Hollywood often assumes that New York is a favourite landing strip for extraterrestrial beings who are visiting earth. More often than not, aliens do not land here with friendly intentions. But what if one day, the aliens land not in New York or Washington, but in a desert in Rajasthan, India?
And what if the fundamental difference between the alien race and humans is not the advent of technology or the hunt for Earth’s resources, but instead the very concept of religion itself? How would that alien race perceive a world filled with different customs, religions and rituals?
P.K., as a film and in retrospect the character, asks very pertinent questions about our belief system. There is no need to divulge the plot of the film- in fact it’s a simple, charming idea that is developed into an absolute beauty of 2 hours 30 minutes of running time.
P.K. has everything you would expect from a Rajkumar Hirani film- a social message without being condescending, plenty of good humour, and a colourful portrayal of all its characters. P.K, like all other Hirani films, is full of life, simmering with a potpourri of references that you could relate to in real life.
It is difficult for any combination to try and top the beauty that was 3 Idiots, which, literally, was a movie for an entire generation. Four years on, we have not really swept 3 Idiots and its running jokes off our memories, and here comes PK, with plenty more take-aways that you will enjoy for years to come. PK is different league to 3 Idiots- it gives you the same cinematic satisfaction that the former did, but at the same time satiates more inquisitive minds than 3 Idiots did. PK targets, and parodies, a much larger problem than education- this time, it is the institution of religion, and it does so without ever insulting anyone’s belief system.
You can understand why this film took so long to make and to apply finishing touches. Because every frame is thought out carefully, humour so elegantly added into every facet, and charming you at every nook and cranny. Of course, standing tall in all of this is the inimitable Aamir Khan, who once again gives us a performance to remember. This one, fair to say, carried more weight than the work he put in 3 Idiots or Rang De Basanti for the matter.
If the previous films became cults, it was also thanks to laden supporting cast that played their part, but PK’s charm is all about Aamir here- he carries the film on his shoulders with such impeccable passion for art that you cannot help but to admire and applaud. The way he dances to Rajasthani tunes while maintaining a stoic facial expression is a perfect example of how detailed was his performance as a complete stranger who is learning the good and bad about humanity.
This, easy to say- is probably the best work of his career. And for an actor who has been part of so many memorable films in Indian cinema history- that’s quite a compliment, one that is fully deserved. Any length that PK works for you, whatever the scale is, much of it is down to Aamir’s dedication and effort.
Anushka Sharma is lively as Jagat Janani, full of endeavour and charm. Sanjay Dutt however steals the show in the short cameo he comes in, and even manages to leave a deep emotional impact for the rest of the narrative. Equally good was Saurabh Shukla as the pompous religious guru, while Boman Irani played his part well. Sushant Singh Rajput’s short role was appealing though not outstanding.
Shantanu Moitra’s music is as usual, charming, simple, and sweet to the ears. Songs such as Chaar Kadam and Bhagawan Kaha Rei Tu are memorable without being too outstanding. They all fit seamlessly with the narration.
There’s very few things that needs to be said about Hirani’s work as editor and director. The movie hardly has a boring moment, the pace of it is so exquisite it holds your attention throughout, and every scene is directed with such passion and liveliness that you’d be left clapping at the brilliant dialogues, and laughing hysterically during the others.
All of Hirani’s work has followed the same theme- entertainment without dumbing you down. You don’t have to be dumb in a presentation to make something funny, and you don’t need to employ slapstick to make something funny.
All it takes is plenty of meticulous script revisions, and even an innovative idea can be presented with charm and humour, effortlessly. Every facet of PK exudes charm and certain “feel good” factor that you probably won’t find in another film- Indian or otherwise- this year.
This was an honest attempt at making a good movie that both is inquisitive and humorous in nature. And, this is one of those rare moments, where that attempt is passed with flying colours.
This is first class entertainment. PK is a movie for everyone, and this movie has a little something to offer for everyone, whether you seek pure entertainment or you seek intellect. By the time it ends, you are craving for a second watch.
Movies like these happens once every four years (going by Hirani’s frequency). Treasure it. But for those who have appreciated Aamir’s body of work, movies like this happens once in a lifetime. This, very well, could be the biggest feather on his rather colourful hat.
The wait was worth it. The hype was worth it.