PK, an innocent humanoid Alien walks around the streets of New Delhi, looking for his ‘Remote’, i.e. his way back to his home planet.
PK 1Since E.T. (1982) famously descended on to the screens, over 30 years ago, there have been so many Big Screen Aliens visiting the cinematic world, without much success. Finally now, Director Rajkumar Hirani’s, Bollywood Blockbuster, PK (2014), took over the celluloid world, with one of the most likable fictional Aliens to have visited Planet Cinema, since E.T.

Like the birth of a new born baby, a spaceship, drops off a humanoid alien; without a stitch on his body, except for a flashing beacon (‘Remote’), strung around his neck; into the remote deserts of Rajasthan, India. The alien’s nude trek through the desert; towards a villager with a cassette player/tape recorder, walking along a train track; resembled that of the naked ‘Terminator’ (Arnold Schwarzenegger), from the pretty good, yet cheesy, 80’s, B-movie, cult-classic, The Terminator (1984). The villager steals the alien’s ‘Remote’, and the poor horrified alien manages to grab onto the cassette player, as the villager jumps onto a moving, open hooded, cargo train. Thus begins the alien’s quest to locate his lost ‘Remote’, his only way to contact the spaceship, his only way home. This expedition, ultimately, brings him to the Indian capital city, of New Delhi. This large confusing city, of various faiths, and contrasting mentalities, of the old and the new, makes the curious alien question everything, from religious views, blind devotion, to various brainwashed traditional concepts.

The maestro of the acting world, Aamir Khan, is amazing as ever, as the naïve alien (accidentally named P.K.); that’s more human, than most human beings; with his child like innocence, and curiosity, trying his best, to understand the people of Planet Earth, especially in India, and more specifically, the city of New Delhi.

PK, is a brilliant concept, that questions, fake sense of patriotism, false religious pride and egoistic ethnic personalities, that exist, even in this day and age, not only in India, but around the globe. The movie, through this nameless alien, whom everyone assumes is a man who walks around ‘Pee Kay’ (‘Drunk’ in Hindi), thus named P.K., questions religious beliefs derived out of fear. P.K. makes the ignorant, rack their brains; to help them realise their folly, of blindly following fraudulent religious leaders; and fakes fear for their livelihoods. PK is a cinematic experience, that’s a must, for all film enthusiasts of the world. An intellectual, thought provoking, satirical comedy, that crushes narrow minded sentiments, that still exist in the modern world, even among the well literate, to a certain extent.
PK 2The movie, as most Bollywood films generally do, has a romantic angle too. Yet luckily, PK, does not waste time on the love story between Sarfraz (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Jaggu (Anushka Sharma). Though initially, this India/Pakistan (Hindu/Muslim) love story does not seem that significant to the plot, there is ultimately a relevant reasoning for that romantic input, to help expose a fraudulent Maharishi (Saurabh Shukla). But, Aamir Khan, being the lead character, too, is shown falling in love. Here, I did wonder, was it really necessary for Khan’s alien to fall in love with Jaggu as well? Is it a necessity for the lead actor of a Hindi film to fall in love too? Even if it were unrequited love. Yet, that was just a minor unessential addition to an almost perfect movie, which neither helps nor ruins, the main plot.

Besides this minor, non required, heartbreak, of an alien, the segment set in the state of Rajasthan, though very essential, drags a bit, especially with a song featuring Sanjay Dutt. Was that a necessity? Didn’t it elongate the movie a tad? But yet again, that enjoyable enough, though not required, song and dance sequence, wasn’t that much of a waste of time and space, to ruin this pleasant ride along with a good hearted innocent creature from outer-space. Some interesting sequences set in Rajasthan include, the ‘Dancing Cars’ and P.K. downloading the Bhojpuri language via a prostitute. Of course the satirical comedy set Delhi, is, die out laughing, hilarious. Especially the sequences concerning various differential religions and customs, that tend to further confuse the poor alien, who comes from a planet, where everyone is considered equal.

PK is beautifully shot, in some spectacular locations, including the cobbled streets, of the breathtaking Flemish city, of Bruges (in Belgium), barren landscapes of India’s largest state, Rajasthan, and impressively showcases some iconic historical monumental backdrops of Old and New Delhi (in India). PK also consists of some melodious songs; that one can’t easily get out of their system; specifically the romantic yesteryear style of ‘Chaar Kadam’ (Four Steps), and the comical number featuring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma, ‘Love is a waste of Time’.

Besides, the great characterisation of P.K. by, Aamir Khan, the rest of the cast is just as superb. Anushka Sharma is amazing as Jagat Janani (a.k.a. Jaggu), a TV journalist who works for a prestigious television channel, in New Delhi, and who too questions blind religious faiths and foolish archaic superstitious beliefs, including of her own family’s. Jaggu desperately tries to expose the fraudulent Maharishi, and ropes in P.K. to help her do so. She is the only being in our planet, besides us, the audience, who is aware that P.K. is actually an extraterrestrial from outer space. Plus that vintage chic short crop hairdo Sharma sports is spot on. She feels like a cool chick from 80’s, especially in a scene she’s seen, wearing a loose white T-shirt, and no pants 🙂 . She looks good, and acts just as well. Boman Irani, another superb actor, does a great job, as Cherry Bajwa, the head of the television news network. Veteran, Parikshat Sahni, is a perfect fit as the god fearing, blindly devoted, disciple of the Maharishi, and Jaggu’s father. Saurabh Shukla is a natural as Tapasvi Maharaj, the deceptive Maharishi, conning fearful ignorant minds. Sanjay Dutt and Sushant Singh Rajput, are pretty interesting in their respective cameo appearances. But Ranbir Kapoor (of the famous Kapoor dynasty of Bollywood), puts on his usual, unimaginative, hackneyed, goggle eyed, dumb expression, seen in quite a few of his movies, in his blink of an eye, appearance. Besides these, other minor characters are also quite good in their respective roles.

A couple of Hindu organisations, wanted the film banned, as it apparently hurt Hindu sentiments. But their protests didn’t play, and PK was a big hit India.

Bollywood makes thousands of movies per year, and the whole of India (including other regional cinema), makes the largest number of films in the world. But majority of films that come out are crap. But when India get it right, they sure get it right. India has brought out some very good movies, including some of the greatest films ever, with an international standard, that happen to be amongst the best loved films in the world. Not just movies that are here today, and gone tomorrow. Not just Bollywood films, but films from the rest of the Indian film fraternities as well, especially when it comes to Bengali Art cinema, as well as Indian English language movies. India has brought out some excellent movies, that tend to age well, even though percentage wise, it might be a miniscule percentage of films, considering the output of Indian films, per year.

PK being an exceptional story, I don’t know if it ought to be necessarily nominated for ‘Best Film’, but it definitely should at least be nominated, if not gain a win, for ‘Best Script’, ‘Best Original Story’, ‘Best Director’ and no doubt secure a nomination for ‘Best Actor’, at all the prestigious Indian Award functions.

It’s extremely rare for a good movie, to make it’s way into the cinemas here. So am, so glad, PK ventured it’s way, across the Palk Straight (ocean strip), down here, and I got to watch it on the Big Screen, day before yesterday, on the 27th of January, 2015.

PK (2014) is an almost excellent, commercially successful, movie, with a brilliant social message. 9/10!!!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense