By Troy Ribeiro
Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2
Aamir Khan’s films always have an element of intrigue and with a team comprising ace director Rajkumar Hirani and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the expectations were high. And unquestionably, “PK” scores high on content as well as entertainment.
Packed with lessons galore to debunk the myths of mystical India, “PK” is a satirical-comic drama. With a narrative pivoted on a fantasy premise, the film intrinsically and cleverly weaves fiction and reality.
Enveloped in a romance fraught with misunderstandings between Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) aka Jagat Sahani, an Indian student, and Sarfaraaz Yusuf (Sushant Singh Rajput), a Pakistani living in Belgium, “PK” is the tale of a guy who gets the pseudonym “Peekay” (Aamir), owing to his constant irrelevant questioning and weird dress sense.
“Haame ghar jana hai…” forms the crux of PK’s journey. This plea is metaphorically and figuratively layered with actuality.
What keeps you intently glued are the messages in the right dosages and format in the narrative. They are neither preachy nor overbearing. Though the film talks about god yet the film is not about religion. It is about humanity and how one perceives god.
An unarguably powerful and versatile actor, Aamir adroitly carries the film on his able shoulders. His quirky persona with bulging toad eyes, prosthetic ears and colourful ensemble, add to his controlled and consistent performance. As PK, he indulgently and innocently succeeds in making you think.
Anushka as Jaggu is refreshingly endearing, as well as engaging. She is spirited as a television journalist working for India Now Channel. Boman Irani as her boss delivers a lacklustre performance that is restricted by his on-screen time and role. He offers nothing that is unusual or electrifying.
Sushant has a small, but significant role as Anushka’s love interest, which he portrays convincingly. Sanjay Dutt as Bhairon Singh, who rescues PK in Mandwa, Rajasthan, adds star value to the character.
Saurabh Shukla brings a new and interesting dimension to his Godman Tapasvi Maharaj. Contrary to the clichéd godmen we are used to seeing, Shukla’s flashy flamboyance gives a unique interpretation to his character.
The songs and background score by Ajay Atul, Shantanu Moitra and Ankit Tiwari are artistically amalgamated into the film.
The music – soft and mellifluous – is typical, often heard in most of Chopra’s films. The songs blend seamlessly with the mood and spirit of the narration. The outstanding numbers are “Love is a waste of time” and “Bhagwan hai kahan re tu.” These fit in well as they are situational in nature and hummable too.
Shot in Rajasthan, Delhi and Belgium, the film has cinematographer C.K. Muraleedharan doing full justice to the beautiful natural locales and he has captured them brilliantly. He is equally skilled at projecting the opulent sets and colourful costumes to perfection.
The screenplay by Hirani and Abhijat Joshi is taut and layered. Humour comes astutely in the form of dialogues and situational comedy. What makes it stand apart is that it is neither too dramatic nor over the top.
“PK” is strongly reminiscent of films made in the bygone era and yet has a contemporary relevance to it. This one is a sure shot winner.