Some errors in the film ’3 Idiots’ that you may not have noticed (with screenshots)

Written by vik

Topics: Humour, Socio-Political

NOTE: This is just a fun post. I really liked the film; so don’t criticise me for pointing these out. For mistakes in Hollywood films see Movie Mistakes. Post last revised at 7.25 PM, 17 Jan 2010.

These are some of the errors in the popular Bollywood film ’3 Idiots’ that is breaking records presently.  These are factual flaws and I have refrained from making opinion-based comments or finding story-based faults.I liked the film just the same and have watched it more than once.  Some errors have been discovered by others and I have given credit wherever applicable.

1. The Balatkaar speech is not true to the script by Dubeyji

When the librarian Mr. Dubey narrates the speech to Chatur, he begins with this line: “Hamare director sahab ne yahaan kai chamatkar kiye hain!” In the actual speech this line is missing! And Rancho did not change the speech; he only changed some words and added a Sanskrit shlok!

2. “TEACHER’S DAY” is incorrect English

Father’s day or Mother’s day is fine but not ‘Teacher’s day’! It should be ‘TEACHERS’ DAY’ in the banner on 5 September (Chatur Silencer’s Balatkaar speech)! See a screenshot below:

Three Idiots Balatkar speech

3. The urn’s lid was dropped in the toilet pan by Farhan. And yet it is there in the next two scenes!

The lid of the urn containing the ashes was dropped in the pan by Madhavan. And still in the next two scenes we see that the lid is there! :o See a screenshot from the film below just as the duo leave after extracting information from the real Ranchhordas. It would be a sacrilege to use that lid from the toilet! This error discovered by Chandan.

Threee idiots film scene

4. Mona Singh’s character is called by two different names!

Mumbai Mirror reported this error.

Mona, who plays Kareena Kapoor’s elder sister in the movie, is first referred to as Poonam by her screen dad Boman Irani.
However, Poonam becomes Mona in the dramatic sequence that follows where Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and R. Madhavan deliver a baby with Kareena’s help through a web camera.

5.  Farhan often pronounces the name as ‘Shyamaldas’ and not ‘Shamaldas’ !

Rancho’s name has Shamaldas and not Shayamaldas. But  Farhan (Madhavan) pronounces it incorrectly almost throughout the film (though it is not very noticeable). Here is the name batch that Rancho (Aamir) is wearing as he is caught for ragging by seniors. The Gujarat address here is fine as Rancho wanted to hide his real address (says JNU student Nikhil Rajput).

Three Idiots

6. The emptied bottle is no more empty in the next scene!

Sid discovered this error. See the two images below. The senior almost emptied the bottle in Aamir’s pants (water remaining may be 1/10th of the bottle) and in the next scene the bottle is half-filled! :o

See the two images below and it will be crystal clear to you! This point updated later.

And now see the bottle is half-filled (bottom left in the image below) in the immediately following scene!

7. The taxi’s registration number plate in convocation scene and ICE’s identity card

The taxi in which Aamir Khan (Rancho) leaves after convocation is not in keeping with the Delhi Traffic Police number plate guidelines and is liable for penalty! Just look at it below, it is just DL 2 in the first line!

Three Idiots film

The ICE identity card could be another instance of lack of attention to small details. See it below. Do  top Engineering institutes have that kind of simple Id card with with just three columns?!

Three idiots film errors

8. We do not find a girl in the orientation lecture scene by the ICE director! Update: this point not valid.

Recall the ‘Koel bird’ lecture by the director (see screenshot below). We only had an assembly of males in that scene unlike the rest of the college scenes where you can find females once in a while! This point added later. Sid (and others) have later remarked it is the boys’ hostel so this should not be considered a mistake. IMO, this point has logic but ignoring women in this important scene is quite ‘in your face!’ It is as if the whole lecture thing was only for males!

Some other titbits related to ’3 Idiots’

1. is India really no. in Suicides? See the WHO data on Wikipedia.

2. The Chanchad Bhavan in Shimla is the popular Chahar palace, says Manpreet.

3. The trio could have just inserted their answer sheets in the heap. There was no need to shuffle it. See this video on YouTube, suggests Ameya.

4. Muslim man shooting women in Burqa in Shimla is a clichéd image and has travelled far and wide as viral mails, says Abhijit. See this pic, for example.

5. Follow this forum discussion on the flaws in the film.

6. The Balatkaar Speech fan page on Facebook has about 0.2 million fans! :o

7. Read more about the Indian American actor Omi Vaidya aka Silencer/Chatur on Wikipedia

8. Read more goofs on IMDB. The first goof (plot) there is not a goof btw.

9. Jaya Jha, IIT-IIM alumnus comments on the film in the light of her IIT experiences. Click here to read her review of 3 Idiots.

10. Want the full text of Balatkaar speech by Chatur in the film. Here it is copied from the internet:

Adarniya sabhapati mahodaya, atithi vishesh shikshan mantri shri R D tripati ji, maanyaniya shikshagan aur mere piyaaare sahpatiyo Aaj agar I.C.E aasmaan ki bulaaandiyo ko chhu raahaa hai to uska shreya sirrf ekinsaan ko jaataahai – Shri Veeru S…ahastrabuddhe Give him a big hand. He is a great guy really. Peechle buttis saal se inhone nirantar is college mein balatkar pe balatkar kiye. Umeed hai aagey bee karte rahege. Hamein to aashcharya hota hai ki ek insaan apne jeevan kaal mein itni balatkar kaisi kar sakta hai. Inhone kadi tapaasya se apne aapko is kaabil bunaya hai. Waqt ka sahi upyog ghante ka purna istemaal koi inse seeke. Seeke inse seeke. Aaj hum sab chaatra yaha hai, kal desh videsh mein fail jayenge. Waadaa hai aapse jis desh mein honge waha balatkar karenge, I.C.E ka naam roshan karenge. Dika denge sabko jo balatkar Karne ki kshamtaa yaha ke chaatro mein hai wo sansaar ke kisi chaatro mein nahiii. No other chaatra. No other chaatra. Adarniya mantraji! Namashkar aapne is sansthaan ko wo chees di jiski hamein sakht zaroorat thi. “Sstunn”! Stunn hota sabi ke paas hai. Sab chupa ke rakte hai, detaa koi nai. Aapne apna stun is balatkari purush ke haat mein diya hai, ab dekiye yeh kaisa iska upyog karta hai Utthamum dadhdadaath paadam – Madhyam paadam thuchuk chuk – Ghanisthah thud thudi paadam – Surr surri praan gatakam

7. Want full text of Chatur’s definition of a machine:

Machines are any combination of body so connected that their relative motions are constrained and by which means force and motion may be transmitted and modified as a screw or nut or lever arranged to turn around its fulcrum or pulley by its pivotic center especially the construction more or less complex consisting of a combination of moving parts or civil mechanical elements as wheels, levers, cams etc.

8. What is Hippocratic Oath by doctors? Read full entry on Wikipedia:

The Hippocratic Oath is an old oath historically taken by doctors swearing to ethically practice medicine. It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, in Ionic Greek (late 5th century BC), or by one of his students, and is usually included in the Hippocratic Corpus.

69 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. sunil balani says:

    Hey vikas, great research work. Hirani and Vinod Chopra will regret not showing you the film before the final print :)

    As a teacher I liked that machine and book definition scene the most , I had uploaded it on you- tube but it is banned due to copy right violation.

    On the whole it is a nice entertaining film and conveys lot of flaws and truths about our education system in very subtle way. People using proxy for degrees is a big fact that went almost neglected but i think, the director definitely wanted to convey this fact to audience.

    Thanks for sharing all the info….

    • Rohan says:

      really…the proxy degree system should be looked at.i totally agree…
      m a student in process of becoming a teacher…

  2. Ambika says:

    Hmm.. Quite noticeable and valid observations.. Although I am not sure about number 6 myself.. As far as I remember, the senior hadn’t emptied the bottle completely..
    Waise, I had noticed a little something myself. ;) As far as I know, the photocopying machine doesn’t start working as soon as the power is turned on. But at the time when Ranco and Farhan steal the question paper, it had been shown otherwise!! Silly point though.. :P

    But yes, these are factual flaws.. And I like the film just the same, and have watched it more than once!! :)

  3. Vikas Gupta says:

    Thank you all for the comments.

    Sunil sir, very valid observations on the ‘proxy for degrees.’ It certainly did not get the attention it deserved from media.

    Vikas, welcome here!

    Ambika, yours is a nice catch! The photocopy machine indeed needs some time to warm up!

    What I can tell you for sure that the bottle was almost emptied (about 1/10th of water was only remaining in the bottle).

  4. Vikas Gupta says:

    Everyone and Ambika,

    New points have been added here (and new images on the bottle scene proof). Check it out again.

    • Ambika says:

      Right!! The bottle was almost emptied..
      You only get to notice such things if you watch the movie more than once.. For the first time, you are too lost in the beauty of the film to observe any flaws.. :)

      • Vikas Gupta says:

        Ambika,

        I saw it in PVR Priya. And then a good copy came in the hostel (almost DVD print). In my first viewing I had found only few of the errors. And the bottle error is by Sid.

  5. Divya says:

    Bottomline is – it is a very good film – an entertaining film with a message that is loud and clear! The message has almost been drilled in your ear!

  6. Divya says:

    but your post is certainly well researched! :)

  7. Divya says:

    I am sorry – the message was drilled in the head and not just the ear! Apologies!! :)

  8. Nikhil Rajput says:

    gud work vikas..but i think u must also put some points showing the positive things in the movie…i don’t understand why we people find it more interesting in finding out errors and technicalities in anything we see…why don’t we focus more on the positive side of the things .its amazing that people are watching the movies with so much fine details…nice observation but don’t find it worthy…i think we shud enjoy the stuff…not just luk at the bug in it….anyway this is not an offense to your work..but only my views…i m always been an admirer of ur work..i think u know it..keep rocking…

    • Vikas Gupta says:

      Nikhil,

      Just because I have published a list of errors does not mean I do not admire it! This is just a fun post. It does not mean that I have not seen the positive things in the film or that we do not see the positive things in life/films! I am just looking at the bugs without any motive. I believe everything should be open to criticism. The internet is full of movie mistakes/goofs on various sites including IMDB. This is just for fun! :)

      Thanks for the comment.

      • Nikhil Rajput says:

        Hmm..i don’t meant that u r not luking at the positive things in the film..i m saying that we don’t focus and put that things (in any blog like this)…we always find enjoyment in finding errors and discussing that….anyway..i know u don’t have any wrong motive…that’s just my view..again…no offense..

        • Vikas Gupta says:

          Nikhil, thanks for the explanation.

          The internet is full of good reviews and praise for this film. The Chatur speech has about 2 lakh fans on Facebook (see link above in post). Everyone is loving it and praising it. For a change, this is a different post.

  9. Bharat says:

    Lagta hein Vikas ji ke paas kafi time he movies par research karne ke liye.
    Kafi gaur karke inhone movie par research kiya hein, kaas itna time wo bach a paate to koi productive kaam kar lete.
    JNU is going to organize its 4th version of annual technical festival, named TECHNOPHILIA-2010. for more information visit- http://www.jnutechnophilia.org

    • Vikas Gupta says:

      Bharat,

      Kripya mere samay ki parwah na kare aur apna khayal karein. Aur vaise bhi isme kuch points hain jo dusron ne dhundhe hain; comment karne se pehle thoda padh liya hota to acchha rehta. 2-3 points to ek hi viewing me clear the phir maine ek se jyada baar film dekhi to aur bhi points mile.

      Kabhi kabhi research karna padta hai aur gahrai me jaana padta hai. Bhavisya me mere research pe dhyan na de; mera to kaam hi yahi hai.

  10. Deborah says:

    Hi Vikas – even though I haven’t seen this film (and probably won’t get a chance to), I really enjoyed reading your fun analysis of all the errors. Are Bollywood films generally known for these kinds of mistakes?

    • Vikas Gupta says:

      Deborah,

      Don’t jump to conclusions! I think one can find errors in just any film. The popular movie site IMDB has a movie googs section for every film!

      Check out the website ‘Movie Mistakes’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moviemistakes.com

      “Moviemistakes.com is an Internet website created by Jon Sandys in 1996 and is principally dedicated to the recording of mistakes found in movies and television” http://www.moviemistakes.com/

      BTW some people have criticised me for finding faults and asked me to use my time elsewhere (without realizing that it is a fun post)! One of the messages in the movie btw was was to ignore faults and shortcomings in a person!

  11. Deborah says:

    Yes – now I come to think of it, I’ve read a few articles/websites in the past dedicated to analysing the mistakes in all sorts of films. Who’d be a continuity editor?

    That’s funny – about one of the messages being to ignore shortcomings and faults! Oh well – you made me smile anyway!

  12. Kavita says:

    Hey Vikash,
    A did a good research. I never noticed them. I’ve watched this film only three times. So the next time, I will watch it, I’ll let you know if I can noticed the errors. But it happens, the message about the pressure on students is super. It’s so the reallife.

  13. Awesome Vikas! Your blog has come a long way. Congrats! cheers, PS.

  14. Rap says:

    the opening lecture is at the guy’s hostel…. that’s why millimetre calls the guys out….. hence no women!!!
    no fault there

  15. rohit says:

    woo, Vikash you shuld be a film critic humm, nice job man

  16. Mohan says:

    Looks like someone has spent real good time in finding the actual idiots from 3 idiots :) Good one.. enjoyed reading the post!

  17. tina says:

    Hey Vikas…an interseting observation. it’s fun looking up for movie goofs…the thriller and horror ones are the most entertaining! i liked the koel bir lecture observation…though invalid as per your update. Don’t let the feminists discover ;)

    sure the movie is well scripted and directed…the message is right in the face. A stock of food for thought, if ppl care to stop and think. thanks for the post…it’s fun reading you.

  18. Reema says:

    very interesting post!! Another problem is that even if machines can be considered as a part of Mech syllabus, inverters etc is definitely not!! Mech students dont do projects on inverters etc! thats Electrical forte.

    • Vikas Gupta says:

      Wow, Reema thanks for the addition! I am highlighting your comment.

      • sunil balani says:

        sorry,I beg to differ, isn’t inverter a machine? “Electrical machines” is a subject in itself.These days with choice of electives becoming so flexible we have so many people from mechanical and automobile branches dong projects on Robotics.It is about amalgamation of disciplines which is very welcome moreover isn’t the film advocating about gaining knowledge and not getting a degree in a given Branch?

  19. Tulika says:

    must say, an extraordinary attempt :) no doubts i still am crazy about d movie but then, i am surely going to watch it again to see all these parts again… :)
    nice to see tat even good and respected things are criticized… :)

    keep up the good work,
    take care!

  20. bunty says:

    we can find mistakes in all films but the main mistaki is of raju ( harman joshi) his family was very poor …….in that movie …..ice college is one of greatest college in the india they cant admit his son in that college as all know monthly expence will be near about 10000 to 15000….

  21. Arvind says:

    Nice article, but I don’t agree with a few “goofs”.

    >> The trio could have just inserted their answer sheets in the heap. There was no need to shuffle it.

    If they didn’t shuffle their papers, the professor would simply pick out those three papers (and possibly refuse to accept them). It was necessary to shuffle them so that he wouldn’t know which were their papers. Rancho did ask the professor whether he knew their numbers.

    >> Farhan often pronounces the name as ‘Shyamaldas’ and not ‘Shamaldas’ !

    Why is that an error? Maybe he has a habit (or shall we say “accent”) of pronouncing certain letters.

    >> The Balatkaar speech is not true to the script by Dubeyji

    Maybe Dubeyji removed it later. People who have written a speech would know that you go through several drafts before finalising it.

    Not trying to discourage you, but some things got my attention so I had to comment. Cheers.

    • Vikas Gupta says:

      Arvind,

      Thanks for the comment.

      See the video on paper shuffling and you will know that it would have been difficult for the professor.

      Yes you are right on the second one. But I minutely heard the first two pronunciations by him in the opening scenes and he has made errors in pronouncing there. Maybe he should have been careful with it at least in the first few pronunciations.

      Yes Dubeyji may have removed it later. However the film shows it like Dubeyji did not make any changes after that scene. It was like the speech is ready.

      Anyways I know most of the points are debatable here.

  22. salman says:

    Great work vikas, its so amusing to see people are so intolerant and sensitive about something they like (3 idiots) that they are unable to be objective about certain flaws in the movie. I observed the following errors

    1. The two signatures at the end of the movie of Mr wangdu on the letter.
    When silencer compared the two signatures they were on the SAME LETTER
    One letter was supposed to be an earlier contract signature and other other letter was the one silencer had drafted for establishing that he had beaten aamir khan in the race for success. Therefore they should have been on different letters

    2. How did the convocation picture had javed jaffrey sitting instead of aamir khan ? Photoshopping ?

    You know after the interval it would have been interesting to carry that point forward and come up with someone new as in
    A] There never was a character like aamir khan and that the other 2 idiots were just imagining him etc
    b] Aamir khan got killed by javed jaffrey and he stole his degree

    etc

  23. Kev says:

    Hi Vikas

    I came across your blog by chance and it seems very amusing as my girlfriend has a habit of spotting errors in films.

    What seems sad is that altough you went to the bother of saying at the very begining of this thread that you were not critising the film, others still complain to the contrary.

    Anyway, good luck finding more.

  24. rashwet says:

    vikas bhaiya wo shamal ko shyamal bolne wala jo point hai, i dont agree with that, as my name is pronounced in different way by different people even for many years my best frnds cud never knew how to spell my name

  25. Just forget it yaar, Enjoy the movie and Motive. Nobody in this world is perfect.

  26. Gouri says:

    Never imagined, finding errors can be so interesting… especially in one’s favourite flick. Though I am not very sure regarding the “teacher’s day” thing. When I followed your link and reached the wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teachers'_Day, I found several instances of “Teacher’s Day” on the page, the most glaring one being the very first occurrence: World Teacher’s Day is celebrated across the world on 5th October…

  27. Gouri says:

    Sorry, the wiki link got changed while posting the comment. Here’s the correct one

  28. Farhan says:

    Think positive about the film.

  29. Rahul says:

    Truly an awesome film, no doubt….But one of the important thing to be noticed which was a goof up in the movie.

    At the end of ‘All Izz Well’ song, they see that Lobo has hanged himself and committed suiced. There are a lot of people standing behind Aamir, Madhavan and Sharman. But in the next scene we see only Aamir, Madhavan and Sharman running to his room and opens the door, what happened to the remaining people who were enjoying the helicoptor camera who were coming behind them.

  30. vicky says:

    wow that is precision to detail…

  31. Vikram says:

    good work guys.. one more thing to be added… when Raju and Pia runs from the “phere” , Raju leaves his shoes, but later when the guys meet Rancho in Ladakh, Raju can b seen wearing the red shoes..

    May be while convincing Pia, he might have put the shoes.. :)

    • Ibrahim hasan says:

      Watch it again…and again(5 times recommended for you)..He took his red shoes in hand while running to the car…and it’s shown when he open the door of the car!

  32. riyaz says:

    you guys do’t have work your the real idiots

  33. Naveen says:

    Good work dude,
    I have a different view on shuffling of papers, the invigilator knew where these 3 idiots were sitting and writing the exam, he could have gone there to find out the Name/roll no. written on the desk.

  34. akshay says:

    Couple of more discrepancies:

    Sahastrabhudde is a brahmin surname. In Mona’s marriage non-veg is being served. Brahmins can eat non-veg, but probably not in a marriage like occasion!

    Why does Virus write mails only to raju and farhan’s parents? Is rancho ignored because he is rich? Rancho will not even pay additional fees/donations, as in the “koel bird nest” incident virus talks about merit being the only way to enter ICE..

    Rancho is against mugging bookish definitions, but he comes first in the exams! Professor in the class also clarifies that if one has to pass, they have to write definitions as per book..Did he write those bookish definitions then?

    Would a well educated person like dubey write a speech with highly repetitive words (‘chamatkar’). Also in the speech, there is a laugh track as soon as chatur starts speaking namaskar.. why?

  35. shreyash says:

    it,s a matter between the film and mr. khan,why should we care
    dude just enjoy the movie

  36. Amanullah says:

    Whatever flaws which Vikas has observed are absolutely right, but I have a different opinion on this movie. I would say this movie completed made on the similar lines of previous movie ie., Munnabhai MBBS by the same director Raju Hirani. If you see the film there are lots of similarities like Aamir Khan’s role is much similar to Sanjay Dutt’s character in Munnabhai. I mean the backdrop of the film college-Hospital, Rancho-Munna, Maamo(Dr.Asthana)-Virus, the heroine of film Munnabhai is Mamo’s daughter and the heroine here is also the daughter of Virus. The hospital scenes everything if anybody has observed keenly., there are lots of flaws. These are only. I am surprised how this movie has become a huge hit…..What say!

  37. Keith Adams says:

    In college when Raju got the job, Virus said he thought the mustache was an insult to him and made him feel nude. 10 years later, in Pia’s marriage, when Virus’ face is shown, he has no mustache. If he thought not having a mustache was an insult and made him feel nude, why didn’t he grow one?

  38. news says:

    If females were present in the college then why were they not ragged and insulted and depicted naked? It was fun for women to see men naked and it would have been more fun for boys to see girls getting ragged and taking stamps on their hips in their bras and panties, which was unfortunately missing in one of the most funny movies.

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