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: ****

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Filmistaan – Cinema has no boundaries, this one’s truly for ‘Aman Ki Aasha’

There are two things that India and our friendly neighbours, Pakistan (watch the film and you will know why I call them a friendly nation), share in common – Cricket and Bollywood films. And both abundantly feature in debutant Nitin Kakkar’s ‘Filmistaan’, a film that for its gripping narrative and entertainment has won the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi.

Filmistaan Official Motion Picture Poster

Having made a round of prominent film festivals, Filmistaan doesn’t boast of starry-names, yet features the greatest of Bollywood stars that have charmed one and all with their movies. It’s probably a cinematic experience that leaves a lump in your throat and leaves you moisty-eyed, especially when you see so many similarities of people from the other side of the fence. And Filmistaan succeeds exceptionally well here and manages to win the hearts of the audience.

Sunny (Sharib Hashmi) is a struggling actor who wants to make it big in Bollywood. To keep his finances going, he joins a foreigner on a documentary shooting expedition on the outskirts of Rajasthan. But to his bad luck, some men across the border kidnap him, mistaking him to be the foreigner, and Sunny paaji from Amritsar lands in a village in Pakistan. But then he finds so many similarities between their culture and ours that he manages to win the hearts of the villagers and befriends Aftaab (Inamulhaq), who pirates Bollywood DVD’s across the border for a livelihood. Soon a bond develops between the two that puts even Jai-Veeru to shame!

Filmistaan, for many reasons isn’t just a film. It’s one of those rare pieces of work where you genuinely feel that there is meaning in every scene. The best I remember is when the kidnappers are asked to shoot Sunny’s abduction video and they are unaware of the way to handle a camera, Sunny takes up the responsibility of shooting his own video and also frames it like a professional cinematographer would do. There couldn’t be a better scene to define the passion of the director which comes alive in this scene.

Another highlight of the film is also its exceptionally brilliant writing. The story, not for once, gets into a digressing zone and stays with the characters and the dialogues (Sharib Hashmi) strike a punch. From imitating actors to calling himself a no-one, Sharib’s performance is also to be credited for the success of Filmistaan.

For many who don’t know, Sharib Hashmi is the same guy who played Shahrukh Khan’s friend in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. His character of Sunny is wittily funny, deeply emotional.

He is equally supported well by Inamulhaq who as Aftab does a commendable job as the Pakistani pirated DVD seller who sets an example of the Indo-Pak friendship as Sunny and him connect with movies.

First time director Nitin Kakkar does a brilliant job executing a script with supreme maturity and conviction and manages to bowl one over with his direction skills. While he surely has taken a risk working with a star-cast, not that well-known, the risk has paid off exceptionally well.

Final Verdict: Filmistaan is a perfect example of a message of peace and suggests that there are no boundaries attached to cinema. With the ‘Aman Ki Aasha’ initiative, it can just be said the ‘Filmistaan’ is ‘the’ film that deeply connects with the issue. This is one rare film that thoroughly must be watched. Not just for the comical relief it gives but for the sheer meaning and message it delivers!

Rating: ****