Carlos Bolado, director of the Mexican version of 3 Idiots, says that Indians and Mexicans belong to the “other” part of the world, one with great moustaches!
A still from 3 Idiotas
The big difference between the Mexican version of 3 Idiots, called 3 Idiotas, and the original directed by Raj Kumar Hirani, is that the characters drink much more, says its director Carlos Bolado. There is also no cricket, just soccer, so that his audience can relate to it. It’s likely that his strategy has worked because as Bolado tells us over email, like Hirani’s film, his movie is a hit, and the highest grossing film of 2017 till now. “For Mexican standards, anything more than three million spectators is a big deal,” says the 53-year-old. The original established the 200 crore club as it became the first Indian movie to net that much.
Carlos Bolado. Pic/GETTY IMAGES
The movie, which has Mexican actors – Alfonso Dosal, Christian Vazquez, German Valdez and Martha Higareda – reprise the roles of Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi respectively, was made after Bolado was approached by a producer from Cinepolis, a Mexican chain of theatres, in 2014. “They loved the original and wanted it remade,” he says. Bolado wasn’t surprised because India and Mexico are more similar than one would imagine. “Since we are not Americans, Chinese or Europeans, we form the ‘other’ part of the world. I have always seen Indian movie posters and thought they resembled a Mexican poster. Check the moustache and the hairy faces,” he says. Bolado is no stranger to success. Once a movie editor, his film Promises, the story of Palestinian and Jewish children living in Jerusalem, won him two Emmys and an Academy Award nomination. In 2013, he directed Olvidados, a feature film set in 1975 about a CIA operation in South America, which was shot in Bolivia and Chile. It was the Bolivian entry for the Academy Awards in 2014, and is the biggest box office money-spinner in the history of Bolivia. “Our people love the movie [3 Idiots] because it’s a great story. Some die hard fans of the original movie wanted more musical numbers, but we only have one, since in Mexico, there is no market for songs.”
Bolado already has a new plan in place to chase the success of 3 Idiots, and this one also involves a Bollywood movie. “I want to make my own soccer version of Lagaan. I just love the film and its musical score.”