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Movie Review: PK (Peekay)

It’s amazing what happens when you have zero expectations. It feels like I’ve been out of the loop and the release of Aamir Khan-Rajkumar Hirani’s PK crept up on me. I wasn’t actually planning on watching the movie but when my Dad suggested we watch it, I couldn’t say no. And boy was I glad I went. After a lackluster year with the mega-disappointment of Bang Bang, PK has managed to renew my faith in Bollywood. Read on for a (relatively) spoiler-free review.

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What they say about it?

A stranger in the city asks questions no one has asked before. Known only by his initials, P.K.’s innocent questions and childlike curiosity will take him on a journey of love, laughter and letting-go.

What’s it actually about?

An alien (Aamir Khan) arrives on Earth to explore the planet. As he lands, his remote control to contact his spaceship is stolen. He asks for help and everyone suggests he take the help of God. PK is the story of his quest to find his remote that sees him challenge religion with the help of  Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) and Bhairon Singh (Sanjay Dutt).

What’s good?

Everything! The script and storyline are something I’ve never seen in Bollywood before (nor something I would’ve imagined). In the past Hirani has tackled the medical field, civil disobedience, the education system and now its religion’s turn. If it took five years for Hirani to make PK, that time was definitely worth it. While the social commentary on religion is similar to that of 2012’s Akshay Kumar-Paresh Rawal starrer Oh My God, the presentation gives it a fresh look. Considering how fanatical Indians are about religion, it’s brave of Hirani to broach such a topic. And he does so with a dose of humor and emotion.

While Hirani’s script and direction is faultless, the cast – led by Aamir Khan – brings it to life. I’m not much of a crier during movies but Aamir’s emotive eyes got to me and I could hear audible weeping in the movie theatre. There are very few people who could have pulled off the role of PK with the élan he has – and this comes from a non-Aamir fan. Hrithik Roshan, take note in case there are more iterations of Koi Mil Gaya/Krrish in the pipeline.

Anushka Sharma has also done extremely well and her Jaggu makes a lovely foil to PK. It’s great to see a male-female pairing that doesn’t go down a romantic track. Sanjay Dutt excels in a brief role and reminds you how gifted an actor he is. I’m going to have re-watch Munnabhai MBBS soon. I also loved the appearance by a Bollywood superstar in the final scene who will be appearing in Hirani’s next film. If you’d like to know who, click here.

What’s not so good?

The music. Rajkumar Hirani’s films have never had great music, which is surprising considering how Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s films (1942: A Love Story, Kareeb) had phenomenal music. PK definitely didn’t need the songs though I enjoyed the Sanjay Dutt “Tharki Chokro”. I do hope he comes out with a songless edit for a global release. The production values and CGI are also a bit weak, especially considering the leaps and bounds Indian films are making.

Should I watch it?

Definitely! I’d go so far and say that even if you aren’t a Hindi speaker or have a friend who isn’t, go have a watch. In today’s times, religion divides us with innocents unnecessarily paying the price of it so the message is very timely. And while the audience’s approval should be enough for the filmmakers, PK is a movie that could take India to the Oscars next year.

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Siddharth Roy Kapur (UTV Films), PK stars Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt and releases worldwide on December 19th, 2014

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