It is one thing for an actor to accept diverse roles to show some range. Switching from global terrorism to dealing with idiots, however, is not what many film aficionados would qualify as “demonstrating range” in the name of establishing one’s acting chops. Alas, Kareena Kapoor felt just fine playing a terrorized girlfriend one moment, then dealing with a clan of idiots the next. Thankfully, that idiot is Aamir Khan – one of Bollywood’s greatest leading actors who just so happened to draw out a stunning performance from Kapoor in their latest film together.
Releasing worldwide on Christmas Day and pleasing audiences and critics alike both in Bollywood and Hollywood, 3 Idiots filled the screen with strong character development and solid chemistry – thanks, in large part, to Kapoor. While her strong yet aloof character in 3 Idiots is a 180-degree turn from her more serious, troubled-wife role in her last film of Kurbaan, Kapoor told reporters on Christmas Eve that she felt her character – named Piya – has a level of realness exceeding her previous roles.
“Unlike Kurbaan, where the character of Avantika that I played had to relate to her pain in a subdued way – since it was very subtle – Piya of 3 Idiots is dynamically different,” Kapoor said in her interview with reporters. “I’d go … to the extent of stating that Piya of 3 Idiots is more real than even Geet of Jab We Met. When you set out to watch Piya in 3 Idiots, you will even forget that it is Kareena Kapoor that you are watching on the screen.”
Of course, as moviegoers watch the film, many will forget they are watching a visual story that was originally based upon the book. According to Kapoor, while the overall premise of 3 Idiots is loosely tied to Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone, ultimately, the book and film have significant differences.
“(The film’s director) Raju (Hirani) has written quite a different script for the film, and 3 Idiots is not entirely based on the book,” she frankly told reporters. “The basic premise has, of course, been maintained, but the characters, the situations and the end are quite different. In fact, there is just a five-percent similarity between the book and what you see on the screen.”
While moviegoers are viewing a small portion of the book adapted into the film, they are still getting a lot of Kapoor in 3 Idiots, mostly because she is the only leading female in the movie, which bodes quite well for her each time she appears on screen.
“What is interesting about 3 Idiots is that I am the only girl in the film, though there are three boys- Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and R. Madhavan,” the younger sister of Karishma Kapoor said. “3 Idiots is like Inglourious Basterds, or, for that matter, The Bell.”
Despite being the sole centerpiece of effeminate beauty in an otherwise testosterone-filled comedy of a film, Kapoor ultimately believes 3 Idiots was too special a film to not want to be a part of it as a top-level actress, adding that opportunities to participate in such films do not come by very often in one’s career.
“Every actor wants to be a part of good cinema,” she told reporters. “I do not think that a film like 3 Idiots, in which Aamir Khan and Raju Hirani are together, is something which one can get to see every now and then because it is a very rare film.”
Along those lines, Kapoor said her involvement as the lead actress of 3 Idiots is among the most significant of projects of her storied career, mostly because of the opportunity to work with Khan.
“I feel that every actor’s journey is incomplete without working with an actor of the caliber of Aamir Khan. (He) is the emperor of Bollywood,” she told reporters in praising her co-star. “Without any hesitation, I would even go to the extent of stating that 3 Idiots is a milestone in my career as an actress.”
As for where she sees films such as Kurbaan and 3 Idiots, Kapoor believes both films will help redefine Indian cinema on a global scale, mostly because of the depth and variety of flavor each film possesses. To that end, Kapoor feels blessed to be a part of both films, as she believes that is an indication she has truly grown as an actress – accordingly, demonstrating her range.
“I am happy with whatever growth I have achieved over the years in the film industry from the time I made my debut as an actress,” she humbly told reporters. “I have always felt that I should keep on growing more and more. We actors are like scientists who keep on working with different experiments.”
Either way, one thing is for sure – Kapoor is no idiot for starring in 3 Idiots. In fact, playing an aspiring doctor in a heartwarming film (after portraying a wife who mistakenly married a global terrorist, no less) may be the one film that helps define her career for the better.