3 Idiots – The nitpicking

3 idiots I watched 3 Idiots yesterday, and could not resist reviewing it. This review is not about how great the movie is. There are several of those on the net.

Let me be quick in saying that my family and I loved the film and think it is one of the best movie. It is a good take on the state of education in the country, a subject I feel strongly about. This is also not about Chetan Bhagat, although the nit-picking could apply to Five Point Someone as well. But I haven’t read it, so can’t say.

I expected more from Aamir, the perfectionist.

I was born in 1978, the same year that Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) was born. So I felt more connected to the movie than the current generation. This also means that the college period depicted in the movie was the same period I was in college, which is roughly 1995-1999.

So what?

Well you see, a few of the things shown in the movie are, let’s say, futuristic.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones were launched in India after 1994. The call charges in a ‘scheme’ were 16 Rs. incoming/outgoing. They were not mainstream until 2000 when charges began to drop. Even then, in 2000, I was the only one in my MBA college to have a mobile phone, and that too was given to me by my employer.

So showing engineering college students carrying a phone, pre 1999, was a bit of a stretch.

Mobile Internet

Even if you think ‘chote’ (Rancho) was rich enough to carry a mobile, the movie shows mobile internet being used in the hospital for video conferencing.

  • Internet in 1999 was the good old modem based dialup internet at blazing speeds of 56 kbps. Broadband Internet was unheard of until 2005.
  • Mobile Data Cards / USB Modems were launched in 2008/2009.
  • Even then, I don’t think the speed that Airtel EDGE gives is insufficient for video conferencing. I don’t know for sure, since I am not using one.


The scooter that Pia (Kareena) drives looks most certainly like Kinetic Flyte, which was only launched in 2009.


With a little research, which Aamir Khan is known for, the film could have been more realistic. Anyways, if you haven’t seen the movie, please do, it is really good.

P.S. Happy New Year.


  1. Is the timeline explicitly established in the movie? I don’t recall if it ever was. In that case, you could argue that the college life takes place in the current time while the search for Rancho happens sometime in the future!

    1. The only instance of a year mentioned is the birth of Farhan in 1978. This was shown in the first flash-back scene about Farhan entering the rat race by competing and beating 300 million sperms. Given that the movie is about the rat race, I don’t think he took 31yrs to get into engineering.

      The mention of year is consciously missing from the rest of the movie.

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