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All is well?

By Sushmita Dutta | Last Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 10:08
Sushmita Dutta
Sushi's Musings

Is all well, truly? Doesn’t look like, does it? If one goes by the interviews of Chetan Bhagat and the team of the movie ‘3 Idiots’, all is definitely not well. A fire has been raging between Bhagat, the celebrated writer of many bestsellers like ‘One Night at the Call Center’, ‘3 Mistakes of My Life’ etc. and the makers of the now smash hit, Aamir Khan starrer flick.

There has been an ongoing debate about how much of the book ‘Five Point Someone’ has been incorporated in the movie. I read the book sometime back, but could not watch the movie in the first week as it was running to full houses. But after the uncivil verbal blast of the producer of the movie Vidhu Vinod Chopra in a press conference, quotable quotes of Aamir Khan and blistering bytes of Chetan Bhagat in the press, my curiosity was aroused.

I was utterly shocked at such a hue and cry being raised about a movie. I am a fan of Chetan Bhagat, having read all his books. But I also adore Aamir Khan, who has a track record of doing some really good, socially relevant cinema. So I went on to book my tickets for the next week to find out the truth for myself.

As soon as the movie began, time just flew…..I could not hold back my laughter at any point, although there were actually some serious and emotional moments. The movie ended…Oh! But why, I wondered aloud. I was in a mood to go on and on with the ‘3 Idiots’!

I must admit that the movie is an excellent one, a laugh riot with Rancho (Aamir Khan) and his two idiots in an excellent act. After quite a long time, I watched a movie that completely moved me and realized that Aamir is a genius with a capital ‘G’.

All the other cast members are great too and well suited to their roles. But that is not the point. The point is that is it ‘Five Point Someone’ or is it altogether a different story? Does Chetan Bhagat deserve more credit than he has been given in the movie? Yes, the movie is about three engineering students; yes, it has a ragging scene; yes, it has a suicidal attempt by one of the three friends and also a scene where they steal question papers.

So is Chetan right?

I don’t agree completely because the story is pretty different. Plots from the book, I think, have been taken and fused to move the story forward, but they are certainly not the main story.

I am a fan of Chetan, he is quite a big name so he should not bother about how much name this movie brings to him. It’s not the movie, but his writings that make Mr Bhagat famous. Even if he is doing it for honour, he may just drop it, because it is starting to look like he is doing it for cheap publicity.

By his own admission, his book is selling (even) more after the controversy broke out.

Why does it really bother a writer of Chetan’s stature if his name comes up in the opening credits or in the closing credits? He should feel happy about the fact that two of his famous works have been made into Bollywood movies and most people recognize that- or at least now all of them do!

Come to think of it, the basic thought of the movie, ‘All is Well’, has been thoroughly defeated by this unnecessary debate. Even if there is problem between the movie makers and the writer, they should have sorted it out amongst themselves. Instead, they have decided to wash their dirty linen in full public glare and appeared to be idiots! And everyone (read: the media) is having a time of their lives, enjoying their public spat.

When an actor like Aamir Khan decides to lash out at someone in public, Vidhu Vinod Chopra gets mad at reporters, then obviously an unnecessary topic gets stretched like a chewing gum. In the process, the message that Aamir and the film makers have sought to communicate- that Indian education system is down in the dumps- has just got lost in this din.

So we have discussions on their fight rather than education. This discussion appears puerile. Let us just say that it is a fantastic movie with good direction and even better acting. Having said this, we must also acknowledge the fact that this movie has derived a lot of things from the book, which has been a worthy piece of reading.

First Published: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 10:08

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