There was so much hype about PK. Ever since the intriguing posters of Aamir standing naked but for an old-age tape recorder slung around his neck came out, PK has been in the talks. For one, no one really knew what it was about – Aamir has always made sure that the mystery around his films remains intact – which helped the buzz around the film. Secondly, and this one goes without saying, it was an Aamir Khan film, whose name itself has come to be associated with quality. Although I do admire Aamir for not relegating himself to the typical bollywood no-brainers, I do also believe that his talent for manipulation is quite unmatched. His best film since Lagaan (2001) remains to be Taare Zameen Par, despite the release of 3 Idiots soon after.
Coming to PK, I walked in with extremely high expectations, having read an array of excellent reviews and the public hailing it as the best thing since sliced bread, I had pretty much convinced myself that it was a great film before even watching it. However, as it turns out, PK was a strictly average movie, laden with emotional manipulation and bogged down by unnecessary subplots. Raju Hirani is an exceptional film maker, no one who has seen Munna Bhai MBBS would say otherwise, but the success of 3 Idiots muddled with his creative process. The premise of PK is commendable, a person unblemished by the hypocrisy of this planet is left here to experience it first hand by a twist of fate. The refreshing part is PK’s simplistic and untainted view of the world. How, when someone’s point of view is not colored by the ways of the world, it appears so brutal.
However, when I want to watch a movie high on emotional drama and dripping-with-social-commentary, I will pick up a DVD from the 90s and enjoy it without too many expectations. Like Govinda’s character says in Happy Ending, another movie that released not too long ago, “300 rupees mein logon ko jeena mat sikha” – it applies perfectly to PK. On the other hand, OMG achieves the same goal without being too weepy. The dialogue is crisp, witty and actually funny. The protagonist is much more relatable and consequently so are his struggles. How many times have we come across people who are jammed in a tussle with their Insurance companies, or have been involved in such a tussle ourselves? It is the story of every aam Indian. The way the concept of god has been incorporated in that tussle is both unique and smart. Unfortunately, Paresh Rawal neither has the starpower nor the marketing tools to match up to PK in terms of reach and visibility.
Who wanted a love track between Jaggu and PK? I, for one, did not give a rat’s ass. The film’s ending was diluted by discarding everything it was trying to prove and only focusing on a teary eyed farewell between PK and Jaggu. He was carrying two trunks full of batteries so that he could hear her voice on his tape recorder all the time. How romantic. Yawn.
The problem with PK was that it tried to be too many things at once. It was good until it was only about PK’s view of Earth, it became sloppy when his feelings for Jaggu, his attempt to reconcile Jaggu and her ex-boyfriend and the unnecessary songs came in. If I had known that before I would have gladly taken a few loo breaks.
Finally, I think that I would have probably enjoyed PK much more had it not come with so much publicity and hype. For everything that’s being said about it, it isn’t such a gem. If you want to enjoy a film based on the same concept, go watch OMG. It’s so much better.