Here’s a smart idea: Check out ‘3 Idiots’

March 12, 2013 — by Michael Lee

I’ve always been a fan of Indian cuisine (I’m always down for some mo’ samosas), but until a short while ago, I would have naively dismissed the idea of watching a Bollywood movie. 

 

I’ve always been a fan of Indian cuisine (I’m always down for some mo’ samosas), but until a short while ago, I would have naively dismissed the idea of watching a Bollywood movie.

However, after seeing a few yearly “Bombay in the Bay” performances hosted by the school (tickets go on sale soon, by the way!), I have become much more open to Bollywood movies.

In the winter of 2012, Christmas came a day early: after our Christmas Eve dinner, my family and I got our first paneer-infused taste of the wonderful world of Bollywood as we sat down and watched the film “3 Idiots” together.

Despite its somewhat misleading title, “3 Idiots” is a work of cultural genius. The movie's passionate dancing and goofy yet catchy Hindi songs enhanced the important messages of the movie. The various songs — from the heart-wrenching “Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe” to the much lighter “Aal Izz Well” — are still clear in my memory, just as fresh as the numbers of English musicals I have seen.

Of course, there is much more to a film like “3 Idiots” than the musical aspects. The movie chronicles the struggles of Indian engineering students against parental pressure, fears of failure and learning for the test.

For prospective college students in any area of study, the movie’s themes are highly relevant. “3 Idiots” both demonstrates the dangers of getting sucked into the system, and reminds people that learning for the joy of learning is much more worthwhile in the long-run than chasing currency.

In a funny way, “3 Idiots” gave me hope for our generation of students: in spite of the pressure to compete and secure a high income, we can work our hardest for the “right” reasons — not for money or influence, but to help society improve.

So thank you, Bombay in the Bay and “3 Idiots,” for offering me a door into the lively, exciting, and thoughtful world of Indian culture. If you haven’t seen this wonderful mark on the movie industry and you have three hours to spare, call me up; I’d be an idiot not to want to watch it again.

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