First things First – It is not easy to handle a religion based movie subject in India. Period. No matter what you do, there will always be those who will get offended. So given that, Hirani deserves more than a pat on his back to have tried to deal with the subject.
Religion being one of my favorite topics, I have no choice but to support a movie of this nature no matter how badly it is made because of the simple reason that I want the core message to reach as many ignorant, weak and cowardly people as possible.
Now, how Hirani went about conveying the message is where I have problems with. And before I put down some not so positive comments about the movie, I asked myself, how would I have handled a subject like this and how exactly would I have built a story to convey that. Not a problem. I could come up with a couple of one liners for the story very quickly, which in my opinion would have been more intelligent, logical and mature compared to what Hirani did with PK.
Then I asked myself how would I have handled a subject like this and how exactly would I have built a story to convey that message, so that it reaches the maximum audience possible. Hmm. Difficult. I couldn’t come up with a good idea in the last few minutes since I asked myself that question. May be I will come up with something soon. But not an easy thing to do. And therein lies Hiran’s justification for making what he made.
Since I can’t buy that justification let me simply list what I found a bit problematic for me in the movie:
- Could he have avoided the templatish sermon based approach to the core message?
- Aamir’s search for god lasted for a long time – so long that I actually was ready to walk out of the theater. Especially that one sequence where he goes on and on singing a song searching for god at some warehouse. I just couldn’t tolerate those 10-15 minutes of overdose of the message coated in bollywoodish glam sham. Glad I didn’t walk out of the theater as the movie picked up some nice pace afterwards.
- Is the movie meant for kids?? The way the message gets conveyed in different forms is actually very much like how one would teach kids. But then there were also some scenes were some adult subjects were discussed in a no so kids friendly format. Hirani clearly had two minds about conveying his message – treat his audience like kids to feed them a strong dose of a message that PK has and at the same time, throw some adult jokes to ensure the titillating factors are there just enough to balance it out.
- Could he have avoided the whole India-Pakistan angle?? What was the point other than scoring a sentimental point?
- The climax – really?? Media circus and all that?? I am sure this could have been less schmaltzy.
- Much to my own amusement, I found myself in agreement with some of my right wing Hind friends – Why did Hirani go soft in his bashing of Islam and Christianity?? Why focus so much on Hindu bashing?? C’mon the argument that majority of the Indian population is Hindus is bull. Hirani and Aamir Khan were just afraid to go any further in their criticisms of other religions. Even the bomb blast that happens at the end perhaps was an afterthought (just to add an Islam related issue). Hirani didn’t have the guts to come out strong against Islam and Christianity & that is a fact. Let’s not pretend any other way.
- Hirani of course played it safe by openly saying – belief in god is ok..as long as it is not….blah…blah…It’s still closer to an atheistic message I would have liked to see than nothing or no message at all. But for people like me, this part is cop out. Total cop out.
- Finally Aamir Khan. Some actors get totally lucky because everyone likes them just for their appearance. Amir Khan perhaps falls into that category. Always likable for his boyish features. But what is beyond me is how he managed to earn this reputation of being a great actor. I like Aamir. He is a very decent actor. But a great actor?? Somehow, I can’t accept that. Just for the reason that many people think he is a grrreeeaaat actor, I feel he is perhaps the most overrated actor in India right now. He did his part very well in PK. But was it great? or master class? No, Not in my opinion.
- And…oh yes, I almost forgot – Barring a few jokes here and there, the humor was forced and very childish.
PK is a must watch for the simple reason that it has a an underlying message that needs to be given a deep thought by every single citizen of this ‘religious disease’ infected world.
But the problem is when the rest of the world watches (other than India), they will all come to the conclusion that Hinduism is the sole reason for all religions getting flak.
That is just not true. Don’t you think?