PK review: Aamir Khan plays ‘PK’ to his strengths

PK review: Aamir Khan plays PK not only to his strengths, but adds something new: we’ve seen his earnestness several times before, but not artlessness.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: December 22, 2014 10:22 am
PK review, Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Aamir Khan PK, PK aamir khan PK review: Aamir Khan plays PK not only to his strengths, but adds something new: we’ve seen his earnestness several times before, but not artlessness.

PK movie review

Star Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Sanjay Dutt, Sushant Singh Rajput

Director : Rajkumar Hirani

Is that a bird or a plane?

Old question, new answer. No, it is ‘PK‘. And who is PK? A guy in madly printed shirts, buttoned tight around the neck, eyes glinting green, mouth ringed paan-red. And what is PK? A voice of wisdom and reason, in a Bhojpuri accent. (Read: Aamir Khan – The versatile, Dhoom-ster and PK)

Laden with so many distinctive tics, the lead character in Rajkumar Hirani’s latest could have been a mess. But Aamir Khan plays PK not only to his strengths, but adds something new: we’ve seen his earnestness several times before, but not artlessness. That lack of guile leads us to believe in PK, and makes the film, up till the seamless first half, a terrific watch. (Read: Five reasons you must watch PK)

Till then, we get freshness and fun. PK’s journey from a distant Rajasthan village– where he meets colourful characters (Sanjay Dutt, in a ‘lahariya safa’), and a lady of ill-repute from whom he picks up a couple of crucial learnings– to Rajdhani Delhi, is gone through smoothly. His bumping into TV reporter Jaggu aka Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma, trying for elfin charm) leads him to unburden his soul. And his problem: something that belongs to him is lost, and until that is found, he cannot go home.

Post interval, it slumps. The focus, which till then is on a character who intrigues us while interesting things are happening to him, gets diluted by a wholly superfluous romance (and songs, tuneful as a couple are), and a face-off between the guy awash in goodness who asks all the right questions and the bad godman who has all the wrong answers.

The robustness of the dialogue (it has a word which made me gasp and laugh out loud, but I’m not telling which) and the sting in the situations way to exposition. From this point on, ‘PK‘ becomes a message-y let-us-expose-those-who-give-religion-a-bad-name, just like the magnificent ‘Munnabhai’ took the pants off bad medical practice, its sequel docked legal sharks, and ‘3 Idiots’ taught a lesson to misguided educators.

The portly Saurabh Shukla, playing a white-robed crafty godman, is made up of all the ‘dhongi babas’ we’ve seen in the movies, and this movie’s taking the confrontation to the media (as a TV debate, because all media boils down to television, right?) makes it something we see all the time. On our TVs, right there in our drawing rooms.

Rajkumar Hirani’s gift of telling the stories which are disappearing from mainstream cinema makes him the last man standing in Bollywood. ‘PK’ goes after religious fraudsters that divide and rule, with lines that speak of old-fashioned but crucial connections between ‘dharm’, ‘imaan’ and ‘mazhab’. What you need to re-purpose these themes is nuance, which, after a point, goes missing. This is where the Hirani magic recedes, and the film becomes commonplace.

What keeps `PK’ afloat is Aamir. He holds on to the uniqueness of the lead character and helps us ignore the contrivances, right from when he appears with a tatty tape recorder as sole raiment, ears sticking out, and an expression which requires him to widen his eyes, and keep them wide open.

Take a peek.

(You can reach Shubhra Gupta on Twitter @shubhragupta

And also send your comments to her on shubhra.gupta@expressindiacom)

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First Published on: December 19, 2014 2:37 pm
  1. H
    Harendra sharma
    Jan 15, 2017 at 2:45 am
    Film toh bana dege dekhe kya sirf tum jaogi
    Reply
    1. F
      F.L
      Jan 7, 2015 at 5:41 am
      Dear,Your concerns may be right since no one likes their religion to be criticized but you should also know that the topic he chose was universal. The message was for all.I think the reason why you have taken it personally is because the movie was shot in India. This is because Amir Khan is an Indian. He lives in India, produces films for India, acts for India, the film was shot in India, then you should realize that the movie was supposed to revolve around India. He is more aware of the Indian culture than stani culture.Many shows and dramas in stan criticize their own religious extremists and critics because they belong to stan and have the right to do so.I dont think Aamir khan deserves this criticism. He has contributed so much to Bollywood industry and has done so much for your country but he is being criticized for raising a reasonable and universal issue. It gave away a nice message and a good lesson to every one of us. It was based on humans, humanity, faith. Muslims have made movies like BOL, Waar, targeting their own religious extremists but they were appreciated.Then again, it is just my opinion that I am sharing with you and I respect your views since you have the right to share them so no offence:)
      Reply
      1. C
        Castleish
        Jan 8, 2015 at 9:58 am
        Bekaar film. Should have been better.
        Reply
        1. A
          Ayesha Hussain
          Jan 17, 2015 at 5:52 pm
          BrightVerge: It's a copy of few English movies.... E.T. Alien and also TV series by Robin William (don't remember the mane) (Nanoo Nanoo) etc. Love and affection and some religious value. It's not a great movie at all
          Reply
          1. M
            Madhu Kumar
            Jan 1, 2015 at 10:49 pm
            Very easy to make fun of Hindu in India but what about Islam?????????
            Reply
            1. S
              Sanjana
              Mar 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm
              exactly...nobody can dare to take such film against Im...not even a muslim hismself-- Ameer khan
              Reply
              1. V
                vicky
                Mar 14, 2015 at 10:43 pm
                perfect review. keep posting such honest reviews.
                Reply
                1. V
                  vivek
                  Jan 12, 2015 at 11:41 am
                  so pity on you whoever u are, he said there is just one god, he didnt criticized hinduism, he just said there is only one god, that made us all, he dont want us to be divided in the name of religion, i dont know how people can be so dumb to not understand it
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    vivek
                    Jan 12, 2015 at 11:38 am
                    the role of alien was to show that we are so degraded as human, if a human was such innocent, no one would digest such a innocent human being as they are just gone from world of corruption and bad deeds
                    Reply
                    1. I
                      imagination
                      Dec 27, 2014 at 4:24 am
                      i think indian express reviewers are half-wits because i watched the movie and can say for sure its a 4/5 star movie.please learn to review movies that have meaning better or change the who reviews these movies.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Kit Walker
                        Dec 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm
                        I just hated the sheer hypocrisy of this movie which was cleverly hidden behind AK's brilliant acting prowess. His innocuous seeming questions of relevance of Murtis is out of a Mulla's text book. And yes, it is Only the babas and sants who fool people, where as the Maulanas and Imams being the pinnacle of virtue with their taveezs and djinns that don't find mention. A guy can surely be good, but nowhere does this movie care to mention that such s are rare and endangered species in Pak. Finally, from my own experience it is not Indian smiles that disappear when introduced to a , it is invariable a smile. I see Indians fall over themselves to show the liberal thinking, quite the opposite of what the movie showed at the begining
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Rajveer Singh
                          Dec 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm
                          great story -- make a stani boy and indian girl for 10 secs ion a ticket windows and then all they know with a 10 secs meeting - they start fornicating all over brussels. What a story!Virani is over rated director, story i stolen fro Starman and Oh -my god. Criticizes Hindus without even making a comment against any other religion.I want to beat the director to get my money back!
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            ABC
                            Dec 20, 2014 at 9:29 pm
                            Ok, can you please make your point?
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              aditya
                              Dec 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm
                              why bring religion into the movie . Is their a dearth of themes . lets not get some conservative and right wing elements to start a move to censor some parts of the movie
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                ajit
                                Dec 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm
                                POOR show . should keep religon out please to avoid hurting sentiments
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  AMAR
                                  Dec 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm
                                  SHUBRA GUPTA IS A WRONG NUMBER. THIS WEBSITE IS A LULL PLACE. THE MOVIE WAS AWESOME AND RAJ KUMAR HIRANI IS THE BEST DIRECTOR. ITS EASY TO CRITICISE BUT HARD TO CREATE. THE BIGGEST CHAMPION IS TARAN ADARSH WHO GAVE 4.5 STARS TO KICK , HAPPY NEW YEAR AND PK. HE SHOULD DO THIS BALANCING ACT IN A CIRCUS.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    amit
                                    Dec 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm
                                    why bring in religon in the movie
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Anish
                                      Dec 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm
                                      you stupid newspaper. People loved it. People like you should be sent to another planet
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Anupam
                                        Dec 19, 2014 at 9:45 am
                                        Every?
                                        Reply
                                        1. I
                                          Israel Zindabad
                                          Dec 19, 2014 at 11:26 am
                                          In order to win international award and please stani audience we need story like this Boman Irani’s news anchor says he refuses to cover religion-based content on his channel because he was once stabbed on his bottom with a trishul, it is just funny instead of ‘eye opening’. At other points, the message becomes a tad too on the nose, like when we’re shown stereotypical desi Hindu parents who absolutely refuse to let their daughter marry a Muslim man, let alone a stani.
                                          Reply
                                          1. I
                                            Indranil
                                            Dec 19, 2014 at 6:11 pm
                                            I have to take an interview for the critics of Indian Express..Are you get paid by any one to give less rating without watching this movie properly.
                                            Reply
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