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Anisha, Lecturer (English), G.S.S.S.

, Umri (KKR)
Pooja, Lecturer (English), G.S.S.S., Umri (KKR)

Cinematic Adaptation of Five Point Someone: A Study of Three Idiots


Abstract

Literary adaptation means adapting of a literary source (poem, short stories, novel) to
another medium such as a stage play or film etc. It also includes the adapting of any literary
work in the same medium or genre for different purposes, for instance, for a different
demographic group (such as adapting a story for children), to work with the smaller venue
(road shows) etc. The cinematic adaptation can be done only with the approval of the author
as he/she has the authority of particular work. Literary adaptation is a kind of imitation
(mimesis). Thus, by considering the concept of imitation; the literary adaptation ‘3 Idiots’
which is based on the novel Five Point Someone: what not to do at IIT’ written by Chetan
Bhagat will be analysed in the present paper on the basis of the dimensions: concept,
character, dialogues, story and action etc.
Keywords: Literary Adaptation, 3 Idiots, Mimesis

Introduction:

Literary adaptation means adapting of a literary source (poem, short stories, novel) to
another medium such as a stage play or film etc. It also includes the adapting of any literary
work in the same medium or genre for different purposes, for instance, for a different
demographic group (such as adapting a story for children), to work with the smaller venue
(road shows) etc. The cinematic adaptation can be done only with the approval of the author
as he/she has the authority of particular work. To make an original story to function well,
both director and producer have to take care of all the necessary dimensions, for example,
concept, character, dialogues, story and action etc.
Literary adaptation is a kind of imitation (mimesis). This term is firstly given by Plato
and Aristotle elaborated in different perspective. Plato considered ‘mimesis’ in ethical and
political perspective, however, Artistotle considers it as an aesthetic phenomenon.
Linguistically, the term ‘mimesis’ is originated from ‘mimos’, ‘mimeshia’, ‘mimets’,
‘memetikes’ and ‘mimema’ which are derived from ‘mimos’ that means ‘imitation’ or
‘portrayal’. ‘Mimetes’ and ‘mimos’ designate the person who imitates or represents.
However, ‘mimos’ refers to ‘recitation or dramatic performance in content of dramatic action’
and the term ‘mimesis’ means re-enactment and dance through rituals and myth.

Concept of Imitation: Plato VS Aristotle:


Plato alters the meaning of the term ‘mimesis’ according to the context and describes
several meanings and connotations in the dialogues. Plato believes in reality and suggests to
avoid the mimetic behaviour as it may lead to identification with fallen characters and with
the hero. Sometimes, a character who imitates is doomed to lack of self-identity. The
character (artist) works with imagination and inspiration which don’t give us the true image
of reality. Therefore, the term ‘mimesis’ refers to ‘misrepresentation’ aesthetically. However,
Aristotle argues that mimesis is not morally destructive because reasons control art. He states
that people learn through imitation. It is the distinguishing quality of an artist. He further
states, “ a poet may imitate in one of three styles in poetry; he may use pure narrative in
which he speaks in his own person without imitation, as in dithyrambs, or he may use
mimetic narrative and speaks in the person of his characters as in comedy and tragedy. A poet
may use mixed narrative, in which he speaks now in his own person and now in the person of
his characters as in epic poetry” (Baktir 173). This also applies on any kind of imitation like
cinematic adaptation (literary adaptation) as Aristotle believes that all types of art are
mimetic, however, each one differs in the manner, means and object of imitation. Aristotle
considers plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle and song as constituting elements of any
tragedy which can be considered for other types of imitations like ‘literary adaptation’.
Thus, by considering the concept of imitation; the literary adaptation ‘3 Idiots’ which
is based on the novel Five Point Someone: what not to do at IIT’ written by Chetan Bhagat
will be analysed on the basis of the dimensions described above:
The two films ‘3 Idiots’ in Hindi and ‘Nanban’ in Tamil have been made on this
novel. However, both the films are not full adaptations of the novel as many of the scenes
including the climax are changed in the films. The comparison of the novel and movie ‘3
Idiots’ (Hindi) is shown as:

Plot of the Novel and Movie:


The plot of the novel Five Point Someone is humourous and in slow motion. This
movie is full of comedian scenes and leaves impact on the mind of the readers. Most of the
characters, dialogues and sub-plots are reduced in the movie. However, some scenes and sub-
plots are added in the movie.
There are three major characters in the novel: Hari Kumar, the narrator of the study,
Ryan Oberoi and Alok Gupta. In the similar manner, the major characters of the movie are:
Farhan Quereshi (Madhvan), the narrator of the movie; Ranchod Samldas Chanchad
(Rancho) performed by Amir Khan and Raju Rastogi, performed by Sarman Joshi. These
three are the engineering students who share the same room in a hostel of Imperial College of
Engineering. Rancho is from a rich family; however, Farhan and Raju are from the average
background.
However, Hari Kumar is the narrator of the novel. He talks about others a lot. He is
not very attractive and is a kind of a loser. Neha, the female character is a girlfriend of Hari
and daughter of professor Cherian. She helps all the others characters of the novel. Ryan
Oberai, he is rich and creative like original ideas like professor Veera. He cares a lot. Alok
Gupta, he is cry baby, fit and looser, poor.
The hero of the film Rancho wants to become an engineer which was his passion. He
believes that ‘one should run after excellence not after success’. He believes that fear is not
good for grades. Rancho has passion for machines; therefore, he got success in his profession
of a scientist and became famous by the name of Phunsku Wangdu. He was declared as ‘the
students of the year’.
As far as the beginning of the novel and movie is concerned, it shows the scene of
ragging. In the next day, Viru Shastra Buddhie, the director of the Imperial College of
Engineering delivered a speech to the students of college. He states, “Life is a race. If you
don’t run fast, you will get trampled.” Viru Shastra Buddhie is popular famous by the name
of ‘Virus’ among students. He shows a pen to the students and says that “it is a symbol of
excellence”. Rancho gives very creative answers to Virus who believes in rote learning. Thus,
this movie questions the education system of India. It is a wakeup call for our educators and
parents.
The movie has some elements of flash back and flash forward, for instance, in the
beginning, Farhan and Raju who are the friends of the hero Rancho (Aamir Khan) search for
him where the technique of ‘flash forwarding’ has been used. There is another scene which
describes the meeting of friends on fixed date 5 September shows the ‘flashback’. There are
numerous scenes in which these types of techniques have been used.
The climax of the movie can be observed when Raju, Farhan and Chatur Ramalingum
go to Laddakh in search of Rancho. Chatur was thinking that Rancho has become a master in
a school but after some years; his friends, Raju, Farhan and Chatur came to know that he has
become a great scientist.
Similarities and Dissimilarities in ‘Novel’ and ‘Movie’:
Similarities:
 The background of the story is similar in both novel and movie as there is a
description of IIT and Imperial College of Engineering.
 Both novel and movie describe that our education system promotes cramming (facts)
rather than creative ideas.
 The three friends Rancho, Farhan and Raju are shown same in the movie as depicted
in the novel.
 The narrator of the novel and the movie is same  Hari (Farhan performed by
Madhvan).
 Alok (Raju’s character performed by Sharman Joshi) is very similar in the novel as
well as in the movie. The background of Raju is poor and he has paralyzed father,
mother and a sister of marriageable age.

Dissimilarities:
 In the novel, the prominent female character Neha is the girl friend of Hari (Farhan),
however, in the movie Neha (Pia) is the girl friend of Ryan (Rancho).
 Rancho believes in the concept of “All is Well” but this concept is missing in the
novel.
 The scene of delivery case of Pia’s sister is shown in the movie only but this scene is
not depicted in the novel.

Thus, there are many similarities and dissimilarities in the novel and in the movie
which are described above.

Conclusion:
The theme and core of the movie is taken from the book itself, however, there are
some similarities and dissimilarities in the movie which are described in the paper. The
seventy percent scenes of the movie resembles with the scenes of the novel, although the
credit to the author Chetan Bhagat has been given in the closing form rather than in the
opening form. Moreover, this particular work of art teaches a lesson to the readers/ audiences
that one should choose his/her profession according to their own interest rather than the
interest of their family standards.

References:
Baktir, Hasan. The Concept of Imitation in Plato and Aristotle (Aristo Ve Plato’ DA Taklit).
Sosyal Bilimler Enstitiis Dergisi Sayt: 15 Yil: 2003/2. 167-179. Web.
Bhagat, Chetan. Five Point Someone: what not to do at IIT. New Delhi: Rupa Publications
India Pvt. Ltd., 2010. Print.
Melberg, A. Theories of Mimesis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Print.
Stanley, P. “Plato and Aristotle”. Modern Age 3:2. Spring, 1959. Web.