Few dates are worth remembering, right? One such date was December 25, 2009. The multiplexes were occupied by the audience, and India was moved by the storyline and the content of a movie named 3 idiots. It is highly unlikely that you haven’t watched the film yet. The movie changed the entire narrative around career, passion, and hobby.
It has been 13 years since Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 idiots hit the big screen and conquered the heart of every cinemagoer. However, Aamir Khan’s character Rancho, who was projected as the messiah in the film, shouldn’t be seen as the beloved protagonist but as the antagonist. Here’s why.
3 idiots – A great movie with a good message
The film begins with Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) who have begun the journey to look for their missing friend, Ranchoddas Chanchad, aka Rancho (Aamir Khan). Accompanying them is Chatur, who wants to prove that he is more successful than Rancho, as he was projected as the arch rival of the trio in the movie. As the movie proceeds, it takes you on the journey of three friends from their days as students at the Imperial College of Engineering.
Believe me, it is not a regular Bollywood college drama but an entertaining and emotional film with a good message. While the movie wants you to believe that Raju Rastogi and Farhan Qureshi are the losers, the truth is that both of them are true and honest depictions of the average Indian student.
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There are multiple scenes that clearly highlight the loopholes of the Indian education system. The movie doesn’t fail us when it comes to passing on the message that one should follow his passion to be successful.
Many faults in Rancho’s character
However, Rancho’s character emerged as the shining star who is, till now, remembered as one of the most amazing protagonists in the Hindi film industry. It was due to his insistence on acquiring knowledge rather than running behind the numbers. It was due to his idea of satiating his curiosity and not just learning textbook definitions.
But I want you to remind yourself of who you were in your school days or college days? Most of you were more like Chatur and less like Rancho. Remember the scene in the film where a professor asks Rancho for the definition of a machine? Rancho gives a simplistic explanation while Chatur narrates the textbook definition of a machine. Chatur’s ignorance is something that even the most brilliant students get trapped in but Rancho’s irresponsible attitude is not the solution. His answer lacked substance, making it incomplete.
In fact, the problem with idolising Rancho is illustrated even better if you view the film through the eyes of Raju, who hailed from a middle-class family, with a hand-to-mouth existence that is depending on him to get a job as soon as possible. But his time at ICE consistently sees his scores sag, despite his interest in engineering.
According to Rancho, Raju’s low grades were the result of his fear of the unknown. But any Indian student with a hand-to-mouth situation will be scared assuming that what if he fails his parents? Moreover, he had little time to follow his passion. Had he followed his passion, he would have ended up standing on the road with his family and begging someone to provide him with food to feed his family.
Thus, when Raju questions Rancho’s idea to complete a depressed senior student’s project while they had their exams coming, isn’t a sign of fear but practicality.
The villain that Rancho was
While you are busy idolising Rancho for the character he was, I would love to bring some key points to your notice and make you realise that he was no messiah. Rancho mocks Chatur’s tendency to rote-learn things but the truth is that many students are more like Chatur and less like Rancho.
The whole film projected Rancho to be the bigger person. But, if viewed from my eyes, he wasn’t a person whom you should idolise. The way Chatur was humiliated in front of everyone was shameful and no one deserves to be treated this way, leave alone him whose only fault was that he wanted to score.
Rancho did not understand the importance of education and thus hands over his engineering degree to someone who was not interested in education and studies. He does not expose the scam for his selfish needs glorifying such ideas. While he advises everyone to follow their passion, he doesn’t tell them to not take up a hobby as a profession.
He also conveniently ditches his girlfriend just for the sake of a degree and career, which is not justified at any cost. At least, he could have contacted her after he was out of the mess that he himself created.
People tend to see only what they are told to see. But if you dig deeper, you will find the loopholes. The same is with Rancho. The character was so hyped that one couldn’t see behind what was shown in the film theatres. Rancho was no messiah but a villain – a villain in his own story.
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