Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ranking Rajkumar Hirani’s Films from Worst to Best

Priyal Dholakia (Assistant Editor)

Rajkumar Hirani is a director known for his knack of creating thought-provoking, entertaining, and socially relevant films. Over the years, he has delivered a string of successful movies that have left an indelible mark on Indian cinema. Also, people are eagerly anticipating the release of the SRK-starrer “Dunki” in December, and the trailer has already created a buzz. The film appears to be promising an exciting cinematic experience, but whether the film really hits the nail or not, only time will tell. In this article, we will rank some of his most notable works from worst to best, offering insights into their merits and shortcomings.

5. Sanju (2018)

At the bottom of our list is “Sanju,” a biographical drama based on the life of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. The film was undoubtedly entertaining, and Ranbir Kapoor’s performance was outstanding. Additionally, it criticises the media’s focus on negativity and their role as paid puppets in shaping public perception. But it fell short of providing a complete and unbiased portrayal of Dutt’s tumultuous life. Many critics accused the film of being a whitewashing attempt, glossing over the darker aspects of his life and criminal activities. It was more of a glorification of Dutt’s journey than a genuine exploration. While it may have served as an engaging cinematic experience, “Sanju” failed to capture the true essence of Sanjay Dutt’s life. 

4. PK (2014)

“PK” is a satirical comedy that explores the theme of religious beliefs and the blind faith that often accompanies them. Aamir Khan plays an alien who questions the dogmas of various religions on Earth. The film is known for its humour and sharp critique of religious practises, particularly within Hinduism. While it does an excellent job exposing the irrationality and hypocrisy surrounding some religious gurus and rituals, it primarily focuses on Hinduism, leaving other religions largely untouched. In this regard, “PK” could have delved deeper into exposing corruption and dogma in other faiths, offering a more comprehensive social commentary.

3. Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

“Lage Raho Munna Bhai” is a comedy-drama that follows the story of Munna, a goon who adopts the principles of Gandhi to win the heart of his beloved. The film was funny and heartwarming, and it brought forward the Gandhian philosophy in a novel way. However, its idealistic portrayal of how Gandhism can be practically applied in today’s complex and often corrupt world is a bit of a stretch. While it delivers an important message about non-violence and truth, it does not provide a realistic blueprint for solving real-world issues. Still, it is a delightful film that has its heart in the right place.

2. Munna Bhai, M.B.B.S. (2003)

“Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.” is a heartwarming and humorous film that revolves around Munna, a lovable goon who pretends to be a medical student to fulfil his father’s dream. The film excels at balancing comedy and emotion, making it a memorable cinematic experience. Sanjay Dutt’s portrayal of Munna is endearing, and the film beautifully highlights the importance of empathy, human connection, and the healing power of laughter. It manages to convey a valuable message while keeping the audience engaged and entertained. Despite the unconventional premise, the film delivers a positive and impactful narrative that lingers in the hearts of viewers.

1. 3 Idiots (2009)

Topping our list is “3 Idiots,” a film that brilliantly exposes the harsh realities of the Indian education system and societal pressures. Starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi, the movie weaves a story that resonates with countless students and parents in India. The film’s message is clear: it brutally exposes how young minds are often coerced into pursuing careers they do not desire, driven by societal expectations and parental pressure.

“3 Idiots” takes the audience on a journey filled with humour, drama, and poignant moments. It is a scathing critique of a system that prioritises rote learning over true understanding and personal growth. Aamir Khan’s portrayal of Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad, also known as “Rancho,” embodies the spirit of emancipation from convention and the pursuit of one’s true passion. The film’s iconic dialogue, “All is well,” serves as a reminder that life should not be reduced to a set of stressful exams and rigid career paths.

Moreover, “3 Idiots” does not just stop at critiquing the education system. It emphasises the importance of following one’s dreams, fostering creativity, and challenging the status quo. It celebrates the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of personal growth rather than for the sole purpose of securing a lucrative job. One of the central themes of “3 Idiots” is the bond of true friendship. The camaraderie between the three main characters, Rancho, Farhan, and Raju, is a heartwarming portrayal of the support and encouragement that genuine friends provide. 

The film’s universal appeal, coupled with its honest and relatable portrayal of the struggles faced by students and their families, has made it a beloved classic. “3 Idiots” continues to inspire and enlighten audiences, encouraging them to question the established norms and make choices that lead to personal fulfilment and happiness.

In conclusion, Rajkumar Hirani’s films have carved a special niche in Indian cinema for their ability to blend meaningful social commentary with humour and entertainment. While some of his films may have their shortcomings, they all share a common thread of addressing important societal issues. “3 Idiots” stands out as the pinnacle of his work, delivering a hard-hitting message about the education system and the pursuit of one’s dreams, making it the best among Hirani’s cinematic offerings.

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