Film Review: 'PK'
Opened: 19 December 2014
Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh
Shukla, Sanjay Dutt
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Producers: Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Siddharth Roy Kapur
There's an undeniable charm about PK that grips you from the word 'go', making it something of a small triumph in a year peppered with nonsense and big budget disappointments. And kudos for that has to go to Rajkumar Hirani, who very smartly weaves together a moving yarn that has elements of fantasy, but at the same time raises pertinent questions that will undoubtedly provoke debate.
It is by no means a perfect film, but it is an extremely watchable and charming one – one that inadvertently, and perhaps rightly, comes at a time where innocent lives are being lost, all in the name of religion and faith.
PK is essentially a satire where an incredibly advanced being from another planet (Aamir Khan – stellar) comes to earth in search of other civilsations, but in the process, ends up with more than he bargained for, when he loses the means to return to his planet.
While he's fumbling around for answers and trying to find his way in a world obsessed with money and interacting with people set in their ways, he comes across Jaggu, aka, Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma), who's just returned home from Belgium and is reeling under the disappointment of having her heart broken by Sarfraz (Sushant Singh Rajput in a cameo).
The more time that Jaggu spends with the being, the more dazzled she gets by his innocent child like questions and the issues that they raise. Subsequently, the duo form an unlikely friendship, and in the process, set off a movement of sorts – one that has the potential to transform people's beliefs overnight.
PK rests on a simple premise and initially, comes across as a mish-mash of 2012's OMG – Oh My God, and to an extent, Koi Mil Gaya, but where Hirani scores above those films is in his ability to keep things simple and his character nuances subtle; a welcome change from filmmakers who go all out to raise the ham factor to unprecedented levels and those that have a tendency to over dramatise even the smallest of situations.
Technically, the film smacks of finesse with crisp, clean frames, and the music too despite being forgettable, never really jars or disrupts the flow of the film, credit of which has to go to Hirani again, who's very clear as to where he wants his plot to go. In the process, and to our relief he avoids being bogged down by unnecessary commercial constraints that are commonplace in this day and age.
Unsurprisingly, the central and supporting performances in the film are spectacular, and it's these that keep the film going when its pace dips dramatically in its second half. Aamir Khan is simply spellbinding, nailing every child like dictate of his character and getting each and every one of his mannerisms and regional dialect bang on. It is a rare, honest performance – one that we haven't seen him pull off in a while.
Matching him step for step is Anushka, who very easily could have been relegated to the sidelines, but avoids that trap by giving a great account of herself, distracting lip job aside! It's a warm, strong performance and to get it noticed with Khan in the frame is no mean feat.
The film's supporting players too get it spot on. Sanjay Dutt is as charming as ever, while Sushant Singh Rajput oozes charisma and is incredibly likeable in an extremely small part. Saurabh Shukla downplays his grey act which saves it from being a caricature while Parikshit Sahni as Jaggu's father is efficient enough. Special mention has to go to Ram Sethi too – an actor who hasn't been on screen in the longest time. Those of you that know him from the countless Amitabh Bachchan films from the 70s and 80s will undoubtedly feel a wave of nostalgia when you see him in the film's earlier portions.
I'm going with four stars for PK. It's a simple, warm and humane tale of love, philosophy and letting go, and a film that might make audiences reassess the way in which they view their religious beliefs. Its length is perhaps what works against it to an extent, but overall, its a fitting finale to a year in which filmmakers have mainly churned out shit in the name of entertainment.