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Upperstall Review




Hindi, Comedy, Drama, 2014, Color

An alien (Aamir Khan) lands in Rajasthan for research on Earth. He gets stuck there when his locket that would send a signal to his spaceship to come back to pick him up is stolen. On being told that the thief has likely sold the locket in New Delhi, the alien, having taken on the name PK, lands up in Delhi. There he is spotted by TV reporter, Jaggu (Anushka Sharma), who is overcoming her own heartbreak having returned home after her Pakistani boyfriend, Sarfaraz (Sushant Singh Rajput) had jilted her at the alter when both were studying in Belgium. As PK tries to come to terms with survival amongst humans and their strange (at least to him) living customs, his paths cross with a God-man, Tapasvi (Saurabh Shukla), using religion to his own means. What's more, PK sees that Tapasvi has his locket with him, which as part of his scam, he insists is from Lord Shiva's drum. After initially thinking PK mad, Jaggu believes his story and decides to help PK take on Tapasvi and get him back his locket so that he could return home...

With his earlier three films, the Munna Bhai series and 3 Idiots, Rajkumar Hirani has created his own unique template of filmmaking. His latest offering, PK, too sits quite comfortably within it so yes, we again have an outsider at the centre who thinks out of the box and makes one seriously question the rationale behind much of what we take for granted; yes, the social issue (here the misuse of religion) is made palatable by dealing with in a humorous, simplistic manner leading to an idealistic easy solution, and yes, the film combines some well-written dialogue with laughter and tears expertly enough to create a fairly entertaining yarn that largely succeeds in its intentions.

The first half of the film proceeds smoothly enough, the laughs are many, a lot of the points dealing with the mess we've made of our life especially through religion hit home. Hirani makes sure we laugh (and think) along with PK rather than at him and that is a big achievement. That said, here is a rather thin line between looking at the world through PK's child-like innocence and being childishly stupid and silly and the film is not always able to stay one side of the line. Some of the gags are stretched much too far telling on the pace of the film. The narrative flow too gets choppy in the second half with the one sided romance between PK and Jaggu appearing labored with typical filmi cliches (him looking at her dancing and realizing he is in love). The big debate is not entirely satisfying and the resolution appears much too pat and easy, even if its emotions carry it somewhat through. There is also a ot of repetition with issues that the film addresses that finally tell on its 153 minutes running time.

Aamir Khan is the life and soul of PK and though one was apprehensive about his funny face making in the promos, it all falls in place within the overall scheme of the film and it has to be said he delivers. Bringing wide-eyed innocence to his character, he truly makes you care about him even as he raises what appear to be simplistic questions but which actually have far deeper connotations. In a film that is all about PK and Aamir, the supporting cast does its bit and is absolutely spot on, even if one would have liked to see more of Boman Irani. Leading lady Anushka Sharma is fine enough if one were to look beyond her disastrous lip job that takes away all the attention from her performance. One wonders why someone perfectly good-looking with a most disarming smile to boot had to do this?! Oh well...

Hirani's films are all about the storytelling and not really about technical flourishes. In that sense, PK is no different as the technicalities are just about adequate. However, the songs are ordinary and do not really work, while the obvious and weak background score is the one element that truly lets the film down.

All in all, PK has enough going for it and is worth a watch. That is something one can't really say about most of our films, and even more so this year that surely till now must be one of Hindi cinema's worst ever.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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