Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Movie review : pk, a ‘Remote’ visitor in search of Hope

ALERT: A few Spoliers!*

Rating 3.5/5 (Good but not exceptional)

Is this a bird? Is this a plane?

No, he is as human as we are but drops out of the sky from a snazzy looking Flying spaceship. …Bare naked on our Mother earth with just a twinkling pendant on his neck.

But why did he come here?…‘God’ knows..!

‘That’ (GOD) exactly seems to be the premise of this comedy caper which is packaged in a science fiction format where the latter is unfortunately given the go-by and we are just left with a human looking alien who is bewildered, shocked and aghast in our' Godly' world, as he slowly learns and unlearns things in his meandering journey from Rajasthan to Delhi.

Director Hirani believes that the diversity of our faiths, religious practices, traditions and language must seem shockingly different to an alien visitor and these contradictions are given a comic satirical treatment into some light hearted fun. There are many such ‘ha-ha’ moments with the goggle eyed flappy eared Aamir as ‘pk’, in various costumes who charms you and entertains you…Some very ‘spot-on, ‘some equally frivolous…

That’s the first half, so I thought the story will mature with time…

But unfortunately the second half seems more muddled with the alien man turning into a kind of social crusader who wants to unmask a Hindu Godman just to get his ‘remote’ back… This Godmen theme is neither a new territory nor a solid one and besides, the premise of this Godman to build a temple for the 'Shivjis pendant' is unbelievably shallow.

Yet , all that is fine, Mr Director Hirani..

All the idiosyncrasies of this religious world may seem funny and strange to an alien, but not necessarily to Indian audience!! Did you forget us?. .Heck, we are born and living here…Many of us have thought of Aamir’s own queries in different ways and even found our own ‘answers’…

But unfortunately for pk and us, he never meets anyone with his half his intelligence. Mostly they are dumb bigots who ridicule him and chase him down the alleys violently.
That’s not on, as far as I am concerned.

Satire on the present is OK, but where are the answers?... Did this humanoid not pick up any good stuff, meaningful principles at all from us poor earthlings then?  Well, for that matter, nor did we learn anything useful from this specimen of scientifically advanced humanoid come from light years away …What a waste of opportunity!...

 And then there was no need to be so self-deprecatory in the end, summing up our various deficiencies in monologue speech in pucca Bhojpuri..Did he not say in the beginning, they never speak on his planet?...Oh well…

Every lacuna and loophole in the script seems to be washed away in the ‘LOL’ moments and in the few ‘lump in the throat’ scenes. Anushka is alright but her interrupted –and- resumed love story just left me cold, being not fleshed out sensibly.

The director has not taken this theme seriously, so why should we? But then it was one…That’s where the film left me semi satisfied.

See it for Aamir’s charming performance, although towards the end even that seemed tedious.



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