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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Happy New Year: The ‘Indiawaale’ Manage To Win Hearts

Like the start in Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ (HNY) where Shah Rukh Khan sets of by saying that there are two kinds of people in this world, winners and losers, I believe that there are two kinds of films in the world. Films that are made with a script and films of Farah Khan, who successfully manages to become the leader after HNY to make commercial potboilers!

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Going by the recent failures of deadpan films without a script, HNY is a much better film as compared to its peers. However, it isn’t as great as Farah’s own ‘Om Shanti Om’ but yet promises abundance of entertainment in three hours.

Thankfully, unlike her previous outing ‘Tees Maar Khan’ which was a bore and sleepy affair, HNY is on the go right from the opening sequence where Charlie aka Chandramohan Manohar (Shah Rukh Khan) unveils his dashing eight-pack abs and mouths dialogues of all his previous hit films. It is followed up by his ‘keep it simple’ plan to avenge his father’s death and plan a robbery of diamonds worth crores of rupees from Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff). He then sets out on his mission ‘Happy New Year’ and manages to build a team of ‘losers’ (including him) who scale to great heights when they decide to take the route to participate in a reality-dance contest in an attempt to rob the diamonds.

Farah Khan sticks to what she has done in her last two films, ‘Main Hoon Naa’ and ‘Om Shanti Om’ respectively, that is use the prowess of her characters. This, itself, makes up for an entertaining and a supreme first half where characters are introduced even as Charlie plans his heist. From Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘desi’ entry to Deepika Padukone’s ‘eazy’ Mohini dance, every character manages to entertain and surprise you as the film progresses to a not-so-riveting climax.

The director excellently blends Bollywood humour, her regular dose of spoofs on her industry colleagues and her cameo specialist actors. But where she scores brownie points is when the bunch of losers suddenly realise that their motive to win the contest is far superior and this is what makes ‘Happy New Year’ entertaining and patriotic at the same time. For once robbery takes a backseat and the troupe comes together to enthral Dubai. Taking a cue from late Manmohan Desai, whom Farah Khan has always regarded as her guru, the director manages to pull off HNY like a supremely executed film with minor glitches, a feat that many commercial directors haven’t managed to achieve.

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is good to hear on the big screen and is peppy. Even Vishal’s act with Anurag Kashyap in a scene would keep all in splits. From Manwa Laage to Indiawaale, each song carries the story forward and keeps pumping up the entertainment level.

At three hours, the film is stretched at places but the performances keep you glued. I must say that HNY isn’t Shah Rukh Khan’s film alone. While he does get maximum screen time, he is excellently complimented by a talented bunch of actors who lend him good support. My clear favourite remain Boman Irani and Abhishek Bachchan who pull of their acts in such wonderful fashion. Deepika Padukone, as Mohini, also compliments with her dancing skills and adds the glam quotient. Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah are apt in their roles.

With ‘Happy New Year’ being a single Diwali release, it is only fair to say that the film has success written over it and the powerhouse star cast just makes it easy. I went with zero expectations and enjoyed my time at the theatre. Probably you do the same and you won’t be disappointed.

Final Verdict: Happy New Year may not be the intelligent kind of cinema. However, it is one of those expensive buffet outings which one can relish once in a while. This might not be close to Om Shanti Om but these ‘Indiawaale’ certainly manage to win hearts, in true Farah Khan style!!! ENTERTAINMENT GUARANTEED!

Rating: ***