P.K. (2014) Film Review

self defense

(Warning, includes spoilers)

Rajkumar Hirani, Director of 3 Idiots and Munna Bhai MBBS, brings to us a funny, witty tale of a stranger whom questions life. Starring Aamir Khan, as the main protagonist, P.K. is surely a Bollywood Blockbuster which has not only created success, but caused silly havoc due to its narrative.

P.K. is an alien sent from another planet and has landed on earth for ‘research’ on the human kind. After setting a barefoot in earth, his first acquaintance is an old man listening to a old school radio. The old man questions his nudeness and thereafter is mind blown by this dazzling necklace which graphically sparks. He steals it and runs away. P.K. loses his only connection he had to his home planet; he becomes lost in this big wide place, called Earth. Through plight and struggle P.K tries to adopt human nature, he steals clothes from ‘dancing cars’, attempts to follow the system of purchasing food with all types of money, and strangely tries to grab a hand to learn the known language, Hindi. It’s evident he’s an alien to this place, as he simply doesn’t understand these unwritten rules and how unfair the system is. He asks various people where he can find this lost pendant, in which they all have one answer ‘God knows’. And there we have it, the start of a new journey. P.K sets out to find God. From sending out flyers, to finding different paths to different Gods, P.K begins praying to various forms of Gods asking for his pendant back. The narrative unfolds here where he meets a TV reporter Jaggu (Anushka Sharma), whom takes interest in P.Ks life and thus makes a story out of it, publicised on national Television. As P.K explores Gods motives and why society is ruling out people based on their religion and culture. He questions ‘We don’t have a stamp on our bodies when we’re born’; so create a division between people. We also come across ‘wrong numbers’, which are priests whom falsely bless their worshippers with fake solutions. As the public come to terms with P.K. they begin to notice how they are being fooled, thus causing hype around the country.

PK aamirThe film takes us on a journey through life, becoming a true eye-opener to us on how society is made up of unwritten norms and values. Although P.K. points out the obvious, as the audience we begin to seep in the ultimate truth and how absurd the global culture has become. People differentiate humans by religion, where this simply is wrong. We see earth through an outsider’ eyes, where the earth and human nature seems strange, we even question how absurd society has become. Hirani creates a powerful film with a clever narrative, which makes you eager to see more. The world is full of ego, hate and inequality where at the end of the day we’re simply human beings, we’re all the same. And P.K. surely proves that.

Aamir Khan steals the show (Enough said). His performance as P.K is powerful, where we truly believe him as an alien. Indeed we see the film through his eyes, where he wonderfully brings the script to life. We truly begin to switch sides and see the world as a strange place to live in. I mean that’s pretty impressive. Even when he has no dialogue, as he still hasn’t discovered the element of language yet, Aamir profoundly mimes his acting and still manages to make us laugh. The music, dialogue, acting, it all compliments each other and the funny twists just make it better. From the bizarre clothing combinations, the pan chewing, big green eyes, large statement ears to Aamir’s body language, we are left gawking at the magic and beauty of P.K’s character.

PK aamir khan

Supporting actors Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput, as the Pakistani boy, also have a strong presence in the film. Anushka creates this carefree, happy-go-lucky attitude through Jaggu’s character, where she’s simple, sweet and funny. Her interest in P.K is what gives the film a new edge. The fact that she believes in him and gives him the opportunity to find his long-lost planet connection is just the helping-hand he needs. As she dances with him and simply messes around in the city, their relationship strengthens. Indeed P.K falls in love with Jaggu, yet as the audience we don’t seem to see a romantic click, rather a best-friend kind of feeling.

However, Jaggu and Sarfraz whom fall in love in Beligium definitely spark chemistry. I believe this beginning scene of the film, set in Belgium, was the most unnecessary. It felt longer than anticipated and got me less excited about the film. The cliché romance between Jaggu and Sarfraz was pushed a little too much. However, towards the end of the film it all made sense. This where their relationship became crucial to the moral of the film. Sushant’s performance in this vital scene, over the phone, was very powerful and emotional. Indeed it gets you a little teary, taking you through a rollercoaster of emotions.

PK Anushka

Bhairan Singh (Sanjay Dutt) as P.K’s friend definitely brings comedy to the table. As he supports P.K through these tough times, we see this village boy show the culture of India by truly welcoming P.K. Bomani Irani as the TV main presenter also shakes in a few comedy elements. Although his role is small, he manages to convey a realistic approach as the man in charge. Saurabh Shukla plays the priest Tapasvi Maharaj in the Film. His performance as the false priest who’s just after innocent citizens’ money, is heavily emphasised. Through his gentle-like dialect and his posture you really do see him as a priest. Even with a mixture of anger and ego, Shukla powerfully creates a villain who portrays reality. Hence, Tapasvi Mahraj mirrors the antagonist that resides in our everyday life. Similarly to the film OMG: Oh My God (2012), Hirani points out how these false channels simply create a business out of God for selfish treaties. They’re the ones we ask for help, the ones we give money to, basically the ‘wrong numbers’.

PKcastOverall, P.K is a moving film that captures the questions no one dares to ask, and finds the answers one may not like to hear. His curiosity takes us on a thought-provoking journey. It’s funny, heart-warming, lovable and truly explores the meaning of life. The performance from the whole cast is mind blowing, especially Aamir Khan whom brings P.K.’s character to life.

Last but not least, I wanted to add that the logic behind the current protests and violence going against the movie is bizarre. Although P.K has become a success, there has been a huge negative response to it. The absurd violence and silly remarks of how P.K is making fun of God is simply untrue. I’m not here to defend the film, but to simply utter the truth. I’ve seen the movie and rather it mocking God, it doesn’t tell us to stop believing, it tells us to make sure we go through the legitimate path, or channel if you like. To be honest, the whole negative response is simply mirroring what P.K. states in the film, it’s creating hollow remarks which truly mean nothing. Don’t let others control you. And if two people from different religions and backgrounds fall in love, then why not? Underneath all the culture, beliefs, religion, is simply a bare human being.

My Rating: 9.5/10
Written by: Meera Darji

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2 thoughts on “P.K. (2014) Film Review

  1. Wonderful review of what I thought was a wonderfully enjoyable film.

    You make a great point when you say the controversy that surrounds this film is both unnecessary and unwarranted. PK asks the questions that should be asked. Hirani and Khan are not making fun of religion and not really stating that this religion is better than that or some other religion.

    Each of us arrive on this earth unclothed and unadorned , as did PK. When we add the various layers of clothing or style we take on the appearances of our co-religionists but beneath, we are all the same..

    Add a mustache and a beard to a Hindu, and you have a Sikh, take away the mustache and you have a Muslim, and so forth.

    The priests and ministers, and imams and gurus are not called as such – instead they are called .collectively as God’s managers. The styles, the clothing, and the methods of prayer serve to separate people rather than unite people.

    The film is a way of holding up a mirror in front of each of us, and all of us. What we are shown are the weaknesses of society. And Hirani and Khan have done this not to judge that this or that is better than someone else. But to offer a larger perspective.

    The film does this through the humor, through those laugh out loud moments that help this outsider, this alien called PK, this stranger learn about how life on this planet works. The best thing about this film is that as PK learns, so should we.

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