Saturday, December 26, 2009

All is well?

Perhaps not, hmm, certainly not...especially with our educational system, social pressure and rat race and all that. Was this the message Hirani was trying to convey in typical Munnabhai style? The message, though strongly intended, got entangled in those innumerous twists and turns and those overly exaggerated 'comic' scenes, like the one where Chatur makes a speech on Teachers' Day and the childbirth on a table tennis table.
Devoid of such farce, may be the movie could have been more honest and fresh in treating the same theme.

If Five Point Someone (the novel on which the movie is  based) is itself a pulpy version of the dark side of engineering education, the movie based on this novel, remotely addresses any issues raised, leave alone developing them, at least in 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' style. In bits and pieces the movie does make some points- student suicides, lack of recognition for innovation and creativity and parental pressure to outperform others etc. But the conviction with which these points could be been conveyed is missing, since there is so much of typical Bollywood mass-appeal kind of 'comedy' that the actual story is lost somewhere in between the witty one-liners that comment on our engineering education and the stereotypical depiction of schools and colleges in Bollywood movies.

3 Idiots can at best make you laugh and enjoy for the moment, if you can ignore the excesses, you will come out with a 'feel-good' that there is more to life than becoming an engineer or a doctor. Other than this short-lived feeling the movie lacks the sophistication and finesse that was evident in handling social comedies like previous Munnabhai flick. What gets proved again is the difficulty involved in conveying a message without being preachy and yet making it comic, likable and memorable- like two extremes - the Gowarikar type and the Hirani type. Or, the maturity with which Aamir himself handled a similar plot in Taare Zameen Par. How does one do a balancing act while handling series of connected themes like freedom of education, creativity in curriculum and following one's heart. No easy answers here!

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