CWE Entry: 3 Idiots


Film: 3 Idiots (2009) (DVD)
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Writer: Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Omi Vaidya, Rahul Kumar
Cinematography: C. K. Muraleedharan
Editing: Rajkumar Hirani
Distributor: Reliance Entertainment
Runtime: 171 mins (2 hrs 51 mins)


The very start of the film features a scene that takes place in an airplane. At the beginning of this scene, dozens of television screens are shown on the backs of the passenger seats; all of these screens are turned on, all featuring the same moving image and pattern. This shot only lasts about five seconds before the narrative moves on.

At the 10:30 mark, there is a very brief animated bit, featuring a cartoon sperm racing toward an egg. This sequence comes very suddenly, during a scene where the narrator describes the upbringing of Farhan (Madhavan). This scene is only about 5-7 seconds long, ending with a bright flash of white light that fills the entire screen.

Soon after, around the 11 minute mark, Raju (Joshi) arrives onto the college campus of ICE. Following this, there are a series of images featuring different buildings and sights around the campus; these images are editing together relatively quickly. The editing is only slightly erratic at first, but gets much quicker in pace to match with the music. This whole sequence lasts only about two seconds. Then, around the 12 minute mark, shortly after Raju meets Milimeter (Kumar), they come across some puppies of which Raju takes photos. There are a series of three images of puppies – assumedly the photos he takes – that are edited together semi-quickly, though not quite as quickly as the previous sequence. This sequence only lasts about a second.

Around the 16:30 mark, after Chatur (Vaidya) runs back inside his dorm, the senior threatens that he’ll “do ‘urine-explusion’ outside his door all semester” if he won’t come out. After he counts to ten, he urinates on his door – right when Chatur slips an electrocuted spoon right underneath, resulting in shock. When this happens, there is a very brief electrical flash animation indicating the current. This is very small, brief, and only last a moment in this entire scene.

Around the 42:30 mark, there is a short scene inside Raju’s house, which is described as being “straight out of a 50s black-and-white film”. In this fashion, this scene is filmed completely in black-and-white, with quick, dark scratches and cigarette burns appearing in the frame, just like a classic film. This entire scene lasts about two minutes. A similar scene at 1:07:30 occurs once more – complete with the scratchy, jumpy visuals – but this time it only lasts for about 30 seconds.

Around the 1:01:30 mark, Rancho (A. Khan) and Farhan are sitting on top of a roof, laughing over the practical joke they played on Chatur; soon, Chatur himself comes in and the three start to argue. There is a bright, blinking light consistently present through this entire scene. They agree to meet at the same time and place in ten years to see who is more successful. At the end of the scene, Chatur carves the present date (“Sept. 5”) into the pillar atop the building. The camera zooms onto the carving for 4-5 seconds – with the flashing light still evident – before a quick, bright flash fills the whole screen to edit across a different time and place. This entire scene lasts about two and a half minutes.

The 1:11:00 mark signals the start of the “Zoobi Doobi” musical number. It is a bright, happy musical number, which is very evident in its visual style as well. Unusual from the rest of the movie, this scene is replete in vibrant colors and a few moments of flashing lights. There are also a few instances of moving shapes and patterns, imagery which could potentially be disorienting. These elements are relatively minimalist, hardly occupying much of the frame for too long, but still present. The entire scene lasts about four minutes.

Around the 1:46:00 mark, there is a scene where Raju has a tearful conversation with Virus (Irani) regarding his or Rancho’s possible expulsion from college. He gives him a few minutes to think, in which during this time, images flash into Raju’s head; first his father, then his mother, and finally Rancho. These images are very fleeting and quickly fade  in and out to and from black. The combination of all these brief moments amount to only about five seconds of screen time. This whole scene is right before his suicide attempt, only lasting about a minute and a half overall.

The 2:02:00 mark signals the emotional moments immediately after Raju announces that he got the job for which he was interviewed. in a follow-up to a promise he made earlier in the film, Virus’ valet shaves off his moustache while he is napping. At a point during this scene, he holds up a razor, which emits a very bright flash that fills up the entire screen. This only lasts about a second before the scene moves onward.

The 2:30:00 mark signals the scene that takes place on graduation day. Throughout this scene, there are multiple camera flashes that occur suddenly, though very briefly. This entire scene lasts about a minute and a half.

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