With the promise of the ‘3 Idiots’ (2009) team coming together for ‘PK’, many would have been excited, hopeful and rightfully eager to see what kind of magic would be created this time. Aamir Khan coming together with Anushka Sharma for the first time was also a new thing and that too for a film which wouldn’t see them as particularly romantically linked, and this helped the film be drowned in intrigue. In true Khan style, not much about the film was forthcoming before its release and this only added to the mystery and anticipation which comes with any film of the actor’s. Rajkumar Hirani as director ensured a well-thought out social message engraved in the story and with Vidhu Vinod Chopra as producer, it’s seemed only inevitable that expectations would have been at an all-time high for the year to go out with a bang with this; one of the final releases.
An alien (Aamir Khan) arrives on to Earth via a spaceship. With little in the way of knowledge about the people on the planet and no language to converse in, the alien moves towards a person he sees a little far away pretty much as soon as he lands. Dressed in a traditional Rajasthani dress, the man – who does not know that the “being” in front of him is an alien – is a little taken aback to see a naked gentleman in front of him with just a necklace on. He immediately grabs the necklace and runs, leaving the alien in shock, not knowing that it was his only way of making contact with the planet he had come from. The alien embarks on a journey to find his necklace, in desperate desire to return to his planet, eventually finding a name in “PK”. He somehow comes across Jagat ‘Jaggu’ Janani (Anushka Sharma), who starts a job for a news channel having suffered heartbreak whilst studying abroad. Jaggu makes a plan to get PK’s necklace back to him.
The start of the film is somewhat unexpected as it has never been marketed or promoted as being clean-cut a part of the sci-fi genre as such. In all honesty, the absence of this definite categorical slot seems to work in the film’s favour. Although starting off very unbelievable, the film continues at an engaging pace, helping the audience identify quickly with the alien and his predicament. Director Rajkumar Hirani seems to outdo himself once again in a way most would have thought impossible. The raw honesty of ‘3 Idiots’ and the ‘Munnabhai’ series seems to come through in ‘PK’ too but in an unapologetic, non-preachy and overall thought-provoking fashion. Let’s face it, this is absolutely the stamp of Hirani and it is something no other filmmaker, part of the audience or critic can take away from him. His integrity never gets old, never repeats itself from film to film and neither does it become a displeasure to see on the screen. It’s almost as if Hirani takes society’s values and peoples faiths and turns them around on their bases in ‘PK’ – giving birth to a new thought process and new, more relevant set of rules that you almost want to make immediately viable to the society you are a part of.
It has to be said that the star cast of the film could not be more perfect or refreshing. Khan’s predictably flawless performance as PK is, quite simply, awe-inspiring. Last year, he gave a huge box office hit with the action-packed ‘Dhoom 3’ (2013), and this year, he’s come with PK which is a film nearly at the opposite end of the spectrum. His versatility is never questionable and he seems to deliver plausible and applause-worthy performances with every film, ‘PK’ giving no different. Sharma is also an absolute treat to see on screen as the bubbly Jaggu. Her new appearance puts a modern spin on what the audiences have seen of her up until now and this works incredibly well with this character she plays. There are scenes between Jaggu and PK which are cinematically excellent and moments the audiences are sure to take away with them and remember. Sushant Singh Rajput adds a much-needed romantic angle to the film and his pairing with Sharma comes across as natural and fresh. This is definitely an actor who shines on the screen and probably still would even if pitted against some of the most popular co-actors. It also has to be said that the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Boman Irani and Saurabh Shukla are also important to the narrative and excel in their respective roles. The special appearance of the dashing Ranbir Kapoor was reported after the release of the film and it is definitely a moment which makes you smile.
The music of the film, composed by Ankit Tiwati, Shantanu Moitra and Ajay-Atul, suitably compliments the mellow speed and theme of the film overall. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics are completely the life and soul of the album be it in a romantic Chaar Kadam, a melodious Love is a waste of time or even the tearjerking Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu. Tharki Chokro is a delight to see on the screen with Khan sharing the screen with Dutt in a funny way which also makes you want to move in your seats and dance along.
It would be difficult to give an apt conclusion to a film which, in theory, has appeal for all ages. Also the film slows in pace in a handful of parts, there are moments you want to cry, scenes and dialogues which have you laughing out loud and then there are those rare gem parts in the film where you genuinely question your own faith and beliefs. This is exactly what Hirani seeks with ‘PK’ – he wants to make you think but he also wants to entertain. He wants to give you that lump in your throat as well as have you laughing until your stomach hurts. If there was ever a director who could firmly tick all those boxes, whilst also appealing to masses, satisfying the critics and audiences and also have you leave the cinema with a warm and sincere feeling in your heart, it’s Rajkumar Hirani.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating: 4/5