3 Idiots

As a continuation of our “Apparently we have seen every movie except foreign films” adventure, the next movie I pulled from the top list on IMDB was 3 Idiots, the story of three engineering students and their trials and tribulations.   It’s from India and apparently the most successful film that’s been produced over there.  So successful, that apparently it’s being re-made everywhere, including a possible North American version in the works.  Or at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me.

I have never actually watched a Bollywood film before.  The whole thing was sort of a cultural experience, really – I was surprised that the entire film was a mash of Hindi and English speech.  It was so odd to be reading the subtitles and realize half of the sentence was English, just sort of randomly jammed in.  Wikipedia suggests that all of it is pretty much expected from a Bollywood film, so consider me enlightened, I guess.  When they broke into song, my husband said “That’s kind of what I was afraid of when I saw it was from India.”  I knew song and dance was the norm for Bollywood, and I usually enjoy musical stuff as long as the music is good, but it felt really forced in this one.  I’m not sure if that’s typical or not.  It’s like they were expected to have an average of 3.5 songs so they made sure to plunk a scene or two that led into them, even if it wasn’t necessarily a smooth transition.  I hate to say it but I don’t feel it added anything except running time, and I think the film would have been better without it.

Speaking of running time, the movie was 2 hours and 45 minutes long.  Holy crap.  There wasn’t nearly enough plot for that amount of running time, man.

We actually enjoyed it quite a lot, though.  The vast majority of the plot was very cliche.  I sarcastically commented “Wow, what a shocking twist!” on numerous occasions.  The main character was also a huge Mary Sue/Gary Stu, to the degree of almost following the template for one. That said, there was a lot of really good plot buried under all the generic plot.  If it does get a Hollywood release, I’m interested to see how they edit and clean things up (there is no way it will be a 3 hour movie after running through the Hollywood wringer).  The movie is a “comedy-drama” and it does it rather awkwardly: there are some genuinely funny moments, some really forced jokes (oh god, the slide whistle sound effect that accompanied some of them… AHAHAHAhahahaahaha), some jokes that are somewhat inappropriately placed… and a decent amount of dramatic moments that address serious topics.  The overall message of the movie was a good one, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I also see that it’s based on a book.  I was tempted to see if I could pick it up, but then I read that the book is more of a string of anecdotes and a lot of the plot had to be invented for the movie (which probably led to the whole Gary Stu thing), and I kind of lost interest.

I guess the bottom line is: I really wish it hadn’t been three hours, and I could have done without the dancing, but I don’t feel like we wasted our time and that’s always a good thing when dealing with entertainment!  I’m interested to see if it gets an American remake and what they will do with it, now.

About tagracat
I am not a professional, I don't get paid to review shit, I am just opinionated and I seem to have some sort of disorder that results in spewing my opinions onto the internet. I enjoy writing long-winded posts about things and sometimes I like to pretend people want to read them, so a blog seemed an appropriate place to stuff it. But mostly I just like writing about things.

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