(Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Mona Singh, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (2009) 2011 / Fox Home Entertainment)
Overview: '3 Idiots' is a comedy about three engineering students whose friendship stands the test of time. As Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) search the valleys for their missing friend Rancho (Aamir Khan), their memories drift back to the days when they we're all college roommates, and Rancho incurred the wrath of their headstrong dean Viru Sahastrabudhhe (aka Virus) (Boman Irani) by daring to propose radical theories that directly contradicted his teacher's lessons.
DVD Verdict: This film is one of the all-time biggest hits of the Hindi film industry, and that's no surprise. Whether you're a fan of Hindi movies or simply stumbled upon this page by accident, you need to watch this movie, and here's why:
It will introduce you to one of India's best and most famous actors, Aamir Khan. His performance as Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chandchad (known affectionately as just "Rancho") is terrific, and I certainly think it's Aamir Khan's best role. Rancho's two friends, Raju and Farhan, are played with great sensitivity and humor by Sharman Joshi and R. Madhavan, respectively. Kareena Kapoor is simply wonderful as Rancho's love interest, taking the role far beyond "love interest" - she's Rancho's sprightly and hilarious equal.
The story arc covers several years in the life of 3 friends, and the narrative becomes epic by the end of the movie - you find yourself marveling at the twists and turns, all of which are tied up nicely. The story has two foundations: the bonds of friendship, and a critique of the education system. Rancho, Raju and Farhan find themselves at the same engineering college, where they are randomly assigned to be roommates.
Raju wants to be an engineer in order to support his poverty-stricken family, Farhan doesn't really want to be an engineer at all, and Rancho...Rancho bursts into their lives as an enigmatic figure whose background and motives are unclear. Most of the film is spent jumping between their college days and the present, in which Raju and Farhan attempt to sort out the mysteries of Rancho's past.
The music and dancing is less frequent than in a typical "bollywood" film, but very creatively filmed, perhaps due to the director-producer team of Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who also peppered their "Munna Bhai" films with creative song and dance numbers.
The script, editing, and acting are all superlative. Ultimately, the film will make you wish that you had friends like Raju and Farhan, and an attitude like Rancho's. [TD] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.