Farhan (Madhavan), Raju (Sharman Joshi) and Rancho (Aamir Khan) are friends at a top university. They are free-spirited and so draw the ire of the dean who labels them "three idiots".
A decade ago, Rancho and another student Chatur (Omi Vaidya), who believes in mindless rote learning, made a bet to see which of them would be more successful in 10 years.
Now, the two friends, who have gone their separate ways, will need to learn the true meaning of "success".
The movie wraps a heavy message in light comedy. 3 Idiots is satire at its best. It is a powerful indictment of India's education system where students cram for exams in a mad competition while stifling their dreams. In this race, initiative suffers.
Flashbacks provide a nice contrast between the characters' present and their naivety as students a decade ago. Such contrasts lie at the comic heart of the movie while also providing poignant moments.
The movie makes an important point: we must not let social pressures ruin our lives.
The movie is ideal fare for Hong Kong students during exam times as a reminder that there is more to life than merely getting good grades.