“Three Idiots,” the latest film to feature Bollywood star Aamir Khan, is a three-hour long emotional roller coaster, sure to summon tears of every humor as you are propelled mercilessly from one melodramatic misadventure to the next.The film centers around two college roommates on a journey to find their long-lost, enigmatic
buddy, Rancho, who, after dramatically altering the course of their lives, disappeared without a word.

Though their journey spans all three hours, the majority of the film consists of flashbacks of their years in engineering school, a series of anecdotes in which the three friends inflict their insanity upon the uptight dean and manage to always learn something profound in the process.

This results in some jarring tonal shifts which ultimately work to make the film more enjoyable. In one instance, the boys launch into a staging of “All Is Well,” a jubilant musical number about the merits of self-deception, only to be cut off by discovering that one of their classmates has killed himself, succumbing to the overwhelming pressures placed on them by the dean and their parents.

Consequently, one has very little opportunity to even consider how much time has passed, as you are forced to react to the onslaught of melodrama present within each scene.

Ultimately the film feels like a comedy of mythic proportions, successfully grappling with heavy
themes while simultaneously delivering on the comedic front. Over the course of three hours, it is made clear that Rancho is some sort of super-friend: smart, principled and always in search of a good time.

Through a series of ridiculously heroic and selfless actions (at one point he delivers a stillborn baby and breathes life back into it), Rancho teaches his friends to embrace life and follow their dreams.

This is a feel-good movie, and it’s very well constructed. It plays to the emotions, but it’s well
balanced, never letting its audience laugh or cry for too long.

The music and dancing characteristic of Bollywood productions is sparse and well executed, and the pacing is pulled off in such a way that the excessive length is entirely tolerable. Some very solid, very warm escapism.