Monday, December 22, 2014

P.K. (2014)

Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Writers:  Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijit Doshi
Cast:       Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt, Boman Irani
Language: Hindi

An alien in the city asks questions no one has asked before (that is a bit of exaggeration). Known only by his initials, P.K's innocent questions and childlike curiosity will take him on a journey of love, laughter and letting-go. 

Rajkumar Hirani has directed only four films so far, including this one, and all of them have been huge successes commercially and critically. I found 'Munna Bhai M.B.B.S' to be a very good film when I watched it some nine years back. Its sequel 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai was an above average film with very good use of fantasy elements involving Gandhi.  '3 Idiots' occupied the spot for all time highest grosser in Bollywood for a long time and from whatever bits and pieces that I have seen of it, that was an atrocious film. So I was not very much interested to see his latest one, P.K, but it has received very favorable reviews that praises  it for its anti-religion sentiment, which is quite apt for the Modi-India times that we live in. 

The film starts off in the wrong foot with a silly love story between an Indian girl and a Pakistani boy in Bruges, of course after the Terminator like introduction of Aamir Khan. The film picks up when the story is back in India with the girl now being a TV reporter whose curiosity is piqued by P.K's mannerisms and search for God in order to get back to his native planet. The film again flusters as it enters the last act with the love story angle thrown in and an excruciating to watch TV showdown between P.K and the antagonist God Man. What I am trying to say is that if you take away the beginning and ending, you've got a very decent film built on a very relevant idea regarding the contradictions involved with religious faith. Most of its faults lies with it trying to be a mainstream Bollywood film having very avoidable song sequences and reeking with over-sentimentality. They could have easily made a very good film out of this by cutting down the flab and keeping it under two hours.

So far I don't think there have been any protests by religious crazies regarding its content. Maybe it helps if you are criticizing all of them together. Or its mainstreamness  and commercial success is stopping people from taking pitchforks. As Boman Irani's character says, if you address these matters with extreme seriousness you will end up with 'Shool' stab wounds in your buttocks, and the way to go is asking questions that seems silly but for which they don't have a proper answer. Despite the flaws of the film, it is good that it is doing well since it is much better than most of the shitfests that come out of Bollywood and the message that it carries is very relevant.

Rating: 2.5/5