One Can’t Ignore The Cuteness And Innocence Of ‘PK’

To begin with Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘PK’ bears a sharp resemblance to the Umesh Shukla film ‘Oh My God’ that starred Paresh Rawal. While the narrative of ‘Oh My God’ was more from the perspective of a common man, Rajkumar Hirani resorts to a more funny way in exposing the hypocrisy that exists around the concept of religion in India. He brings in a human-like alien aka PK (drunkard) (Aamir Khan) who is reprimanded, ridiculed and often misunderstood, owing to his innocent sense of asking questions in his tryst to find his lost remote control that shall help him go back to his home.

Rajkumar Hirani cleverly infuses humour and wit in his trademark style and truly justifies his point through PK that one needs an alien, an absolute outsider, from another world, someone who dresses just like humans, to make people realise the prejudices and the blind faith associated with religion and self-proclaimed godmen. But even PK gets caught in a web and is confused owing to the differences that exist in the name of religion.

PK meets Jaggu aka Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma) who is also forced into following the beliefs of Godman Tapasvi Maharaj (Saurabh Shukla). Together, they embark on a journey to expose the misconceptions associated with religion.

Several hilarious situations laden with razor-sharp dialogues, which often take a sarcastic dig at society, make PK an interesting watch. While Rajkumar Hirani follows a narrative similar to his previous films, at no point of time does one feel that things are getting a tad too repetitive. Except the second-half when the romantic track between PK and Jaggu seems entirely unnecessary and hinders the narrative. Even the climax, after a brilliant first-half, seems way too detached from the main plot as it revolves around the personal story of Jaggu, more than the bigger concerns of society. Although, the track manages to come back on track, these scenes seem like speed breakers in an otherwise tight film.

Rajkumar Hirani has always been simple in his approach to making films, even while tackling the most difficult subjects. Be it ‘3 Idiots’ where he took a dig at the education system or ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’. He maintains his same style in PK as well and one must admit that ‘PK’ certainly is more bold and challenging as it is not easy to please all the gods (Read censor board, various religious organisations). PK, by no means tries to delve into any particular religion. Rather it boldly delves into many diverse faiths, which will raise many questions. But Rajkumar Hirani deals the issue with an ease, not letting his intentions fade away.

Aamir Khan as PK, in his second outing with Rajkumar Hirani, once again is the scene stealer. While his antics may come across as similar to his character in ‘Dhoom 3’, his over-expressive eyes and his ‘Satyamev Jayate’ style of questioning the society may seem a little too overboard, the innocence and the cuteness quotient of the character can’t be ignored. And this is where PK, the character, scores brownie points than the film.

Anushka Sharma as Jaggu is good as a television reporter, although her pouted lips seem to get all the attention.

Sushant Singh Rajput’s track seems unnecessary in the film. But the actor delivers his part seamlessly. Sanjay Dutt, in a small but important role, excels in his performance.

While Boman Irani has been a forerunner in Rajkumar Hirani’s films, the actor’s role in PK is reduced to a brief role. However, in little screen time that he has, he manages to strike a chord. Saurabh Shukla as the godman is exceptionally brilliant.

Additionally, a cameo by a rising superstar in the climax just adds to the star value of PK.

Shantanu Moitra’s music takes time to build on. But it is as soothing and subtle as the film’s plot. However ‘Love is a waste of time’, is certainly a wasted song amidst the plot that hinders the narrative.

Final Verdict: PK is a film that is thoroughly enjoyable. It has got a message which makes one think deeply. Well, it might not be as great as Rajkumar Hirani’s previous outings, but is certainly a film that will be remembered for its freshness and execution. Rajukumar Hirani once again proves a point that one doesn’t need a complex plot to keep the viewers engaged; a simple meal cooked the right way with a drink can do wonders. Recommended!

Rating: ****

Dhoom 3: Aamir’s Magical Act Saves The Film

Hi All, 

After watching one of the most accomplished franchisee and its third part, Dhoom 3, one thing for sure is that the year 2013 will indeed end on a stupendous high. Don’t know how much for the viewers but sure shot for Aamir Khan, who recently in Koffee with Karan admitted to be nervous about Yash Raj’s most successful franchise venture. 

DHOOM-3-Poster
It will be only fair to admit that the 3 hour long Dhoom 3 is magical because the clown of the story, is the real vidushak, magician Aamir Khan himself. With exquisite locales of Chicago, an enriching and pulsating background score, slick action and a couple of brilliant twists, Dhoom 3 manages to work in parts. Where it fails is when the film enters a certain predictable zone quite similar to its earlier outings. 

Sahir Khan (Siddharth Nigam – Exceptional in his act as young Aamir Khan) sees his father Iqbal Khan (Jackie Shroff), a magician in the making, die in front of his eyes during a circus performance. Iqbal believes that magic is the future of ‘The Great Indian Circus’, which the bank refuses to come to terms with and decides on auctioning the property leaving Sahir and Iqbal devastated. His father’s death leaves a huge scar on Sahir (Aamir Khan) and he grows up with a motive to avenge his father’s death. he decides to keep robbing the same bank, which was responsible for the death of his father. To investigate ACP Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali (Uday Chopra) are called to Chicago. It is here that the chase saga begins. 

Director Vijay Krishna Acharya, who earlier helmed the disastrous Tashan, keeps it fairly simple and that probably works like a double-edged sword for Dhoom 3. At times, one really applauds certain sequences be it action or dialogue, while there are also plots within the story which are sloppy and dull, which makes one lose interest at times. The action and visuals, no doubt are an absolute delight to watch, but engaging audiences in a tight plot is also the key. Dhoom 3 scores in parts over its plot but gets into the whole predictable zone many times over its LONG duration, which works as a flaw. 

Music by Pritam is okay. Malang being the highlight of the adventurous venture. The film could have been easily trimmed by many minutes as some situations, especially introductory sequences of Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra, for the sheer mockery of screen time it makes. It’s the most stupid entry sequence in a film especially not expected out of a class franchisee film like Dhoom 3.

What makes the film an interesting watch apart from its visuals (DOP Sudeep Chatterjee) and background score (Julius Packiam) is a magical performance from the perfectionist Aamir Khan. The actor once again proves that why he aptly deserves the title of being a perfectionist and choosing the ‘PERFECT’ scripts. His performance overshadows even the other two guys giving them less screen time. Katrina Kaif has nothing much to do than a few dance numbers. 

FINAL VERDICT: Dhoom 3 is slick and visually brilliant. It’s a film that relies solely on Aamir’s magical performance to keep the 3 hour long excitement alive. Not the best, but certainly not bad as compared to the recent debacles. End your year in style! 

RATING: *** 1/2

-Rahul Iyer-

Talaash – A near Perfect film

Hi All,

After taking a lighter take on relationships with “Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd”  Reema Kagti brings us a thriller with Talaash. However unlike most thrillers Talaash is different. The film which was supposed to release in June was postponed as Aamir Khan was busy with Satyamev Jayate. But the wait has truly been worth it. Read on…

7876579_1347368626_94718Talaash opens with a freak road accident of Armaan Kapoor (Vivan Bhatena) and Surjan Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) is asked to investigate the case. But it is not an easy job for him as Surjan himself is battling a troubled marriage and grieving over the death of his son. While he investigates the case, he finds something new to think each time he finds an evidence but somewhere his mind ponders over his relationship with his wife Roshni and son. He spends sleepless nights, roaming around the red light districts of Mumbai seeking an answer about the evidences and clues and about himself. While at home, Roshni (Rani Mukerji) makes attempts to speak to her dead son through Frenny (Shernaz Patel) who practices necromancy. Surjan thinks that Roshni’s this act is stupid and asks her to seek psychiatric treatment. During investigations he meets Rosy (Kareena Kapoor) a sex worker, who helps Surjan in the case as well as helps him with his inner worries. But his Talaash does not end here. And I shall not be a spoiler to reveal more and would recommend to watch the film yourself.

Talaash, as I mentioned is different and does not follow the the likes of usual run of the mill thrillers. Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar (writers) effectively blend elements of Psychology ,Supernatural and keep the mystery alive till the end. Unlike the regular murder mysteries where the end in recent times becomes predictable, Talaash manages to hold audiences attention (yes we do get the hint, close to the intermission) with the unexpected twist in the climax. This is where the film is strong and fresh and strikes you with surprise.

Talaash has several other positive points to its credit, the prime being that it’s intelligently written. Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar deserve the extra points for blending a story like this, probably the first of its kind in Hindi Cinema. The acute detailing of characters, styling and treatment adds a lot of depth into the film, making it an exceptional piece of work in recent times. It is paced slow (maybe intentionally) but not once does Kagti and her effective team deviate away from the story and screenplay matches it effectively.

Adding to it is the effective cinematography by Mohanan who captures the Mumbai city with panache. The night life of the city, the red-light areas, the busy life during the day and silence through night is portrayed effectively through his brilliant eye. Music and Background score by Ram Sampath is soothing and tracks like “Muskaanein”, “Jiya Laage” and “Jee Le Zara”  go with the flow of the film. Editing by Anand Subbaya is sleak.

The only flaw I see is that the film moves at a slow pace which might irk a few. Also the moments in second half between Kareena and Aamir are a far too stretched before it wraps up. Nevertheless the performances and the writing make up for it. It would have been a perfect film  only if it was not this slow. 

The ladies (Rani, Kareena) do not have much to do, but manage to pitch in fine performances with their act. Rani in her de-glam avataar shines as the troubled wife and mother. But her screen presence is limited. Kareena as Rosy is reminiscent of her previous role in Chameli but this character has been edged out better. 

Raj Kumar Yadav as Aamir’s aide is good. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Temur is excellent and walks away with the applauds. His performance may not be pivotal to the main plot, but his performance speaks volumes about the actor he is. 

In the end Talaash is Aamir Khan’s film. He is in fine form (as always) and comes up with another commendable performance. His seriousness and not laugh at all attitude, his emotional outburst for his dead son, his conduct as a police officer  and more – he does it all with great style. He has done a similar role in Sarfarosh but however he is less agressive and more restrained here which makes his character so strong. He goes to every extent to make Surjan Shekhawat as believable as possible and does not disappoint. Yet another masterstroke from the fine actor. 

Final Verdict –  On the whole Talaash is a different film well crafted with its intelligent writing and noteworthy performances. It is a near perfect film (only if it would be too stretched too far)  and takes Indian Thriller films to a different league. Undoubtedly the best film of 2012. Recommended film for Cinema (Rather Intelligent Cinema) lovers. 

Rating – **** (4 Stars) (This one’s not for Aamir but Reema Kagti’s direction and effective writing)

R.A.H.U.L