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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

3 Idiots (2009) ft. Saloni Nahar

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Guest: Saloni Nahar, Follow her at @suhhhloni on Instagram and TikTok

Plot Summary: Two friends are contacted by an old classmate regarding the whereabout of a long lost friend, Ranchoddas “Rancho” Shyamaldas Chanchad (Aamir Khan). They soon embark on a quest to locate Rancho, but, on the way, reminisce about the years when the three were in the Imperial College of Engineering, run by Director Viru “Virus” Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani), a dictatorial teacher who pressures students to follow a discipline of memorization and structured study. Farhan Qureshi (R. Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi), remember their trials, triumphs, and antics with Rancho in school as they continue their search. Included in their memories is the history of Rancho and Virus, and Rancho’s love for Khan Virus’ daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor), as well as their student nemesis, Chatur Ramalingam (Omi Vaidya). Will the two friends find Rancho?


  • Aamir Khan as Ranchhoddas "Rancho" Shamaldas Chanchad / Chhote / Phunsukh Wangdu

  • R. Madhavan as Farhan Qureshi

  • Sharman Joshi as Raju Rastogi

  • Boman Irani as Dr. Viru "Virus" Sahastrabuddhe

  • Kareena Kapoor Khan as Pia Sahastrabuddhe

  • Omi Vaidya as Chatur Ramalingam

  • Rahul Kumar as Manmohan (nicknamed Millimetre)

  • Mona Singh as Mona Sahastrabuddhe

  • Parikshit Sahni as Mr. Qureshi

  • Farida Dadi as Mrs. Qureshi

  • Amardeep Jha as Mrs. Rastogi

  • Mukund Bhatt as Mr. Rastogi


  • The film's worldwide lifetime gross was 459.96 crore (US $90million), making it the highest-grossing Indian film at the time. The film was listed in Guinness World Records for the record of highest box office film gross for a Bollywood film.

  • The film won 58 accolades from Indian film awards; among these are six Filmfare Awards including Best Film and Best Director, three National Film Awards including Best Popular Film, ten Star Screen Awards, seventeen IIFA Awards, five GIMA Awards, two Apsara Awards and seven Bollywood Hungama Surfers Choice Movie Awards.

  • In China, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Film prize at the first Beijing International Film Festival in 2011.

  • In Japan, it was nominated in the Best Outstanding Foreign Language Film category at the 37th Japan Academy Awards in 2014; the award was eventually won by Les Miserables. In addition, 3 Idiots won the Grand Prize at the 4th Videoyasan Awards, held by a Japanese organisation of home video retailers in 2014; 3 Idiots was selected as 2013's best video release, beating thousands of films, anime and television shows, including domestic Japanese and foreign Hollywood productions.

Did You Know:

  • Although Rancho is seen as a college student for most of the film, the actor who plays him (Aamir Khan) was 44 years old when the film was made. In real life, he is only 5 years younger than Boman Irani, the actor who played "Virus," the headmaster at Rancho's school...

  • The film was shot in reverse, the present-day scenes were shot first and then the college scenes.

  • In 2013, renowned Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg praised "3 Idiots", which he had seen three times and said he "loved the emotional undertones." He listed it as one of five films that he connects with, along with "The Godfather" (1972) and his own work on "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) and "Jaws" (1975).

  • The wall Chatur pees on was painted and christened 'Rancho wall' by Leh's Druk Padma Karpo school. It became a popular picture spot for tourists.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: A social commentary on the Indian education system through the lens of both a buddy comedy and coming of age story.

Best Performance: Aamir Khan (Rancho)/Sharman Joshi (Raju)

Best Secondary Performance: Sharman Joshi (Raju)/Boman Irani (Virus)/Amir Khan (Rancho)

Most Charismatic Award: Aamir Khan (Rancho)/Kareena Kapoor Khan (Pia)

Best Scene:

  • Rancho Saves Mr. Rastogi

  • Urination Shock

  • Space Pen

  • Wedding Crashing

  • Raju Wakes Up

  • Chatur's Speech and Challenge

  • Raju Jumps

  • The Real Rancho

  • Rancho's School/Phunsukh Wangdu

  • Raju's Interview

  • Surprise Delivery

  • Farhan Confronts his Parents

Favorite Scene: Urination Shock/Space Pen/Chatur's Speech

Most Indelible Moment: Surprise Delivery/Hospital Scenes/Pia Talks about Rancho's Favorite Food

In Memorium:

  • Joanne Linville – A Star is Born (70s version), Scorpio, James Dean, Twilight Zone, and Star Trek

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Rancho: Pursue excellence and success will follow...

Rancho: All is well!

Rancho: Learning is not memorizing the exact words from the book. Learning is understanding it and being able to explain it in your own words.

Rancho: These engineers are very smart sir, they didn't invent a machine which can measure the pressure on the brain. If they had, we would have come to know that this was not a suicide but a Murder.

Rancho: [Rancho mimicking Virus]Life is a race.. If you don't run fast.. You will be like a broken anda (egg) like the gangu bird...

Rancho: Grades create divide. A=Masters, C=Slaves...

Rancho: And this is a college, not a pressure cooker! The lion in a circus learns that he needs to sit on the chair if his owner has a whip in his hand. But that lion is called well-trained, not well-educated.

Rancho: Sir! What Number 1, sir? Here we don't talk about new ideas. Or about new inventions! We only talk about getting good grades, or a good job in the USA. We don't gain any knowledge here, Sir. They only teach us how to bring back good grades here.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9

Impact/Significance: 9.33

Novelty: 8

Classic-ness: 8.83

Rewatchability: 7.17

Audience Score: 9.4 (95% Google, 93% RT)

Total: 51.73

Remaining Questions:

  • Why would Pia go back to Suhas in the present?

  • What happens to the School of Engineering after the Storm?

  • Did Virus ever let go of his anger toward Rancho?

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