By now many of you must have watched the movie. Many liked it, many did not. Many critics would have torn it apart and many have garlanded it. For many amongst us it was reliving of a terrible memory. Many would have enjoyed this movie. And many have being inspired. Controversy or no controversy, this movie did stir few nests.
I have a policy of watching Bollywood movie, as far as I can, I leave my brain at home and if it is not possible I put it under remote control mode, starting it only when it is required. And I can safely say 3 idiots is one of those movies where I kept it on ‘on’ mode for most of the time.
I do not wish to write about the movie, by now you have known it all. And the controversy generated by it, by now all us might have taken their sides either by whipping Vidhu Chopra and Aamir Khan or by criticizing Chetan Bhagat (latter have the larger share of brickbats). My view is that if Chetan Bhagat has signed any such contract, then he should shut up. Or if such contract was signed under explicit consideration that movie is only 2-5% based on the movie, then Chopra and Khan deserve the brickbats. And for me, my take on the movie is this
“The movie is based upon the plot created by Chetan Bhagat but the story is totally different than that of the book.”
I liked the movie, and I wanted to watch this movie based upon that book. Even though I have developed some aversion for Aamir Khan (his last movie I liked was Lagaan), but it is also true that the role of the 22 year old can only be done who has experience of 22 years. And it is one of those few movies that have raised some really relevant questions. Questions on our attitude, questions on our education system.
For many amongst us, the movie is not what actually happens at IITs, there is not so much pomp and show. I agree, but before, we must also see that it is a Bollywood flick made to make money. Bollywood is an industry after all. So we must not expect ramrod straight movies from such industry. But yet, the movie drives a point.
The one dialogue which stands out in the movie was “Yeh suicide nahi, murder hai” (It is not suicide, it is a murder). The amount of pressure, expectation a normal student faces is exceptional. Daily routines, classes, tuition leaves no chance for living what is called life. And after 22 years of education, what comes out is a machine; a machine which cannot think out of the box. Sharman Joshi’s role somewhere summarizes the dilemma an average middle class student face, a catch 22 situation indeed, learn to support but for learning you need support.
Now what do we expect from our lives? A good home, a car, 5-6 figured salary, a good wife and all such blah-blah. Now think, what if the entire human race has thought like that. If the entire human races thought like that, then there wouldn’t be the next big thing. Stagnation would be the order of the day. But alas! Many of us think differently.
Now for that ‘different thinking’ we need to support; support those people who think unconventionally. We need to nurture an environment where we don’t just use or sell new things but create newer things. We must built competencies. The movie was about that different thinking.
The characters in the movie have come in for heavy criticism. But one thing must be seen that they don’t represent individual characters, they are a combination of various characters and their prejudices. Boman Irani represented all those who represent this system which produces donkeys who go in for salary, and not innovation. Rancho and Lobo represented the different thinker. Raju and Farhan represented the middle class, the hand to mouth existence leaves no scope of thinking ahead, and the family, in spite of this is bothered about what others think. Chatur (Silencer) represented a rote-monger, a competitor who will cut other at any cost. We, in our lives, somewhere might have met, or might have being any of these. Ask yourself, and you will get the answer.
We are guided by our prejudices. If we think we might not like a movie, we may never like it. I haven’t watched Rang de Basanti, Fanna yet. I think I may never like those movies, so have avoided watching them. Many of you might think that the book and movie represented the IIT life in a wrong way. You are right about it, but the thing is what is underlying here. For the book it is all about a story, a combination of both fact and fiction. And for the movie, it is the education system on a whole.
One need not have a big brain to find out how many suicide attempts students make in India. Pressure cooker like education scene has only led to proliferation of coaching institute, where those who can afford, get the edge and those who don’t rot. Here most of us think about having the coolest thing, but not creating the coolest thing. And those who do think otherwise, are laughed at. The movie is about this only.
It is only another Bollywood movie, so element of drama is explainable, otherwise it would be just another docu-drama, and then might have not made any money. As I have said Bollywood is an industry, its motive is profit. So is ours, isn’t it, if it isn’t then work for your company free for one day, you won’t. Therefore, my advice is to watch this movie, but please avoid relating with your life.
To conclude, I might have not written this post if it wasn’t for this quote by Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle Corporation.
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts”
© Tarun Mitra