3 Idiots: Aal izz well

by Zachary Headings – Horizon Media Editor

Cast: Aamir Kahn, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Synopsis: Two friends, Farhan and Raju, along with their rival from school, Chatur, set out to find their long lost buddy, Rancho. Along the way, Farhan and Raju reminisce about their adventures in college. They trek through the Indian landscape, crashing weddings and disrupting funerals. In the end, their quest to find their friend brings to fruition one of Rancho’s favorite sayings: “Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down.”


We all understand the stress of college. The tests, the projects, the daily grind of going from class to class; it all gets quite exhausting. Waking up every morning and being subjected to the same old boring routine begins to wear thin. The only thing that keeps you going are your closest friends. Good friends will help you to get through the struggle of day-to-day college life. But great friends? Great friends will help you see beauty of it.

That’s the lesson behind “3 Idiots.”

Three friends, Rancho, Farhan, and Raju, must stick together to survive the harshness of their education at the Imperial College of Engineering in India. They are harassed by the college’s tyrannical director as well as another student, Chatur. Battling not only their classes and grades, but tradition as well, the three have to help each other find themselves in order to make it through.

One scene that really stuck out to this reviewer was very near the beginning. A professor asks Rancho to define a machine. Rancho replies: “Anything that decreases human effort.” This, while true, was not the correct answer. Chatur, the 3 Idiots’ rival, gives the complete technical definition of a machine. The professor congratulates Chatur, and when Rancho protests, the professor kicks him out of the classroom. Rancho reenters the room and when questioned by the professor, tells him he forgot his “Instruments that record, analyse, summarise, organise, debate and explain information; that are illustrated, non-illustrated, hardbound, paperback, jacketed, non-jacketed; with foreword, introduction, table of contents, index; that are indented for the enlightenment, understanding, enrichment, enhancement and education of the human brain through sensory route of vision – sometimes touch.” The professor, confused and angry, asks Rancho what he means. “Books sir! I forgot to take my books.” When asked why he didn’t simply say books, Rancho replied: “I tried sometime before, but you didn’t like it the simple way, Sir.”

That scene stood out to me. It’s easy to forget, that amid the hour-long lectures and the seven-page papers that we are in college to learn how to do our chosen professions.

As the plot progresses along the course of this 170-minute movie, the stakes continue to rise. In the beginning, the 3 idiots are just trying to pass classes and survive the Virus’ intense scrutiny. The film progresses, and family expectations, love, and even death, both successful and attempted, become a very blatant and unexpected, but integral part of the film. As the stakes rise and both Farhan and Raju become increasingly scared, Rancho reminds them of his simple creed: “Aal izz well.”

So amidst the witty banter and the ridiculous circumstances, “3 Idiots” carries several good lessons: Friends make life bearable, and having the ability to apply concepts is much more important than being able to recite a textbook.

Thanks to Caleb Schrock-Hurst for recommending this movie.

About the author: Zachary Headings is a Sophomore at Hesston College where he is completing an Associates of General Studies. His primary focus is music, but dabbles in other things like writing and astronomy. In his spare time, he watches movies and TV shows, plays video games, and fangirls about anything and everything Star Wars. In the future, he would love to write for a gaming magazine, like IGN or PC Gamer. He would love to hear you feedback on his writing, and wants to hear what you want reviewed. Anything is fair game: books, TV, movies, games. Nothing is out of the questions. You can leave comments here or send him an email at zac.headings@hesston.edu.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *