3 idiots – Not really!!

2 01 2010

“3 idiots” has been a pleasant surprise. I have presumed that it’s based on Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and was curious to know how it turned out. The good talk about the movie finally encouraged me to watch it a couple of days ago. I was careful not to read any reviews or in fact any of the related stuff. At first glance the movie seemed very different from the novel. Owing to the fact that I read the novel two years ago, I don’t remember much about it other than that it’s about three friends in IIT, that it was entertaining and snippets of it here and there. I quickly realized that the movie is very different from the book, with a direction of its own. The general idea has been based on the novel but the plot itself is different. The movie definitely has a higher purpose. As I think about it again, many things and scenes appear to have been used from the book and it’s very unfair not to mention Chetan in the title credits and publicity. Among the ideas adopted from the book are: three friends in engineering, college ragging, Venkat(Chatur), affair with professor’s daughter, carefree attitude of the character Ryan (Rancho), stealing the question paper etc. I feel that comparing the movie and the novel doesn’t do justice to either of them, given that their souls are different.

“3 idiots” has the right mix of right elements – fun and message. About the fun part – it’s mostly guy stuff. So, no comments! 🙂 Coming to the message part, I think it can’t be over-emphasized. It’s a sad reality in our country that parents and society at large suppress one’s desire to realize one’s dreams. Actually, it’s not this way just in India, but the same attitude can be seen in a number of other Asian countries too. I happened to know about it by chancing upon a lament of an Asian(Anson Chi) in the form of a book – Yellow on the Outside and Shame on the Inside. (It’s a free e-book and very easy to read.) In the mad race to be successful (which means to become an engineer or a doctor, preferably from a reputed institute), countless youngsters are under tremendous pressure.

In a country like India, where there are the qualified people far exceed the employment opportunities, the competition is bound to be cut-throat. But it is made worse by the attitude which values monetary success over passion/interests. When people are more concerned with maintaining their status and seeking society’s approval or admiration than with the personal interests and aspirations, frustration continues to prevail.

One catch here is that one has to be aware of what one want. How many can be sure about their interests at the end of high school? I feel that for the vast majority, realization comes much later. In my opinion, the environment doesn’t allow people to develop and pursue interests of their own in the early age. The reason of course is that children depend on parents until well into their twenties. The family and social system we usually are proud about rises its ugly head in such ways and makes us start wondering. Lucky are the ones who discover their passion for something and are encouraged to pursue it from the beginning. These are invariably exceptions rather than the norm, which is an unfortunate reality.

The pressure of constantly being in a race or of trying to meet someone else’s expectations no doubt wears a person out at some point. I loved this line by Amir Khan from the movie: “Don’t run after success, run after excellence.” Let learning be a joy, not punishment or just an ordeal.

The Rancho character is a blast. He is funny, passionate, confident, and brilliant. He is also idealistic. Amir did a great job, as usual. But, as expected, it was a bit difficult to imagine and see him as a 20 year old. Another striking thing in the movie is the scenery. I’m astonished to find India so beautiful. I’ve never been to North India and just didn’t guess it could be so amazingly exquisite. I was also a bit ashamed that I didn’t realize it before. Ladakh was exceedingly lovely in the climax scene.

And I can’t agree more with the ‘All izz well” philosophy. It’s a powerful positive thinking technique which enables us not just to accept things but also to respond to them constructively. This reminded me of the magic statements, which I learned and used with success in difficult times, from Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking:

  • I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
  • If God be for us, who can be against us?

Though these seem to be bound by a religion, the general idea is to look up to a supreme power/being as a source of inspiration and courage. The reason for mentioning this is to make the point that simple statements like that can be very powerful in their effects.

Music is good and I loved two of the songs:

To conclude, “3 idiots” is an awesome movie in the lines of Lage Raho Munnabhai and Taare Zameen Par. I hope people get its message, in the sense that they apply it in thier lives.

Image Source: http://www.dancewithshadows.com/

Zoobi doobi

6 12 2009

Zoobi Doobi from 3 Idiots is my new favorite. The music is so catchy and uplifting (and of course romantic too). Sonu Nigam and Shreya Goshal are absolutely awesome. I feel that the song wouldn’t have been so appealing if not for them.
Listen to it here:

I even liked the picturization. The theme colors – blue, pink and white – are very soothing. In the video, I couldn’t help notice how old Amir looks (of course not more than his age). I’ll definitely find it a bit difficult to see Amir as a 20 year old IIT student in the movie. Also Kareena looks good. I never like her, but these days I’m noticing that she has grown really beautiful. Is it the magic of love? Can be. But I like to believe that it’s age. In my opinion, women look their best in their late twenties. (Some say that 30 is their pinnacle point.)

I remember enjoying reading Five Point Someone (on which 3Idiots is based on) two years ago and very much look forward to watch the movie. Even though there were some stupid scenes, overall it’s by far the best book by Chetan Bhagat. Zoobi Doobi reminded me of the chemistry between Hari and Neha in the novel.

Whatever may be the literary value of chetan’s books, he sure is making India read like never before. One reason might be because he usually chooses the subjects and characters that the current youth can immediately relate to. Anyways, I hope he writes better books in future.

The energy and magic in Zoobi Doobi fills me with joy and excitement. The song transports me to my adolescent days, as long as it lasts.

Chetan Bhagat

20 10 2009

Chetan Bhagat‘s new book, “2 States – The Story of My Marriage” is out. And I surprise myself by looking forward to read it. It’s a surprise because, when I first knew about this book, I remember to be distinctly unenthusiastic towards it.

I’ve read all his three previous novels. As many others, I found that his first – Five Point Someone – is something.  The other two are pure disasters. I read The Three Mistakes of My Life despite the terrible reviews.  Though I agreed with the negative reviews after completing the book, I must admit that while reading it, I felt it OK, if not good.

I’ve also observed that it’s not just me. Many people hate Bhagat’s writing, but still read book after book from him.

I feel that Bhagat’s works are just commercial flicks and cannot be called as literature. But in my opinion, the reason they have become bestsellers is that the characters and the scenarios are taken out of life – his characters have a strong next-door boy or girl flavor and he manages to entertain without being ‘very’ cheap. (But of course, the romance in his books really sucks – the episodes seem like bizarre fantasies.)  Definitely, the ease of language and structure of the novels helped a lot to reach more people. The low price of the books is another favorable factor.

I  hate even to say that I want to read his books but I usually end up reading them anyway. The reasons seem really silly when I think about it. They are usually the following in my case:

  • It has become a bestseller. A lot of people are reading it. I should read it too.
  • It’s a very simple, short book – it will hardly take a day or two. The effort is negligible.
  • Though the story seems unconvincing and/or writing bad, I can relate to some aspects of the characters and/or the situations.. It’s like reading a story about a neighborhood girl or boy… or watching a soap or just time pass or something to that effect.