, without any error. And, that’s just the beginning of the extent of how crazy I am for 3 Idiots.

And, I rewatched it again. I’ve honestly lost count, but it can be pretty much any number over 100. The thing is, this is a movie I can never get bored of. Even during this rewatch, I discovered something new, something clever. Want to know what?

We all noticed it raining during Joy’s funeral. But, if you notice clearly, there’s also sunshine in the background. This is simply to signify that if we just keep patience, and not lose hope, then the tough days will come to an end for sure! Though metaphorically, Joy asked for sunshine & rain before hanging himself, and had both during his funeral.

This is just one example, but every time I re-watch it, I learn something new – either about the film or about life itself. Every sentence in the film has got a deeper meaning, not always philosophical, but certainly, something to touch our hearts.

“Give me some sunshine,

Give me some rain,

Give me another chance,

I wanna grow up once again!”

From getting off a flight illegally to forgetting to wear pants, it all indicates the excited state of wanting to see their friend again, after 5 years. They owe a lot to him, he’s the reason they learnt to live their lives, by keeping their heads up. Since they achieved it, they didn’t even get to know whether he’s alive or not.

 

FARHAN: Saale, main hawai jahaaz choddke aaya hu. Ye apni pant chodd ke aaya hai. Sirf Rancho se milne ke liye. 5 saal se hum usko dhoond rahe hai, zinda hai ki mar gaya, nahi pata. Aur tujhe kya lagta hai, teri ye fuddu si shart ke liye yahaan aayega?

(Jackass! I aborted a flight; he forgot his pants, all to meet Rancho. Five years we’ve searched. Don’t even know if he’s alive. And you think he’ll show up for your silly bet.)

As they go on a search for their friend to the Himalayas, following a very small lead, they learnt a lot about who he really was- which once again changed their perception about him, and his different methods. So many years later of knowing him, it was now that they get to know who he really was, and yet it was a totally new mystery, including even his real name! The ‘azaad panchi‘ in Virus’ jungle now had a totally new different angle for his best friends to look at.

 

FARHAN: Aaj uss kamine Rancho ke liye izzat aur bhi badh gayi. Hum sab college sirf degree paane ke liye jaate the, degree nahi hogi toh naukri nahi milegi, naukri nahi hogi toh koi baap apni beti nahi dega, bank credit card nahi degi, duniya respect nahi degi, lekin wo saala college degree ke liye nahi, sirf padhne ke liye aaya tha. Usse naa last aane ka darr tha. Na first aane ka laalach.

(Today my respect for that idiot shot up. Most of us went to college just for a degree. No degree meant no job, no pretty wife… no credit card, no social status. None of this mattered to him. He was in college for the joy of learning. He never cared if he was first or last.)

This, right here, is the reason Rancho topped in the college because he had nothing to lose. It was easy for him to be fearless, but he tried his best that his friends, too, learn this art to be carefree.

 

RANCHO: Arre tu darta bahut hai yaar. Ye haath le, apne dil pe daal, aur bol – aal izz well, aal izz well.

(You scare easily, bro. Take your hand, put it over your heart, and say. “aal izz well”.)

Though this doesn’t solve the problem, as Rancho said, it does give us the courage to face it. I practice this in real life, whenever I’m worried, I just keep my hand at my heart, and tell myself that everything is going to be alright, All is Well. He was right, we do need this mantra, remember it. It gives a sense of calmness, a sense of strength, even at the times when everything around you is going wrong.

 

RANCHO: Ye mantra yaad kar lo, yahaan par bahut zaroorat padne waali hai.

(We’re really gonna need the mantra. Learn it.)

The usefulness of this mantra was proved several times within the movie. It’s that powerful, that it gives hope to a mother who’s feeling the pain of giving birth to a stillborn.

Talking about ‘Aal Izz Well’, there’s a part in the choreography of the song that disturbs me a lot. As the lyrics go ‘Seekh ghusegi ya saala keema hoga.‘ or ‘Will it be served on skewers or simply minced?‘ the visual support showed this:

This is sexual violence, even if shown light-heartedly. And, this isn’t the only time Chatur was bullied this way. The whole Teachers’ Day speech was him being bullied, by none other than the ‘hero’, Rancho. Chatur clearly does not take it sportingly, thus Rancho’s actions are extremely wrong. But, bullying and ragging are a part of the college culture in India, and were important for an accurate description of college life. But, it was displayed as a positive part, as if the director is supporting such habits, which makes it a problem.

Jahanpanah, tussi great ho. Tohfa kabool karo. (Your majesty, thou art great. Accept this humble offering).‘ soon became the trending joke in the country post the release of the movie. I really love when this act is re-acted by Raju on clearing the interview & Farhan on getting his dad to agree to let him follow his dream. Also, it acts as a good symbol for Chatur to accept his defeat near the end of the film.

 

It is how these small little things like ‘Aal izz well‘ or this Thohfa dialogue give an emotional sentiment to the movie, which makes it so great. It was when I was reading the bonus interview section of ‘3 idiots: The Original Screenplay’ when I realised how small, little things have been an important part of the film. The VIRUS Inverter, which was just an excuse while gatecrashing a wedding turned out to be a lifesaver later. The 18th-century watch acts as an agreement of romantic vibes between Rancho-Pia, while also acting as the reason for Pia-Suhas’ break-up. Even the Astronaut Pen, which was initially used to show the difference between the aspirations of the freshers in college later acted as the symbol for victory, till the final scene. While the chutney was the symbol for price tags, the dhoklas symbolised Pia’s hidden feelings for Rancho. Similarly, there was the helmet, paneer or bhindi, saree, and more which despite being regularly used objects, helped to shape the key aspects of the film.

 

Out of all these things, my utmost favourite is the one that involves specs. Can’t recall? Wait. Let me help you.

 

Now? No? Okay, so this must be clear to you that this is the scene where the trio re-unites after 5 years. And, naturally, Raju & Farhan are beating him up for not staying in touch. They’re saying a lot of things, and most of it isn’t clear. But something that stands out:

RAJU: Chashme lage hue hain!

(He’s got specs!)

They’re meeting 5 years later. There’s a lot to catch up, including learning his actual name! But, that’s kept for the end. The bigger concern is that he’s now got specs! If this doesn’t define the beauty of best friendship, I don’t think anything else can.

Now that we’re talking about best friends, it reminds me when Rancho and Farhan entered Raavana’s realm for Raju. And, when Raju refused to accept the question paper, which they obtained with much difficulty, they were nothing but happy for how far he’s come since he jumped.

RAJU: Dono taange tudwaa ke apne pairon pe khada hona seekha hai, sir! Badi mushkil se aaya hai ye attitude.

(It took two broken legs to get me up on my feet. Wasn’t easy to get this attitude. Can’t change it, sir!)

This, I believe, is the most inspiring scene in the whole film. About a year back, I had gotten into an accident, when I received a big shock regarding something, and throughout my recovery period, I watched this scene several times, while chanting Aal Izz Well to my heart. It gave me the power to return to school and face certain people and situations, without losing my self-respect.

There’s another theme – a dark one – which the movie explores several times. Suicide. To some extent, suicide is the central driving plot of the film. It was Joy’s suicide that changed the way Rancho viewed the education system. Raju’s suicide attempt not only acted as the major change in his character, but it also induced fear in his friends and their families. Later, learning the truth about his son’s death is how Virus ultimately learns how wrong he’s been. But such a dark theme was handled with the utmost care, without letting the comedy get affected by it, making suicide look insensitive or losing the message. Only someone like Rajkumar Hirani can do this.

I don’t think there’s a single scene in the 2 hours 51 minutes which doesn’t have some significance to the larger film. This strong script was supported by an excellent cast, for which you must thank the director, Rajkumar Hirani. The bonus section in the official screenplay was filled with trivia, let me share the most interesting ones!

To have such an amazing cast on board, and to make them fit their roles perfectly, Rajkumar Hirani went to extreme measures. Omi Vaidya was called in from the US, for not a big paycheck, to play the role of Chatur. Though Omi wanted to watch some Bollywood films and learn some Hindi, he was strictly asked not to. The director wanted him to be as clueless about the language as his character is, else how do you expect Mutra Visarjan to sound as funny as it did?

And, did you know, it took Rajkumar Hirani about a year to find the actor to play the role of Joy’s father? He has screentime of barely a minute or two, but needs to display an innocence which no one has, except Madhav Vaze who played the role of a child in a Marathi film Shyamchi Ayee in 1953!

Rajkumar Hirani is a great director, and got Aamir Khan, a 40-year-old superstar, to play a 20-year-old, just after building those muscles for Ghajini. And, he also got Kareena Kapoor to do her first drunk scene, which she says is the most difficult scene of her career, and wasn’t satisfied with her performance.

 

The movie had almost not turned out the way it did. In some drafts Pia was Farhan’s ex-girlfriend; Chatur and not Suhas was to marry Pia; Farhan was an unhappy corporate honcho in New York; instead of wildlife photography, linguistics was Farhan’s passion; Joy and Phunsukh Wangdu were added and deleted frequently.

I think we all can agree that a movie like 3 idiots has never been made, and can never be made again. It’s extremely real and perfectly balanced. It’s got comedy, it’s got tears. It’s got life lessons, it’s got romance. It’s got everything that a family movie does.

3 Idiots is my favourite movie, now and forever. And, I relate to the movie on another level. No matter how many times I watch it, I don’t get bored the slightest. In fact, I feel all the emotions again, and yet again.

3 Idiots is one of those movies, which everyone has watched. You won’t find anyone who hasn’t. It broke all the records back when it released, being the 1st 200 Cr. film, just a year after the 1st 100 Cr. film.

Not long back, there were stories about this film getting a sequel, and oh! How I hope it does not. A movie like this cannot have a sequel which can live up to what brilliance this is. It just can’t.

It turns 10 this year, but this movie can never go out of date, at least not until the education system in India changes. 3 idiots will always be known as a classic, which can never be forgotten. Movies come and go, but very few stay the way this does!

 

Note: Translations & certain facts are taken from 3 idiots: The Original Screenplay.

 

-Aarnav Gupta, Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar

aarnavg17.wordpress.com

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