Since everybody has already stretched himself/herself to write the film review, as a person who enjoyed every single line of the novel, I have attempted to make a comparison: ‘Five Point Someone’ Vs ‘3 Idiots’.
Disclaimer: The following paragraphs contain many spoilers of the novel and the film! Take care!
The novel takes place in IIT during 4 years, 1991-94. The film takes place over (4 years in college+ 5 years outside) 2000-2009. I don’t remember if Fortis Hosptal Noida existed in 2005.
In the novel , the protagonist is Hari (Madhavan) with friends Ryan (Aamir Khan) & Alok (Sharman Joshi). In the film, it is Rancho (Aamir Khan), Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) & Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi). In the original, Madhavan loves Prof. Cherian’s daughter Neha, while in the film, it is Aamir who loves Prof. Virus’ daughter Kareena Kapoor.
In the book, Kareena doesn’t have an elder sister, but only an elder brother who commits suicide. In the film, she has a Didi- Mona. In the book, only Kareena knows that it is a suicide and not an accident. In the film, Mona also knows this. Since there is no Didi in the novel, you don’t have the absurdity of a non doctor Aamir performing the delivery of Mona’s child! (Won’t the police arrest him?!)
In the book, you have a kind professor, Prof. Veera, while in the movie, all are villains and comedians.
In the book, all three of them get suspended after stealing the question paper (How gripping ‘Operation Pendulum’ used to be!) Unable to stand this, driven by strong guilt that he has committed a big crime, Sharman Joshi jumps from the 9th floor. He is saved because he is plump and because he fell in a pool of water. In the film, even before this theft, scared about his impending punishment for a much minor issue of trespassing into Prof. Virus’ house and because he doesn’t want to let down Aamir, Joshi jumps from the 3rd floor. In the original, his mother learns about the jump much later. In the film, it is immediate. In fact, in the novel, all three of them are jointly guilty of the question paper theft. In the movie, after being prodded and liberally helped by Kareena with her father's room keys, Aamir and Madhavan half heartedly do it for the sake of bailing out their friend Sharman Joshi.
In the book, Aamir has a scooter and Kareena drives her father’s car. In the film, the heroes don’t have any vehicle with Kareena alone owning a scooter.
In the book, you don’t have the mischievous small boy named millimeter or Madhavan’s parents (Presence of his parents is only broadly hinted at). The hardships faced by Sharman’s parents used to be very touching. In the film, it is reduced to a farce in the name of comedy. In the original, Aamir’s parents are an NRI couple and he hates them. In the film , he is an orphan.
The impersonation done in the name of Aamir doesn’t find a place in the original and hence no Javed Jaffrey or his father.
In the story, all three of them come last in the class, with Aamir being the real last. In fact, no company hires him either. In the film, he comes first (After all, he is a super hero!) with the other two being last rankers.
In the original, it is remotely hinted that Sharman Joshi wants to become a painter. (His father is said to have fallen off the ceiling when he was doing some painting and hence his lifetime handicap). In the movie, Madhavan wants to become a wild life photographer and finally chooses that career, throwing away his Engg. degree.
You won’t find Lobo, the student who commits suicide after unsuccessfully trying to make a helicopter model, in the book. Venkat who is the first ranker in the book becomes Chatur Ramalingam, the second ranker in the film. The famous scene in which he gives the ‘Chamatkar- Balatkar’ speech is not found in the novel. Nor is the sequence where all of them try hard to locate Aamir 5 years after passing out. Venkat was far more graceful in that he was only a 'muggo' but would not resort to unfair means to make other students fail in the exams (such as slipping 'Debonair' issues into their rooms the day before the exam!)
There is no fiancé or engagement for Kareena in the original.
Aamir Khan does some research with passion about mixing of the right lubricants in petrol. In the film, he makes some big inverter with many car batteries and a paddy milling machine with a scooter!
The sidesplitting comedy of Hari (Madhavan) drinking Vodka and blabbering in front of Prof. Cherian in a viva voce is not in the film.
Most important of all:
In the book, Aamir Khan fights against inhuman ragging by a senior and effectively saves himself and the other two. This forms the strong basis for their continued friendship throughout their college life. In the film, Aamir makes an entry after a fairly mild ragging of the others is complete and saves himself against ragging. One doesn’t see a very firm foundation being laid for their friendship here.
One last word:
Those who have only seen the film, pl. read the book;
Those who have only read the book, pl. see the film;
And those who haven’t done either, pl. see the film and then read the book!
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