One of the taglines of this film remake is "Dare to be an idiot," and the film actually appears to take itself seriously. From start to finish, "3 Idiots" never finds a narrative rhythm or engages the viewer as either a comedy, a romance, or a drama.
Structurally, the film unfolds as a flashback where some young men search for a long-lost college chum. But the screenplay is so confusing that it is difficult to the difference between timeframes.
For most of the film, it appears as though we are watching a comedy with no laugh lines. Then, the narrative turns very serious when one of the students is struck by a car and is in a coma. The transitions are awkward as we alternate between wild sequences of delivering a baby during a hurricane, a Romeo and Juliet encounter on a balcony, or lame attempts at flatulence jokes.
During the closing credits, biographical profiles crawl across the screen, informing us that what we have just watched was based on a true story of a group of brilliant students who made breakthrough scientific discoveries that aim to save the planet.
Ostensibly, the theme of the film is "passion," as the students' creativity and dedication finally pay off. But the major problem of the film is that we never see the passion. We see infantile behavior, constant highjinks, bad behavior, and no traces of passion.
This should have been a film about dreamers as agents of social change. Instead, it was an exercise in adolescent shenanigans and amateurish screen writing.
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