PK – Clouded in cliches, livin on a plea

aamir

A mystery often precedes every Aamir Khan film with the fans churning up   various theories, but often in vain. Mr.Perfectionist has done remarkably well to keep his scripts guarded, but perhaps, the viewers didn’t pay much heed to his quote “Pyaar  ka koi mazhab nahi hota (Love has no religion). Well, that was more than a clue to understand what PK is all about. Better that I wasn’t able to demystify the plot, for had I done so, then I wouldn’t have been too keen to watch Raju Hirani and Aamir Khan’s PK.

‘Expect the unexpected’ that has become a norm for an Aamir Khan film, but unfortunately, the events unfolding in PK, don’t leave you startled like the duo’s last film ‘3 Idiots’

Named PK by the humans, a extra-terrestrial being (Aamir Khan) lands all naked in the desert of Rajasthan, where upon meeting the very first human, he’s mugged of his spaceship communication device, without it our man cannot return home. So, that becomes the very motive of PK and the primary plot of the film.

Out in London, Jagat Janani alias Jaggu (Anushka), (yes, quite a weird name for a girl) meets Sarfaraz (Sushant Singh Rajput) with the duo squabbling over who should get the last ticket available (in black) for a show where Amitabh Bachchan will be reciting poems by his late father Shri Harivanshrai Bachchan. Now they don’t get the ticket, but astonishingly, it’s love at first sight and a song later, Jaggu and Sarfaraz are locking lips. Despite learning that Sarfaraz is a Pakistani (a dampener for the viewers too), Jaggu defies his conservative parents and the  family’s Godman Tapasvi ji (Saurabh Shukla) by deciding to marry Sarfaraz in a church the following day. Sarfaraz doesn’t turn up, expressing his disapproval through a letter, that leaves Jaggu heart broken and she soon returns to New Delhi.

Well, viewers must have heaved a sigh of relief as the done and dusted Indo-Pak romance saga was quickly put to bed. What occurs throughout the best part of the film is PK’s search for his communication device, which he fondly calls remotewa, and Jaggu, who now works for a national Hindi channel, trying to help PK return home.

Upon their first meet, in jail, PK reveals his story to Jaggu and how meeting Bhairav Singh (Sanjay Dutt) enabled him to grasp a human language. Mowed down by his tractor, PK is taken by Bhairav Singh, who vows to look after him till he regains his memory. PK’s constant touching embarrasses Bhairav, who reckons that a romp with a sex worker might help PK. Six hours of holding Phuljadiya’s hands enables PK to grasp her language and thus he begins communicating in Bhojpuri. So, PK vigorously hunts for his remotewa, and learns that humans pleased the Gods to fulfil their wishes. So, he visits all famous places of worship, appealing to various Gods to give him back his remotewa.

The breakthrough happens when, whilst chasing a actor dressed as Shiva, he ends up at Tapasvi Maharaj’s ashram, where he finds his remotewa in possession of the Godman, who is fooling the public by claiming that this mystical piece is actually a part of Lord Shiva’s damaru (pellet drum)

Shunned by Tapasvi’s security, PK returns disappointed bur finds hope when Jaggu tells him to prove that Tapasvi is fake and win back his remotewa.

The PK v/s Tapasvi tussle transform into a ‘Oh My God’ like imbroglio robbing the film of its novelty. The tussle reaches a crescendo when Tapasvi agrees to take on PK in a debate on Jaggu and Bajwa’s (Boman Irani ) channel. The ensuing conversation gets personal when Tapasvi drags Jaggu into it. In the end, PK gets back his remotewa, but also helps to rekindle the Indo-Pak love saga. And there’s a huge surprise in the end too.

While Aamir Khan does exceedingly well in his most versatile role, PK is badly let down by a predictable and sagging script. In all his films, Hirani has been riding on the ‘feel good’ factor, but honestly, there’s now an overdose of it. That was evident in ‘Ferrari Ki Sawaari too, a film not helmed by Hirani, but it very much had his markings on it.

PK is Hirani’s first production and first film in 5 years. Despite the long time, Hirani has churned out a sluggish script. If reports are to be believed, Aamir Khan had gone through 200 other scripts, before giving his nod for PK. Now, given what Hirani has dished out, one can only imagine the quality of the other 200 films. Also, it’s high time that the director gives a break to his Gandhigiri.

With not too many great performances this year, Aamir Khan should be the hands on favourite to land the best actor’s award, but the same cannot be said about PK’s colleagues.

anushka

It’s always baffled me as to why filmmakers make their actresses look like a certain broadcast journalist. First it was Preity Zinta (Mission Kashmir) and now it’s Anuskha Sharma sporting the short hairdo. Whilst you can match up to the respected journo’s hairdo, but you sure can’t ape her pretty ‘ugliness’. Anushka Sharma does a decent job, but as often, in an Aamir Khan film, the heroine is just reduced to a sideshow. Saurabh Shukla, too, doesn’t inspire much confidence as the fraudulent Godman, while Sushant Singh Rajput will be merely happy being part of his biggest film. The actor though has a long way to go before he makes an impression on the silver screen.

Boman Irani, who’s been the chief antagonist in all Hirani films, is sadly wasted as the channel editor. Sanjay Dutt once again proves his mettle with comedy, but sadly, you wish there was more of Bhairav Singh. Albeit she features in a lone scene, Reema Debnath plays the Bhojpuri sex worker (Phuljadiya) to the tee. Undoubtedly, the film’s best scenes revolve around PK’s rendezvous with Bhairav and Phuljadiya.

There’s nothing much to cheer about the film’s music too, save for ‘Tharki Chokro’, penned by Swanand Kirkire, crooned by Sukhvinder Singh.

Now, reel shouldn’t be judged by the real, but it’s hard to accept fairy tales when the bitter reality stares you in the face. Call it PK’s bad luck, but the tragedy in Peshawar and the subsequent announcement of bail to one of India’s most wanted terrorists, has only triggered the anti-Pak sentiments once again. Sadly, in this scenario, the Indo-Pak celluloid love saga is unlikely to be accepted gleefully. A few viewers even sighed in disbelief, “Oh, plea-se no Indo-Pak luv shuv”

On a final note, PK does provide many moments of laughter, but it errs on the line of preaching. Nevertheless, it a great way to usher in the true ‘Happy New Year’

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