Cogitating the Movie: 3 Idiots


“All is well.”

After watching this Indian comedy, 3 Idiots has become one of my all-time favorite films. I had watched this movie three times and I could predict the scenes that comes after another, but I was always smitten by the hilarity and the drama. I had cried in all three times that I had watched this film.

The story of the movie revolves around three friends: Farhan Quereshi, who gave up his dream of being a wildlife photographer to satisfy his father’s wish for him, Raju Rastogi, a smart but impoverished student living in fear and burden of his family’s poverty and Rancchodas Shamaldas Chanchad, Rancho for short, who was intelligent and driven for his passion with machines.

Rancho was intelligent and very principled, but he had an unconventional way of dealing with things; thus challenging the educational system of ICE and infuriating the chairman Virus. Farhan and Raju were troubled students, both dealing with the pressure of always coming last and second to the last in class, respectively. Farhan lived in pretense; he pursued engineering to please his father instead of pursuing his own dreams to be a wildlife photographer. Meanwhile, Raju lived in fear of having to support a sickly father who drains his mother’s pension and an unwed sister. The two learned to deal with their problems with Rancho’s assistance and by learning his principle, ‘All is well.’.

The movie was one of the best I’ve seen. It is an all-in-one package: witty, funny, heartrending and romantic, too. It is one of the movies I’d recommend high school students to watch on career day; a movie I recommend to watch with your best friends; a movie I recommend to watch when you’re bored and alone, a movie I recommend to watch with your family (I watched this movie for the first time alone, for the second time with my sister and the third time with my father.)

My favorite scene: (This was when Rancho was sent away because he questioned his professor’s methods of teaching.)

Machine Class Professor: Why are you back?
Rancho: Sir, I forgot to take something…
Machine Class Professor: What?
Rancho: Instruments that record analyse summarize organize debate and explain information which are illustrative non-illustrative hardbound paperback jacketed non-jacketed with forward introduction, table of contents, index that are indented for the enlightenment, understanding enrichment enhancement and education of the human brain through sensory root of vision… sometimes leisure
Machine Class Professor: [confused] What are you trying to say?
Rancho: Books sir! I forgot to take my books.

We can pick up lots and lots of nuggets of wisdom in this movie.  

Here are the ten major lessons I’ve picked up from the movie:

1. Pursue your dreams. Your passion may not earn you a million bucks, but what’s the point of being so wealthy when you’re not happy with what you do? Happiness is not measured by how much you have but it is measured by the quality of your life.

When your hobby becomes your profession, the passion becomes your profession.

2. Face your fears but let it not overcome you. Fear is natural and inevitable, but it needs to be conquered. If it is not, one will live always in fear and accomplish nothing in life. ‘With such fear of living in the future, how will you live today,’ was the question Rancho posed to Raju. True, with fear being a constant companion, how is one supposed to focus on other matters? That was the reason Raju was failing. His fear jeopardizes his capabilities.

3. Life is not a frantic race. What is the point of finishing first if you’re knowledge doesn’t increase. Only the pressure does. Rancho’s analogy was put this way: Even a circus lion learns to sit on a chair in fear of the whip. But you call that lion well-trained and not well-educated. Many of us go to college to get a degree. Many of us think that education is some sort of a lottery ticket that grants us wealth. We fail to see that the purpose of education is to learn.

4. Think outside the box. When we don’t step out of our comfort zones to explore other methods and possibilities, we delimit our capacity and potentials to do greater things.

5. If you commit suicide, make sure you really die. Kidding aside, it is never the culmination of your miseries. It is just the commencement of an even greater misery for your soul and for the ones you leave behind.

6. A man’s friend is his greatest bosom. Although this was phrased to ridicule Chatur, the Silencer, Rancho actually meant that a man’s friend is his greatest treasure and he sincerely meant that for Raju. Call me whiny but I still cannot hold back my tears when I see that particular scene when Rancho tried his best at everything to bring Raju back to his consciousness. (You can relate to me if you’ve seen the movie.)

7. Honor your parents. I love Rancho’s line when Pia tells them that they should get going because they still have exams the next day. Rancho replies, “Exams, we have many. But a father, mostly one” and he tells Raju to go see his father.

8. Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down. I learned that you don’t chase success. That will just follow you if you excel in your profession. Are you studying architecture because an architect is what you want to become, or are you studying it because you know now that the real estate business is booming? Did you study Nursing because you want to serve as a nurse, or because you want to go abroad and bring home green bucks? There is a difference between being rich and being accomplished. 

9. The yardstick of greatness aren’t wealth, degrees and possessions. Rather it is the number of lives you’ve touched. That is how Rancho differed from Chatur.

10. All is well. We should be optimistic. Optimism may not solve our problems, but it gives us the courage to face it.

If I rate this movie, I’d give it a 9.5 out of 10. Although it’s really nice and remarkable for me, it is not that perfect. I’ve seen some flaws. But what the hell! It’s still a must-watch film! If you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it now. It’s quite a long movie with flashbacks and revelations, but it’s worth it! Those three hours of your time presents you with a cornucopia of valuable lessons.


7 thoughts on “Cogitating the Movie: 3 Idiots

  1. This is a very inspiring movie. It has many interesting parts and i shed tears as i was watching it. From the movie, i have learnt that sometimes in life, our greatest help comes from those we ridicule and least expect the way Racho helped Virus’s family during the giving birth of her daughter.

  2. hey, just read this page. liked your comments. watched the movie 3+2 times. too bad when i watched the movie at home, the subtitle was a sec. delayed, soon i’ve come to know that i can change my player’s settings so the dialogue matches the subtitle.

    what’s your say about the .5 you didn’t like about the movie?

    i can say that this one of the best comedy i have ever seen, hands down! after watching this movie, can’t help but compare it from those i watched later.
    one of the best international film i watched
    (plug on international movies: cine europa 2011 coming this september

    • thanks for the comments. I just thought its kinda weird for Pia’s sister to survive childbirth in an unsanitized area. I mean, when Rancho received the baby for her, did he sanitize. i’m a former medical technologist student, so im quite particular with that. hahah

  3. Pingback: Cogitating the Movie: Taare Zameen Par « Cogitations and Snapshots

  4. i LOVE this movie. XP and oh oh. i watched this again and again for like. 3 times i guess. i watched it once together with my dad and he was like “so do you really want to be an engineer?” HELL YES. :3

  5. >I like this movie too! I like their friendship and like what you mentioned the nugget of wisdom the movie gives. I most especially like Rancho's character. I wish a guy like that is real. haha

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