Aal Izz (Predictably) Well!

I just realized it’s been AGES since I last did a review for a movie here on this blog, and having just come fresh off a viewing of ‘3 Idiots‘ in the theatre, I guess there’s no better time than this to get cracking. Usual spoiler warnings apply!

  • Aamir Khan once again tries to send across the message of revolutionizing the education system in our country. Whether or not it works in real life, one has to applaud him for the effort, at the very least.
  • The three idiots are good, and their chemistry is believable, but the job could have been done with a younger cast.
  • “Aal Izz Well” sounds stupid at first, with the ridiculous accent and the spelling and the over-usage of it in the trailers (I get that each movie has a “catch song”, but there’s really a fine line between catchy and annoying), but in context, it’s actually pretty hilarious. The lyrics to the song are super-funny as well.
  • Only Boman Irani could play a caricatural role – his Viru Sahastrabuddhe, fondly referred to as “Virus” by his students, speaks with a lisp, wears his pants too high, imitates Einstein’s hairstyle, takes 7.5 minute naps (in which he gets mundane work done for him, like shaving) and generally terrorizes his students – and make it genuine. A+!
  • Not everyone has that talent, unfortunately. Pia’s fiance is hopelessly exaggerated, and Chatur “Silencer” Ramalingam comes close to being annoying, but a few zingers here and there save him from Suhas’s fate.
  • Kareena Kapoor does a decent job as Pia. Nothing earth-shattering (a la “Jab We Met”), but nothing to complain about either.
  • Madhavan’s glory days are gone, methinks, at least looks-wise, and I don’t get the point of making him a Qureshi, when he so obviously doesn’t look it. Sharman Joshi is a lot more pleasing to the eye, but I could have been spared the torture of seeing both of them in nothing but underwear. *shudders*
  • “Millimeter” is criminally underused, but both the actors who play him (young and old) get a solid thumbs-up. Refreshing, funny and completely natural.
  • The setting of all of Raju’s home scenes in black-and-white, with sad ’50s music playing in the background, is truly inspired. At times, I felt inclined to be appalled at the mocking of a truly serious situation, but I couldn’t help laughing either.
  • I would have been fine with Rancho/Chhote being only a school teacher (there’s a message there about money not being the only/absolute measure of success), but the Phunsukh Wangdu ending is icing on the cake because of its sheer brilliance.
  • Some of the jokes fall flat because they’ve been circulating the internet for ages, but every now and then, there’s a comedy gem to mask the not-so-funny stuff. There were several bits that had me howling with laughter, and that’s always a good thing.
  • There are the usual Bollywood cliches that could’ve been avoided – the now obligatory kiss between the leads (see what you’ve started, Emraan Hashmi?!) and the almost-wedding scenario are just two examples. The movie also toes the line with the melodramatic pregnancy plot, but I guess it was there to prove a point, so we can ignore it. The predictability factor is high, though, with very few “twists” that are genuinely surprising or unexpected. (P. Wangdu was a happy exception, at least for me.)
  • The borrowing of material from “Five Point Someone” … that’s where things get kinda so-so for me. I think the film would’ve worked fine with a normal script, but the insertion of random events from the book make it a bumpy ride. Emotional rollercoasters are fine, but this one seemed a little too all over the place for me.
  • Kudos to the team, however, for not resorting to European locations for beautiful scenery. The Ladakh and Simla parts were particularly gorgeous, and it was nice to see them actually fit into the plot.
  • I feel justified in making a comparison to “Dil Chahta Hai”, considering the movie itself invites it, what with the similar set-up of two friends searching/waiting for the third in the present, and the rest of the story being told in flashbacks. I’m afraid DCH has spoilt all of us as far as friendship-of-3-guys scenarios go. Those guys had their flaws, but their friendship seemed natural and effortless. That reunion scene in the hospital, where Akash and Sid make-up and hug each other … that sense of relief and closure and that level of emotion is never reached in “3 Idiots”.
All said and done, it was entertaining and it sent across a good message. I’d definitely recommend at least a one-time watch, particularly if you’re a fan of college comedies. Just don’t go in expecting JWM or DCH, and you should be come out satisfied.

4 thoughts on “Aal Izz (Predictably) Well!

  1. shub January 3, 2010 / 2:03 pm

    I was also one of those who didn't see the Aamir turning out to be Wangdu angle 🙂

  2. Macho Girl January 2, 2010 / 8:27 am

    Missed your reviews! Good to have em back :)P.S.: Weird feeling not knowing all this stuff beforehand (having watched the movie with you and hence knowing all your opinions) but like you said earlier… its a different experience seeing this as 3rd person! Finally we are blogging the way blog should be done 😛

  3. Narayan the fourth December 31, 2009 / 12:06 am

    I need to see it! Well that's one January day fixed or maybe i ll see it online! Cheers 😛

  4. Anonymous December 30, 2009 / 3:35 am

    You seriously thought the Phunsukh Wangdu thing was a great twist? Most people I know guessed the ending as soon as Chatur mentions the name of the famous scientist Phunsukh Wangdu.During most of the second half of the movie, I was just hoping against hope that no, please no, Aamir's character wouldn't turn out to be Phunsukh Wangdu, but obviously that was too much to hope for from a Bollywood movie.I enjoyed the movie, but I would have loved it much more had it ended with Chatur thinking that he had defeated Rancho by being "rich and successful", but Rancho doesn't give a damn about it.

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