1. Get well soon, education system and students (and parents of students) of India. Just as with his previous films, with 3 Idiots (2009) Rajkumar Hirani manages to bring out a simple message and cushion his exploration with comedy, excellent performances. What emerges is a life-affirming comedy that has excellent pace, and not a single boring moment within it.
2. It's extremely relatable to those of us studying anything in an institution, even if it's the thing that we want to study. Hirani never takes the next step to ask, "But can I succeed in this thing that I enjoy?", success is taken for granted, but that's fine, because the core message is very important. I've read some people call the movie too sermonizing; I didn't think so at all. Though I do have some gripes..
3. Not a fan of toilet humor here (which there is plenty of), but even then I really enjoyed the comedy in this film. The laughs I get from the film are never belly-achingly riotous but just fun, cute and occasionally really clever.
4. I always knew Sharman Joshi was good but how good exactly surprised me in here. I like how his praying fervor is contrasted in his lack of faith in himself, his family and the pressures he puts on himself, and his acting in the jump scene.. heart-stopping. Wow.
5. I liked Aamir a lot, as I typically do, but I do wish Rancho had had a flaw or two, a setback of his own making. Or something like that. It's like Hirani forgot some of the best bits in LRM were the setbacks - and to see Munna emerge from them. Or better yet, give some of amazing Rancho's solutions to Farhan, who admires and learns a lot from Rancho. It'd make perfect sense.
But I did adore the twist a lot. I like the fact a boy assumed to be a millionaire's son is in fact that of a worker but later reaches those heights on his own.
6. The script was so polished and considered, it was great. The only scene where I began considering how it could've been done better is the baby delivery scene. Hirani on Beautiful People (first part here) said that he researched this scene thoroughly, and that's all fine enough, but something about the tone was still a little too unbelievable. Also, it bugged me the baby was not given to the mother after the birth..
6.5. The pre-interval twist with Javed Jaffrey!!! The ending twist!!! The kiss!! Such good stuff.
7. Kareena was in good form here. Even though ladies are always delegated to love interests in Hirani films, I enjoyed her character. Especially when she shows up drunk at the school's dormitory and when she reveals the truth about her brother's death to her father -- the latter scene made me tear up. Oh, and Zoobi Doobi! Funky song, loved it.
8. Ah, Maddy. (This is one of those films where the concentration of Veracious Favourites is so high I'm a tiny bit amazed.) I do wish the character had had more to do, but I liked him a lot all the same. Farhan spent most of the film being amazed by everything and anything Rancho did, but he also had chances to shine, like the scene where his father finally lets him do what he wants in life. I also like how convincing he actually was as a college student.
9. What I feel like is a great feat by any movie - overcoming prejudice of the viewer. I had prejudice about Aamir playing a college student (again) but even more I had prejudice about the phrase, "aal izz well". I'm not a fan of creative spelling, but even the spelling makes a point to me now that I know what kind of thought that phrase encapsulates. Spelling is a set of extra rules imposed on something that we all understand perfectly when spoken; whether written "is" or "izz", the phrase doesn't change meaning. So the spelling goes beyond convention but the meaning doesn't change -- in fact, knowing the context for this particular spelling, it only adds to the phrase.
10. Rajkumar Hirani films always seem to have this almost magical quality to them -- like they put their viewer back in touch with something you ever so often forget about yourself. Sure, they present "marshmallow philosophy" - sweet, soft, simple and melts when dropped into hot cocoa - and are very Chicken Soup for the Soul-like, but they're also an excellent pick-me-up and a way for me to check myself on my cynicism and lack of faith.
They are an excellent show that feel-good doesn't mean brainless, far from it. And that's why films like 3 Idiots are always in order.