In the international scene, Bollywood movies are not as acclaimed and sought-after as Hollywood movies. Slumdog Millionaire for instance, which is perhaps the most popular Indian movie, is not a Bollywood film. Although the aesthetic value and social significance of a film–or any art form for that matter–is not to be measured in pure canon, our entertainment industry dictates otherwise, for it is after all, a popularity contest.
Despite breaking box-office records and being the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in India, 3 Idiots is not as popular as Twilight, Harry Potter, or any of those Marvel movies. Even you may not be fond of the hip swinging, finger snapping, and lip syncing antics of Bollywood. But, dare I say, the lessons, humor, and wit of 3 Idiots could surpass what many illustrious flicks have to offer.
Loosely adapted from the novel Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat, 3 Idiots is a 2009 Indian comedy-drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani, with a screenplay by Abhijat Joshi, and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. This two-and-a-half-hour movie stars Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Omi Vaidya, Parikshit Sahni and Boman Irani. In a nutshell, 3 Idiots depicts the life of an extraordinary student whose success was paved by diligence, passion, integrity, and positivity. Here are five stellar lessons we can learn from the movie:
1. Don’t chase success. Strive for excellence and success will chase you, pants down. Having been mentioned at least twice in the film, this line is probably the overall theme of 3 Idiots. The almost-too-good-to-be-true protagonist Rancho Ranchoddas, embodied this mantra by standing out amongst a sea of bright, hopeful, above-average Engineering students notwithstanding swimming against the current and defying the prevailing norms in their education system, leaving a trail for others to follow–a timeless and valuable lesson that drive students to strive for excellence. After all, aren’t we all students of life?
2. True education lies in having a genuine passion for learning and the ability to apply the knowledge learned and not in securing high grades and being able to memorize technical bookish information. Part of Rancho’s advocacy for excellence is the fight for the right way of teaching, studying and learning. He challenges everyone to put their hearts and soul in what they do and savor every bit of it instead of blindly participating in the proverbial rat race.
3. Follow your dreams. Aside from the flawed education system, another underlying social issue tackled in this light and hilarious movie is the dominant trend of parents deciding on their children’s education and career path, (in this case, engineering for the boys, medicine for the girls). 3 Idiots illustrates a dramatic yet refreshing struggle to break free from this cycle in order to follow one’s heart and passion without being rebellious or disrespectful to parents.
4. True friendship entails selfless sacrifices, unconditional love, and loads of fun times. 3 Idiots is not only about school life. It also cleverly paints the highs and lows of human relationships among family, friends, and with that special someone. With the intertwined stories of the anxious Raju, the parents-pleaser Fahran, the self-willed Pia, and all the other characters carefully woven in adventures and trials one after another, you’ll be glued at the edge of your seat, crying and laughing at the same time.
5. All is well. This, I believe, is the greatest and most lasting lesson this movie teaches. Ranchos’ genuine passion for learning and street-smart skills are not actually his best asset. What kept him sane and made him endure his crazy Principal Virus, brain-draining and nose-bleeding exams and projects, hardship, failure, losses and the Methane-inducing fart of a cramming robotic classmate Chatur, is his attitude. By simply tapping his chest and whispering “Aal izz vell” to himself, he manages to maintain a sunny perspective and gain courage to face anything that befalls him. Try it! Whatever happens, you will remain positive that everything will be alright. =)
Okay, dozens of other movies merit the same praises as the movie I am raving about. But, since I am talking about a Bollywood movie, it doesn’t only come with sugar, but also with spice and everything nice. As if the amazing plot with all its twists and turns isn’t enough, the well-choreographed dance and song numbers in dream sequences and witty, deadpan humor, sure are icing on the cake. Seasoned with excellent direction, cinematography, and screenplay, this Bollywood movie is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And oh, with Aamir Khan as the apple of the eye, you wouldn’t mind reading the subtitles.
Like Rancho, this riveting, inspiring tale doesn’t need mainstream popularity to succeed with flying colors.~
Photos: Google Images