Directed By: Rajkumar Hirani
Written By: Abhijat Joshi; Rajkumar Hirani
Aamir Khan – PK
Anushka Sharma – Jagat “Jaggu” Janani Sahni
Sushant SinghRajput – Sarfaraz Yousuf
Boman Irani – Cherry Bajwa
Saurabh Shukla – Tapasvi Maharaj
Sanjay Dutt – Bhairon Singh
Parikshit Sahni – Jayprakash Sahni
Language: Hindi Genre: Satirical Comedy-Drama
Hirani’s PK has been in the news for being controversial for its take on religion but I think PK can be considered revolutionary for other portrayals.
The premise of PK revolves on the idea that PK (Aamir Khan) is an alien from another ‘gola’ who arrives naked except for a rather garish ‘locket’ that is actually his remote – a transmitter that connects him to his spaceship. In a predictable turn of events, a poor Indian, desperate to make a quick buck, flicks the green locket and makes a dash for it, leaving PK with no hope of return.
Thus begins his efforts to first understand the culture, the language and the norms of the people. The discourse on language and its nuances is quite interesting. Words can mean different things depending on it context which ties up with the fact that words make up only 7% of our communication. The rest is body language and intonation, which can also be cultural. Which means it can be easily misunderstood.
Now PK’s locket is transformed into a religious symbol by Tapasvi Maharaj (Saurabh Shukla), a guru who has been tainted by his power and does make rather bigoted statements. So PK teams up with Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) and Cherry (Boman Irani), to fight against the blind fundamentalism that dominates religion and mainly takes on Tapasvi Maharaj.
Through this entire section, there is much on fundamentalism, blind aping of rituals, the biases within us about ‘others’ as well as the extreme emotional attitude that accompanies religion. One thing I did take back is the thought that we see God as the Supreme Being who created us, yet we fight to defend Him. The irony.
But while it is a refreshing new perspective (after all, it is a humanoid alien giving us insight into our internal madness) – it is didactic.
The film seems instructive like a street play – bringing awareness and dispelling ignorance. And that can get a little tedious especially when it is already an ongoing debate that people are aware of. But yes, there are sections of our population that are ignorant. The humour of the film was innovative – ‘dancing cars’, the various mishaps but an overplayed joke ceases to be funny. You can laugh the first few times but at the fifteenth time, it is all you can do to stretch your lips into a ghost of a smile. Even the song sequences – they are like advertisement breaks in the narrative, disrupting the flow of the film.
However, the penultimate scene is the one I consider utterly beautiful and revolutionary. It is what I have dubbed ‘The Phone Call’ which is an apolitical dialogue between India and Pakistan. It is almost like the didactic discourse of the entire film is to deliver this knockout blow. It is of course, Indian cinema at its most surreal, imaginative and dramatic best. And I feel if you step into the theatre to watch PK, this scene makes it worth it.