When an Aamir Khan Movie comes out, there's quite a lot of buzz. In fact the hype starts much before the release - given that Aamir talks to the media only when a movie of his is about to be released. After the spectacular Taare Zameen Par (2007) and the disappointing Ghajini (2008), this Aamir Khan starrer had everything going for it, especially because of the success of Chetan Bhagat's work - Five Point Someone. Well, the creators of the movie now claim that the plot is only 'inspired' from the book. Whatever!
3 Idiots is the story of three engineering students (Aamir Khan, Madhavan & Sharman Joshi) at the Imperial College of Engineering (Chetan Bagat's book had the IIT as the backdrop). Boman Irani plays the role of the eccentric college Principal - much like his character in Munnabhai MBBS (that too was directed by Rajkumar Hirani). Predictably, the three don't get on well with the Principal and the first part of the movie is pretty much set around this. Kareena Kapoor stars as the Principal's daughter with whom our hero strikes a chord.
The second half diverges considerably and brings in new twists and surprises. Javed Jaffri makes a short appearance and the plot takes an entirely different turn from that of the book.
I liked Chetan Bhagat's book and found it to be hilarious and simple. He had this knack of making us laugh at even gloomy situations. Well, the movie does so too, but not as effortlessly as the book. There are quite a lot of original funny scenes and dialogues to make you laugh out loud in the cinema hall. Kudos to the script-writer and the director for that.
Where this movie fails is its resemblance to Munnabhai MBBS (and therefore with Patch Adams (1998)). Pretty much everything is the same. There's our hero as a student in the college, the crazy principal who doesn't like him, the love interest with his daughter, the "Aal Izz Well" mantra as substitute for Jadoo ki Jhappi and so on. This makes the movie lose it's originality, while the book very well had it.
But the worst part of the movie was a 15 minute long scene when a lady delivers a baby inside the college - with the help of some engineering students. That was the most horribly conceived and terribly executed part of the movie. Sans that, this would've been a better movie.
Anyway, I'd still rate it as a good enough movie. It's hilarious, simple and interesting. But it's nowhere near Dil Chahta Hain or Taare Zameen Par. Although Aamir Khan and Madhavan have done reasonably well as 20-something guys, I'd say Bollywood lacks young talent to have relied on these actors for these roles.
I'd call this a slightly-above-average funny movie! Let's hope Aamir will be back next year with a better movie.