Planet Bollywood
3 Idiots DVD Release
 
Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Mona Singh, Parikshit Sahani, Javed Jaffrey
Music: Shantanu Moitra
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire
Genre: Comedy
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 164 minutes
Film Released on: 26 April 2011
Reviewed by: Samir Dave  - Rating: 8.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Twentieth Century Fox is finally releasing the eagerly anticipated DVD of the blockbuster hit “3 Idiots”, directed by Rajkumar Hirani on April 26th 2011. The film features India’s arguably number one superstar Aamir Khan in the lead role and he is absolutely “wangdurrific” (see the movie to figure out what that means). Sharman Joshi, Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor, Omi Vaidya (the silencer) and Boman (virus) Irani round off the rest of the cast. Maestro Shantanu Moitra provides the incredibly catchy soundtrack.

The film, is presented in a widescreen format (2.35:1) in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, the film has captions in English, Spanish and French. So, is the DVD worth your money? Read on to find out.

The Film

Originally released in silver screen glory on December 24th, 2009, the film became increasingly popular during each consecutive week of its original theatrical run, eventually going on to gross $80,000,000 worldwide. The catchphrase “Aal Izz Well” became engrained in our Bollywood cultural collective consciousness and could be heard being chanted by fans around the world. Reviews were glowing, both by fans and critics (in a rare coming together of opinions). Now that all the hoopla has died down nearly a year and a half after its original release, we find ourselves asking as to whether or not the movie has held up and is worth buying to add to our DVD library?

The short answer to that is a resounding YES. The movie is one of those rare Bollywood films that deserve the tag, “classic”. Most Bollywood flicks are viewable (and enjoyable) perhaps once or twice (if you push it). Upon repeated viewings other films weaknesses in attention to detail and screenplay logic become glaringly obvious. Not so, with Hirani’s “3 Idiots”. Seeing this motion picture again is like visiting three friends one more time and reliving past glories. This is one of those rare Bollywood films that stand up to repeated viewings.

So what’s the film about? By now, most of you have seen the movie and know how the story entertains on many different levels. For those that haven’t seen it, here’s a quick recap. “3 Idiots” is not only a social commentary on the demands of the higher education system in India, but also an excellent showcase of how life brings together people from different places and opens their eyes to friendship. The comedy is never heavy handed like most other comedy films, but instead grows organically from the screenplay. The basic synopsis is this. Three different individuals (Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Madhavan) come together at a leading Engineering College in India that is run by a despotic Dean. Memorization, and stereotypical learning patterns are the name of the game. All this is thrown off by Rancho (Aamir Khan), a student who has a dark secret, and a wry intelligence that will challenge the current system all while testing the limits of friendship.

If you’ve never seen the film, that’s all you really need to know. Any more, might spoil the surprises of the screenplay that is expertly crafted by director Rajkumar Hirani, and writer Abhijit Joshi (very loosely based on the novel “Five Point Someone” by Chetan Bhagat). The witty dialogues throughout the film, include memorable catchphrases such as the already mentioned “Aal Izz Well” (which is a quirky yet fun philosophy towards life), and others like, “Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down”. The writers know how to keep the story flowing and have placed memorable comedic scenes at various intervals throughout the film to keep the viewer interested.

The Film Transfer

This one disc DVD has a clean transfer of the film with no noticeable artifacts or blemishes to the picture. The brightness and saturation of the colors against black levels really brings out the expert cinematography/photography of C.K. Muraleedharan. The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track is well balanced between sounds and dialogues, with neither drowning the other out.

The Extras

Those looking for a comprehensive set of behind the scenes featurettes are likely to be disappointed as there are slim pickings in terms of extras. We get four ten-minute segments that include:

“Idiots in Ladakh”: This showcases the difficulties the film crew experienced in filming a crucial scene in an isolated mountainous area in Ladakh. It’s short but interesting and shows how much went into producing what turns out to be a pivotal moment in the movie.

“Aal Izz Well”: This short feature focuses on the “Aal Izz Well” philosophy/mantra of Aamir Khan’s character in the film. We are shown how music director Shantanu Moitra used utensils to create the percussion for the “Aal Izz Well” soundtrack and the behind the scenes shooting of the music video.

“100% Idiots”: What happens when you run out of film stock while shooting a scene in the middle of the night that has to be canned that night itself? Why, you send some of your crew to another nearby film shoot to borrow some film stock!

“Making of Miss Idiot: This one focuses on Rajkumar Hirani’s efforts to get the right kind of nerdy, yet girl next door sexy look for Kareena Kapoor’s character, Pia.

All in all, the extras are worth a watch, but one can’t help but feel that there could have been more included with this release. A comprehensive behind the scenes featurette would have been nice. Also, what is sorely lacking is the option of a director’s (or actors’) commentary track during the film

Final Verdict

“3 Idiots” is a modern classic that not only stands the test of time, but also stands up to repeated viewings. Director Rajukumar Hirani has worked magic with Aamir Khan and both deliver a very powerful “punch” of entertainment. The DVD transfer of the film is pristine; however the extras fall short to expectations. Hopefully there will be some kind of deluxe release in the future with director’s notes/commentary and the like. Until then (if that ever occurs), this DVD release of “3 Idiots” is a welcome addition to anyone’s movie library. Remember, no matter how stressful or difficult life gets, simply take a step back, pat your hand on your heart and repeat after me:

“AAL IZZ WELL!”

“AAL IZZ WELL!”

“AAL IZZ WELL!”

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