Monday, January 05, 2015

PK -- half-baked sci-fi, silly ideological potshots but an entertainer alright

Director Rajkumar Hirani who has given those lovely Munnabhai films has strayed from the path of joyful moral tales to the mad scientific genius of Three Idiots played Aamir Khan to an extra-terrestrial creature in PK is downward movement. In the two Munnabhai films, Sanjay Dutt pulled off the movie with good acting along with Boman Irani and Gracy Singh (Munnabhai MBBS). Kareena Kapoor was quite good in Three Idiots and now Anushka Sharma fits the bill perfectly in PK. But Aamri Khan and Hirani are overreaching themselves.
At one level PK offers a radical critique of all religions, making it out that religions and gods are manmade, cleverly sidestepping the issue whether god or creator exists in the first place. This is pure fun. Where the film sours a bit is when it tries to take potshots against the Hindutva guys, when the godman is made to refer to Mahmud of Ghazni and about the making of the temple. It did not fit in with the story because the film is not about clash of religion-laced politics but the sheer buffoonery of the religious folk themselves. There was also no need to make that preachy bit about suspecting Muslims.Usually godmen are good salesmen and unlike the extremists they try to sell their wares to people of all faiths. Somewhere Hirani was getting confused. The silly Hindutva goons protesting against the movie seems to have helped because more people are going into the cinemas to watch the film. The Pakistani element was nice, especially the embassy staff in Brussels waiting for the call from Delhi and connecting it to Lahore.
The beautiful moment in the movie is the romance between Jaggu alias Jagat Janani (Anushka) and Sarfaraz (Sushant Singh Rajput). The lovely directorial virtuosity lies in the letter delivered at the marriage registrar office and how it gives a nice twist to the tale.
Aamir Khan has become a problem. He was a good actor when he was doing the romantic comedies in the 1990s. From Lagaan onwards he has become serious and that is his undoing. He should check that self-righteous streak in him which will be bad for the actor in him. He should follow the example of Salman Khan and be bindaas!!
Anushka Sharma was enchanting. From the posters it appeared that she was looking awful. But in the film she was just sweet.
Hirani should have devoted more song sequences to the romantic pair, Anushka and Sushant.

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