Bollywood review: Aamir Khan lends charm to 'PK', but is that enough?

In keeping with director Rajkumar Hirani’s tradition of looking at society’s many idiosyncrasies and kick-starting a revolution of laughter, his ‘PK’ pretty much sticks to the formula.
 
While ‘Munnabhai’ went about cleaning up the fractured Indian medical system with numerous ‘jaadoo ki jappis’ (magical hugs), his ‘3 Idiots’ broadcasted ‘All is well’ when exposing the unhealthy competition found in abundance in engineering colleges.
 
‘PK’ sticks to the same genre, and takes a dig at religion and its absurd rituals this time by dialing in the “wrong number”.
 
Hirani throws in “labels”, “managers of god” and “wrong numbers” as the jargons for his current revolution, and urges humans to quit blind devotion, and redefine how they perceive the almighty.
 
Hirani’s genius lies in his ability to look at relevant problems with clean humour. PK’s confusion at the relevance of black and white in people’s wardrobes, or his ease at finding clothes and money from “dancing cars”, or his self-defense strategy to stick god’s faces on men’s cheeks are true gems. Even when he takes a refund from the temple moneybag because his prayers were unanswered, or when he chains his shoes outside the temple to protect it from being stolen, you can’t help but chuckle at his innocence and charm.
 
Mahatma Gandhi also reappears on Hirani’s canvas and this time as the man who gets PK bunches of carrots, and almost anything he wishes for.
 
Although Hirani scores on humour and minimalism, his efforts appear diluted and a tad superficial because of his inability to look beyond his own rulebook. When he takes on notorious godmen (or “managers”) as they trick and loot the weak and poor, you enter a state of déjà vu.
 
His ‘Munnabhai’ is far more superior in texture and treatment than ‘3 Idiots’ or ‘PK’.  There are way too many weak links that stops it from being his greatest yet.
 
There’s no element of mystery, that unfortunately, kills the fun. From when ‘PK’ unfolds, we step into a world typical to Hirani, that we guess what’s in store before he unveils it.
 
PK enters our world, fresh off his spaceship, wide-eyed and naked. Just seconds after he’s introduced, he’s robbed of his only possession – a gleaming remote that links him to his planet.
 
After a few quick lessons on humans – their behaviour, language, dressing and currency, PK is ready to take on Earth. The hunt for his missing remote takes him to Delhi where he’s guided towards god, and eventually to Jaggu.
 
His incessant questioning and refusal to accept whatever is said in the name of religion, finds him in many sticky situations. It’s when his friend Jaggu dissects it, and promises to send him home safely, that things start to turn hopeful.
 
Aamir’s earnest as the elephant-eared PK, who unwittingly uncovers the frauds in the religion company. His language is spot-on, but his chiseled body appears misplaced. He’s a great performer, no doubt, but even he turns PK into a caricature. Anushka is the weakest link. Wonder if it’s her artificial pout that distracted us from appreciating her work. She’s capable of much more, but her Jaggu appears flat.
 
Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani and Sanjay Dutt grab a few scenes each, but Dutt soars as the cheeky, turbaned friend of PK. There’s the chubby Saurabh Shukla who takes on Tapasvi Maharaj impressively.
 
Hirani’s ‘E.T.’ could’ve been far more impactful but it doesn’t, and that’s a shame.

Comments

Comments