Film Review: ‘PK’ falls short of Rajkumar Hirani and Aamir Khan’s standards

Film Review: ‘PK’ falls short of Rajkumar Hirani and Aamir Khan’s standards.
Film: PK
Starring: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjay Dutt
Directed by: Rajkumar Hirani


When the same actor-director pair of the outstanding 3 Idiots comes together on celluloid, the expectations are huge. But that’s something both Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani have always known and they were expected to soar beyond them. However, their latest offering, PK, somehow doesn’t quite measure up to their own standards. It falls short on many levels. The film begins with an alien’s (Aamir Khan) landing on Earth. When his ‘remote’ (which would enable him to return to his planet) is stolen, he is stranded. On a new planet with people and diversities he doesn’t understand, he is also given a new name (PK), quite by circumstance. He soon meets news reporter Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) who is fascinated by PK’s novel take on things and people. As the bond between them grows, Jaggu promises to help PK in his mission to return to his planet. In this quest, how the two overcome cultural divides, religious taboos and a scheming God-man form the rest of the story.


Just like his earlier films, Rajkumar Hirani picks up a serious issue and handles it in his distinct style – light-hearted but laced with dollops of emotions. Hirani maintains his ability to tug at your heartstrings (though rather scarcely this time) and the humour is pleasant, satirical and effective in a handful of scenes. The dialogues play a major role in helping an overburdened screenplay. The first half of the film is enjoyable. Among the performances, Aamir Khan plays his part to perfection with all the right nuances. Even though you’ve seen him doing similar acts before, he has the knack of adding something new to his character every time. Anushka Sharma is the scene-stealer all the way – and that’s a remarkable achievement in a film starring Aamir Khan. In fact, in some scenes between the two, she’s actually the one who manages to keep your eyes glued on her. Her spontaneity easily makes her one of the finest actresses from the current generation.


To say that PK is Rajkumar Hirani’s most disappointing film to date would not be incorrect. In all his earlier three films (Munnabhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munnabhai and 3 Idiots), he managed to convey a message and entertain effectively and effortlessly. But in this one, the struggle to make a point drains you out. Even though the film is two hours and 30 minutes long only, it just seems never-ending (especially in the second half). The similarities to Akshay Kumar-Paresh Rawal starrer Oh My God are just too many and that’s where the film suffers, losing its novelty. Add to that, the preaching Hirani subjects us to with cliches like the Hindu-Muslim angle, India-Pakistan friction and religious differences; hold on, there’s even a bomb blast that has no relevance with the story line. Anushka’s romance with Sushant Singh Rajput and their subsequent break-up is the most amateurishly scripted love story this year. Sanjay Dutt has never been so badly miscast. The film meanders between Rajasthan, Bruges and Delhi – for the first time in a Raju Hirani film, none have any relevance with what the film is trying to convey. Technically too, this is his weakest film – from cinematography to setting, scale to music – all ranging between fair and below average. The continuity jerks are alarming – why is Aamir having pan-stained lips in some scenes and not in others? The long-winded expose of a God-man on a news show is not just outrageous but challenges your senses and your logic. And then, the icing on the cake is a father (Parikshit Sahni doing the SAME role in his fourth film with Hirani) realising his folly at the end of the show and holding his own in front of the Swami. It’s nothing less than shocking that the collaboration of stalwarts like Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani and Aamir Khan has resulted in something slightly above mediocre.


If you’re looking for a film in the league of the Munnabhais and 3 Idiots, PK is not even close. But it’s still a must-see for many reasons, and by that, I mean the protagonists.