Aal is well

Well, almost.

People have been raving about 3 Idiots so much that I convinced myself and my cousins to spend some serious money (and time) on a visit to the local multiplex. All in all, it wasn’t a bad deal but it was rather different from what I expected it to be.

3 Idiots is loosely based on Chetan Bhagat’s book Five Point Someone (which for some unknown reason I call Five Point Something). Very loosely. So loosely, in fact, that I was left a little confused by the plot. I was expecting the film to follow the general direction of the book and that didn’t quite happen. Perplexed by the twists and turns of the movie and diffident about my memory, I had to turn to the cousin repeatedly and ask  “Do you remember reading this??!”  Each time I asked, the cousin dutifully shook her head to confirm that the plot was indeed taking off on a route very different from the book. Take my word for it, there was a lot of head shaking the poor thing needed to do that day.

I  have read the book and while it is a book that appealed to the masses, I dint think of it as earth shattering material. That’s not to say it dint have the right elements. I think I was put off by the too-plain language, but the book  gives you ample scope to  pick up the right elements and weave your screenplay around them. If you do a smart job of it,  you have yourself a young, funny movie. I think it’s a  storyline that should  find takers.  Most people who ever attended college enjoyed it, so a story based on experiences in college would, by simple logic, appeal to this fairly large slice of the population pie.

The cast consisted of actors did a good job of their job-ie.acting. The fabulous actor that Amir Khan is, he put in his all in playing the role of a twenty something. He could successfully act that way, but let be honest here- no amount of make up, perfect lighting and faultlessly angled shots  can make you look twenty years younger than your present age. So to me it looked like there was an inconsistency  in how Rancho walked, talked, behaved and the way he looked.  The other two actors looked more appropriate for their roles(not that they are anywhere near 20 years of age) , they acted well and their characters got a fair share of space in the film.  I liked Madhavan because, well, I like him and I loved they way they developed Sharman’s character- reminded me of some people I know. 😉  Kareena Kapur was the glamour quotient.( I ‘ve got to do something to start liking her. With the number of hits she gets,she’s obviously here to stay) Boman Irani as the father of the glamour quotient and the Director of the Institute was outstanding. Minor characters like Chatur Ramalingam  and Millimetre were impressive too.

Now about the humour in the movie. The movie is funny and there were scenes where I laughed my guts out. Yet, in a diametrically opposite reaction, there were “funny” scenes that made me cringe. Crude or cheap humour just doesn’t do it for me. I wish Indian cinema would mature a little more in the quality of humour. Finesse is a good thing… even in humour.

If I were to rate the movie .I’d give it something like  a 2.75 or 3/5.  Its not a bad deal. There is a long weekend coming up,you could see it then.  I am sure the producers will be grateful  if  you push up their stats on their already- declared- hit film. You wont regret it either.


Reviewed in this post

a book and a movie.

The Book- I Too Had a Dream by Verghese Kurien is an inspiring, fascinating book. It charts the life of a young Malyali man who studied metallurgy in the US and quite accidently landed in   dusty, tiny Anand, got involved with a group of farmers tying to set up a cooperative, and decided to stay on in Anand. The twist of fate that lands him in Anand also finds him his mentor and his life’s mission and eventually makes him the Milkman of India.

To me, and I am sure to many others, Kurien comes across as a no nonsense, straight speaking, principled man. I found reflections of my impression of him in the manner in which he recounts his life- honest, upfront,fearless.  He is candid in sharing how he reached the heights that he did  and graciously shares the credit for his success with those who stood by him in trying times.  He is equally candid in admitting his mistakes (of course in hindsight).  His commitment to the rural people and his people centric approach guided his decision making, as is clearly visible though many of the examples he shares in the book.

I Too Had a Dream talks of how real, tangible economic change is possible at the grassroots if those working with rural communities have their principles in place , are committed to the cause and don’t  fall pray to selfish personal motives  and lose sight of the larger goal they had originally committed  themselves to. It talks of how one should faces adversity and surmount it.  How power and authority should be used for the benefit of those in need .And most importantly it talks of how a nation was built- painstakingly, brick by brick.

In a commercial world guided by profit and ruled by MNCs,  it is heart-warming to read of a true story that depicts genuine empowerment of people. The Amul brand is  owned by the farmers who form the cooperatives. How often do we see large scale collectives of people that not only produce but also market so successfully?

In my opinion, the  250 page book is totally worth your time. Highly recommended.

PS:Besides the book about the man who made Amul, what do I love about the utterly butterly delicious butter ? The  rocking in- sync- with- the- times ads! Admit it, you like ’em too!

You can find a treasure trove of Amul ads here.

The movie- Ajab prem ki gazab kahani starring Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor. Tickets were purchased in what I suspect was  a moment of insanity. We arent a movie crazy family so when my parents laid a few hundred rupees on the counter and bought tickets to the recent bollywood flick that everyone’s talking about, I was duly surprised. I was even more surprised to find out how not worth our time the movie was.  The  parents didnt think it was so bad but thats the thing with movies- they are very subjective.  I thought the movie bordered on intolerable. The story line was, in typical Bollywood style, anything but believable- young jobless boy runs a “happy club” that aims on making others happy (what else?), meets young, pretty orphan girl who is being married off to some cheapo by her parents. He falls for her, mends his ways, learns to earn a honest living (in a halwai’s shop, please note) and works to help her get rid of the cheapo  in the hope that she will declare she loves him, only to find out later that  she loves some third guys….. you get the drift?  The acting was ok, nothing outstanding. Katrina is a pretty face but her dialogue delivery isnt the best. Ranbir’s acting is averagely good but its not something that will linger in your mind as a great performance. While I found  some of the humour tasteless, there were a few dialogues that got a laugh out of me. The ending reminded me of  Hera Pheri- slapstick pandermonium. The saving grace of the movie was its songs and according to me, the best of the lot was this one-

Watch it if you have time on hand and nothing better to do. Alternately, go to the theatre to watch it but leave your brain behind.

I am off to the City of Joy for a day. Be back by the weekend.