3 Idiots might have gone on to become Hindi cinema's highest grosser till date with record collections of about Rs.400 crore. But actor Boman Irani, who will be seen next in Shyam Benegal's Well Done Abba, says the movie still awaits its true test.
"The euphoria of 3 Idiots never died down. There's great value for it...(but) at this point of time it's a little premature. The true test of the movie is not how much money it makes, but whether after 10 years if people recall it as a reference point and in fun as part of their movie conversation," Boman told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
"Very few movies remain in public memory as landmark films and I want to see whether 3 Idiots will be up there with some of the wonderful films that have come out of this country...Hopefully, we'll come to know in a few years whether it can become one of the great films," he added.
Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, 3 Idiots also starred Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Kareena Kapoor.
After a humble beginning with Mansoor Khan's Josh in 2000, Boman shot to fame as the eccentric doctor J.C. Asthana in Hirani's Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and followed it up with the portrayal of a Sikh property dealer Lucky Singh in Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
While both the movies gave him new nicknames, Boman says he likes his monicker Virus (Viru Sahastrabudhhe) from 3 Idiots as well.
"I am very proud to be a part of 3 Idiots and happy that the character has worked in a big way. The wonderful thing is I used to be called Mamu (from Munnabhai M.B.B.S) earlier, then Lucky Singh happened for a while and now I am called Virus," said Boman, who is equally excited about Well Done Abba.
Inspired by two short stories - Narsaiyyan Ki Bavdi by Jeelani Bano and Phulwa Ka Pul by Sanjeev, Well Done Abba is a light-hearted political satire that narrates the story of Armaan Ali (Boman), a driver working in Mumbai.
He takes a month's leave to find a suitable match for his teenage daughter, who lives in a small neighbourhood close to Hyderabad. But he returns to work only after three months and his employer wants to sack him.
Talking about the film, Boman said: "Buying a house in this country and getting a daughter married are among the greatest responsibilities for anyone...It's a completely Indian film about Indian people and an honest effort which will charm and entertain them.
"It sounds very sad but it's a satire...It's very beautifully told and the comic situations are lovely, sweet and very charming. It's like a fable. It's very funny and touching. It's almost like a book with wonderful illustrations," he added.
Produced by Big Pictures, the film also stars Minissha Lamba, with Ila Arun, Sonali Kulkarni, Rajit Kapur and Yashpal Sharma also in pivotal roles. Prior to its release, Well Done Abba has been to film festivals in Montreal, London and Dubai.
Besides Well Done Abba, Boman will be seen in Hum Tum Aur Ghost, Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, Mirch, Housefull, Dostana 2 and Don 2. He has also lent his voice to Nikhil Advani's animation movie Ab Dilli Door Nahin.