The unmistakable message from Three Idiots (Hindi) that resonated with movie going public resulting in record breaking opening week collection is this: let each heart pursue the vocation it wants. What enlightened educationists, social activists and spiritualists have been advocating for long but whose voice got always lost in the din of parental, peer and societal clamour for the pretentious technical and medical degrees has suddenly captured the imagination of masses.
The message holds the audience’s attention through a realistic but joyful story shot in a prestigious campus. Interspersed with good songs and dances it casts a spell through hilarious, thought provoking, and heart touching moments.
Acclaimed actor Boman Irani dons the role of Director of the Engg. College who takes immense pride for having made his institution one of the best in the country by his devotion to examination oriented education and ruthless enforcing of the mantra of success by competition. Irani has excelled himself in the portrayal of the enigmatic character mixing academist ego, do gooder air, eccentricism, judgementality and villainy. “People remember only Neil Armstrong as the first man who stepped on the moon, not his co-astronaut”, he thunders. And the protagonist played by Amir Khan thinks the Director is running a factory, not a college. He wonders aloud how the Director could call his college the best in the country when no one there invents anything.
The movie is based on a popular novel by Chetan Bhagat titled Five Point Someone and was released by Reliance Big Cinema, part of the well known Reliance business group. Movies such as this would strengthen the case for reform of university engg education in particular and education in general in India but much more needs to be done through courageous and pioneering work on the field by individual educational institutions, NGO’s, Govts. etc.
There is a ragging scene in the movie showing a lobby full of scantily clad freshers performing clownish acts and another where the friends of the hero say profound thanks to him by downing their trousers which may not seem to be in good taste. But there have been news reports of worse actually happening in some engineering colleges that comparatively this maybe just a mild and romanticised depiction. The movie can be worth a watch for students, teachers, parents and organisations involved in education.