PK: An Aamir Khan show in which logic takes a backseat

Half-full is good enough for a world used to empty glasses. If you’ve been thirsting for movie magic, there is so much to love about PK, especially in the fun-filled setup of a first half — one so exciting that you are most likely to forgive what doesn’t quite work in the second.

But then, Rajkumar Hirani always does this to us. He makes his films with so much goodness and madness, and did we forget heart, that you really don’t mind how much he exploits his artistic license. Give Hirani an inch and he will take a foot or two, sweeping you off it with his comic-book style narrative that makes you overlook things like logic, contrivance and depth.

Knowing fully aware that he is charting territory previously explored in the Paresh Rawal-starrer Oh My God, Hirani makes his film different by looking at the issues through an outsider’s perspective. It is this alien perspective that makes PK a fairly original and immensely entertaining film that banks on Aamir Khan’s charm, charisma and chutzpah. He can do anything — even run around naked — and still make you invest in his childlike PK (because, you know, people assume he’s asking the questions he does because he’s drunk). As an alien stranded on our planet, the earnest Khan earns our empathy by employing his “headlight-like” eyes and “flying-saucer-like ears” to portray so much innocence that it is hard not to applaud such sincerity.

Aamir is a delight to watch as an alien figuring out the ways of our world and his hunt for answers soon becomes an irreverent adventure as he goes from temple to church to mosque in search of answers and a way back home. The planet he comes from has never felt the need for faith or religion because they don’t communicate through language but read each other’s thoughts and feelings through touch. This puts him at a vantage point to observe the human need for faith and religion. PK is his exploration of iconography, anthropomorphic images, symbolism and religious practices, and the differences between various forms of worship and belief systems; it raises the right questions but plays it safe because you know, over 90 per cent of the world believes in God and claiming anything else does not augur well for the box office.

PKGenre : Drama Director : Rajkumar Hirani Cast : Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla Bottomline: An alien needs to find his way back home after losing his remote, which is now used as a religious symbol by merchants of faith

Hirani’s PK is no doubt a very important and relevant film for all of us who have suffered enough due to communal tensions, fanaticism, polarisation and even heartless terrorism. Like all Hirani films, the second half relies on the hero becoming a champion of social reform via media with doses of drama and feel-good by asking the right questions, all predictably intercut with weeping viewers intensely touched by the points made.

Hirani is a master of giving issues a human face. He is an expert on emotional manipulation and stages the most contrived of situations with conviction. Why let logic get in the way of good drama? Yet, it strangely works when you see the why of the scene than the how or the what or the where.

He’s guilty of overstatement quite a bit and the fact that he has edited this film himself doesn’t help much. But luckily, this is an Aamir Khan showcase. And he alone makes every rupee of your ticket worth it. It must also be said that Anushka plays a spunky foil and Hirani-regular Boman Irani underplays quite a bit this time around while Saurabh Shukla has been assigned to play villain here.

We live in disturbed times. And in morally empty times, a half-full glass of science and reason is just what we need to keep the faith. Because faith is hope that “Aal iz well.” Or will be.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 7:00:19 pm |