Box Office Collections Apart, 3 Idiots Still Ranks Above Chennai Express

There has been immense hullabaloo about how mesmerizing the box office collections of Chennai Express are. While a section of the audiences are celebrating the triumph of their favorite star’s box office victory, the intelligentsia has been mourning the celebration of moronic film replete in gags. I had maintained the safe way out by deciding to abandon my brains just before I entered the theater to watch Chennai Express and I managed to scrape out with a passable entertaining time. However, the ‘hate’ comments of our loyal readers haven’t stopped coming in ever since. And with Chennai Express surpassing the box office records created by 3 Idiots, the looming question remains – do good content films get their due value from box office?

Let’s direct our attention to the much touted 100 crore club of box office. With 22 films in the club, there is a real dearth of impressive concepts in the club that epitomizes success of films. What exactly is a successful film – a content rich, refreshing film that is hard to forget or a blunder like Aashiqui 2 which dishes out the same old wine in a new bottle? The reason why I cared to mention Aashiqui 2 is because the film has recorded the highest profit this year, without entering the “100 crore club”. Personally, business prospects and cinematic aspects are distinctly different, cinema these days focus exceedingly on business rather than on content.

Chennai Express And 3 Idiots Movie Poster

Chennai Express And 3 Idiots Movie Poster

In many of my columns I’ve pointed out to the distinction between a thorough commercial film and decadent intelligent film. But it is only recently that the gulf between these films have become more apparent. I have been fed on the pedigree of Bollywood and respecting commercialism is inherently in me. As Neo realist pioneer of India, Satyajit Ray pointed out, “Film is the highest form of commercial art!” Bollywood has literally personified commercial cinema for years. Be it films like Sholay or Don, there is a visible presence of effervescent writing and refreshing ideas.

But the problem with commercial films these days is slack and stale writing that has nothing new to offer in terms of content. Stories more or less settle on similar plots and commercial films work mainly either for their stunts or their star value. Amongst the 22 entrants in the 100 crore club, 6 are either completely lifted or rehashed versions of South flicks – namely Singham, Ghajini, Son Of SardaarRowdy RathoreReadyBodyguard. While Race 2, Don 2Housefull 2 and Golmaal 3 are franchises which rely mostly on their successful predecessors to work into hits! Bol Bachchan and Agneepath are both remakes of old Hindi films which we might end up watching simply for the nostalgic feel. And in the end, there are those films which work mostly because of its star value. Be it Yash Chopra’s last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan or old flames coming back together in Ek Tha Tiger or Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the reason why these films worked despite the lack of a fresh script is simply because of star value and sleek direction.

There are rather few films in the 100 crore list which really have made a place on the basis strong plot. Anurag Basu’s Barfi!, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milha Bhaag and mostly Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots have claimed the place more for the plot of their films and less for the star value of it.

Even if Chennai Express has managed to surpass the box office numbers of 3 Idiots, it is indeed not a cue for people to thrash 3 Idiots saying how Aamir Khan is a lesser star than Shah Rukh Khan. Though hero-worship is quite a trend in our industry, it would be better if script looms as the hero in the larger picture of cinema. And as for box office numbers, they have never been indicative of good films.

The most celebrated films of Bollywood have been underrated at box office. In the end, it is the films that linger on in our memories. Chennai Express might rake up way more than 3 Idiots in the domestic circuit, but when one has to name the most memorable films of the decade, it wouldn’t even stand a chance. Human brain is thus, in the long run it manages to dissipate the fragile and remember the strong. When it comes to cinema, the best of films are the only ones that sustain over the content drained, quick hefty earners, that fail to carve a place!

I am not ashamed to say that a 3 Idiots or a Barfi or even a Bhaag Milkha Bhaag will establish itself in my memory far more strongly than the flimsy likes of Chennai Express or Ek Tha Tiger, which I’ve already forgotten. And for our readers, box office numbers are not slaps on critics. In the words of LA Times’ critic Kenneth Turan, “Critics are not meant to be applause meters! Everyone goes there, it must be the best theory doesn’t apply to films at all. We judge on variant criteria than audiences, that’s our job!”

Now, enjoy reading on your Android Smartphone. Download the FREE App right here.

Comment via Facebook


  • krishnadas
    2 years ago | Reply

    It is not important that whether you remember the chennai express as 3 ideots or not.but the film smashed the record ok?

  • 2 years ago | Reply

    3 idiots is gud movie..but u can’t compare one movie with other..SRK proved himself dat he his best actor n stood no1 from part 20 years without any back support..if u wanna compare than do compare chak de India,swades,my name is khan n many more..no1 gonna care ua crap..SRK IS KING n RULZ 4EVER!

  • nilesh
    2 years ago | Reply

    u cant denies the public verdict it is the finally get on the record that it is ATBB in history of indian cinema…y not u said when 3idiot was declaired biggest hit..before 3idiot whichever movie has record which must hav lower ticket price and rupee value then 3IDIOT…and wt u say noone cares bcoz record dont care what u silly people think…loser writer

  • deb
    2 years ago | Reply

    when people are jealous of u we should know that we are succediing. thats the case with srk. everybody is jealous of him everybody wants to prove 3i is better than CE. just because u r talking about quality i would like to remind that CHAK DE and SWADES r much better than 3i.

  • Khan Kapoor
    2 years ago | Reply

    Srk fans seems pissed off. they always had a problem with digesting the truth.

  • KKC
    2 years ago | Reply

    SRK has a different way of approaching things so he accumulates slowly and steadily be it Chennai Express, 3 Idiots or Dabangg one thing is clear all put a good show

  • mihir pandya
    2 years ago | Reply

    What about #Special26 or #MadrasCafe
    Both r superbly directed movie… Hats off to both director..

  • RabNawaz Qureshi
    2 years ago | Reply

    What is difference between jadu ki jubee n all is well?nothing,.,because 3Idiots is remake of muna bhai Mbbs part one,.,one can check bt there are two short cursuits with Amir khan in 3idiots,.,.and Barfi is copy of english film Notebook so both film are also copy movies,.,.,

  • VIcky
    2 years ago | Reply

    SRK is the great star…great human being…Always love and respect for him..!

  • Asif Pasha
    2 years ago | Reply

    srk is king of bollywood…………..
    ur waste of human being………
    And I am not ashamed to say that ur waste Kenneth Turan, “Critics

Leave a comment

*Your Name:
*Your Email:


Facebook Twitter Google+ Google+ Pinterest Line
1. PK
Rs. 792.00 cr
Rs. 626.00 cr
Rs. 542.00 cr