A dare that barely reaches 'there'

A dare that barely reaches 'there'

Hindi (U/A) ¬¬¬
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Saurabh Shukla,
Boman Irani, Parikshit Sahni, Sushant Singh Rajput

In a recent interview, director Rajkumar Hirani said the test of a film is 10 years from its release: If people still remember it, it was good. His PK may reach there, but just about. Judging by Hindi film standards, this one is miles ahead. And yet, there are ample elements in this execution of a very nice idea that smack of pulled punches.

It’s difficult to tell this story sans spoilers, but here goes. A childlike entity (Aamir Khan) loses a prized possession that would get him home, and is told by everyone to repose his faith in God, for he alone can help the entity get it back. His innocence and simplicity confound many, who assume that he is inebriated—“Pee ke hai kya?”—and hence his name.

PK’s search for, and gradual understanding of, God, aided by fresh-faced Jaggu (Anushka Sharma), forms the crux of the film. Along the way, he finds hurdles in Tapaswi Maharaj (Saurabh Shukla), Jaggu’s father (Parikshit Sahni) and sundry “managers” of God.

It’s a journey where hilarious “Oh no, he didn’t!” situations are interspersed with some serious introspection. But it all ends in a situation that ironically feels like a “deus ex machina”.

Hirani has confessed he had to change the story after seeing Umesh Shukla’s OMG – Oh My God. It was either this or Hirani’s pussyfooting around a really sensitive topic that makes what could have been the strongest lines of the film seem like a cop-out.

Nevertheless, Hirani dares to broach a really serious and sensitive topic, and manages to drive his point home, but not strongly enough for a great impact.

The film is watchable for its message and characters rather than the mindless stuff that populate the hundred-crore clubs these days. Kudos to the people in front of and behind the screens for giving us PK. If only the message didn’t have so much sugar-coating!

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