China celebrates 10th anniversary of Indian movie ‘Three Idiots’

By Liu Zhongyin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/26 18:33:41

Chinese poster for Three Idiots. Photo: CNSPhoto

Three Idiots, an Indian Hindi-language comedy film, celebrated its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, during which time fans of the movie took to Twitter to hail it as the "Film of the Century." 

The film tells the story of two adults who head out on a trip to find their extraordinary college friend who used to encourage them to pursue careers they were really passionate about back when they were younger.  

Debuting in Chinese mainland cinemas two years after its Indian release, the film may not have been a box-office winner, but it received high praise from audiences. On Chinese media review platform Douban, the film has a 9.2/10 based on 1.18 million user reviews - the 13th highest-rated film on the platform. 

Rise of a film superstar 

Three Idiots is also notable because it introduced Indian actor Aamir Khan, the hero of the film, to Chinese audiences. After Three Idiots, he would go on to act in several other impressive films such as P.K. in 2014, Dangal in 2016 and Secret Superstar in 2018.

The actor-director posted a video on Sina Weibo on Wednesday to extend his gratitude to his Chinese fans for loving and admiring the film. 

"In my wildest dreams, I haven't thought that people in China would see my film and would like the film and it'll be the start of our relationship between me and the audience in China," Khan said in the video. 

"I love Three Idiots so much that I recommend it to nearly everyone I know," Zhao Hongyu, a 29-year-old middle school teacher told the Global Times. She told the Global Times that she has watched the film from start to finish three to four times and watches certain scenes online occasionally.

Having watched Khan's other films, Zhao said she admires the star for his sincerity and determination in tackling tough issues. 

"Khan's films usually focus on social issues. For example, Three Idiots criticized India's exam-orientated education system and Dangal drew audiences' attention toward gender equality," Zhao said. 

Lin Xi, a veteran film critic, commended Khan for his acting abilities. 

"Khan impressed the audience so much by playing an 18- or 19-year-old university student when he was actually 44 years old," Lin told the Global Times. 

Remarkable story   

Zhao said that the reason she likes Three Idiots is that it depicts love, friendship and family in one film and that both Khan and Rancho, the role he played, demonstrate the kind side of human nature. 

Rancho is an inspiring member of the university trio and is generous in helping others. 

Zhao noted that she loved how Rancho designed a model drone to help a university student who was having difficulty with his graduation design even though Rancho didn't know the student all that well.

Three Idiots can be considered the opening chapter to a golden era for Indian films in China. 

"After the success of Three Idiots, many Indian films did great at the box office in China," Lin noted. 

Lin explained that Chinese used to feeling awkward when actors and actresses suddenly began dancing in Indian films, but the storyline of Three Idiots was so powerful that these scenes didn't feel abrupt anymore. 

Lin also pointed out that one of the best aspects of the film is that it had got a message across without feeling preachy. 

Lin said Chinese filmmakers should take note that Indian films prove that small-budget movies can also bring in big box-office income so long as they are made well. 

She also pointed out how the ordinary people depicted in Indian films are able to promote social values and the culture of India.  
Newspaper headline: ‘Film of the Century’

Posted in: FILM

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