Monday, December 22, 2014

Random review: PK

*mega spoilers ahead; read only watching the movie*

Viv and I rarely manage to watch Hindi movies in the theatre together. One of us has to be home with Xena, so we take turns and watch them with different people. I honestly can't remember the last time we had watched a Hindi movie in the theatre together.

But PK was different. I knew I wanted to watch it and I knew I wanted to watch it with him. Such is the reliability of a Rajkumar Hirani movie. (I used to be like this with Shah Rukh Khan movies, but then I saw Ra.One and my life changed. I decided to go into utter denial which I am continuing -- that if I don't watch an SRK movie, it doesn't exist. Hence, I can continue to worship him.)

So the sis-in-law kindly agreed to babysit Xena, while we went for the movie. We fed Xena dinner and put her to bed by 8:15 pm, and went for the 9 pm show, so that there wouldn't be much for SIL to do other than keeping an ear out for her waking up and crying.

So here are my random thoughts about the movie.

  • Ok, first things first. PK is a thoroughly entertaining movie, with Hirani's trademark humour, catchy concepts (think 'jaadu ki jhappi', 'Gandhigiri', 'aal iz well', and now 'wrong number' in this one), hilarious dialogues and endearing characters that engage the audience. I'm not sure if the movie will change the people it wants to change, but it will make them think for sure.

  • I like the fact that Hirani picks movies with very relevant and prevalent themes and is not afraid to challenge things. His movies are very touching, and they do change people, even if it's in the slightest of ways. Though I feel that his earlier movies were much more influential than this one probably will be, but this is more a reflection of the topic this time than his movie-making skills. What a talented dude. He can write, direct, and edit, and yet not screw up any part of it. (Most Bollywood buffs would know that he was the model in this very old Fevicol ad.) 

  • What I love the most about his movies are how they can make you laugh like mad, and also cry like mad. Though it's interesting recalling how his last four movies affected me. I cried the most buckets in Munnabhai MBBS, then a little less (but still substantial) in Lage Raho Munnabhai. I had a lump in my throat in 3 Idiots, but I sailed through PK without much ado. 

  • Overall, I liked the movie and found it very entertaining. However, there were several tiny things that were distracting me, and adding up to make the entire experience not as enjoyable as it could have been. Warning: The next few points are kinda nit-picky.

  • Speaking of lead actors not looking nice, Aamir too didn't look all that nice. The bulging arms were just too much. Maybe they'd have suited someone taller, but on him, they just looked weird. In fact, I felt that they made him look shorter than he is, especially in the scene where he's pouring milk over the shiva linga.

  • I wasn't too happy with the bhojpuri lingo they had given Aamir. First, I thought he wasn't really pulling it off that well (my Dad was posted in Bihar for more than a decade so I grew up listening to a lot of Bhojpuri) and secondly, I felt that it was taking something away from his acting. Like the effort he had to put into memorising the dialogues was showing through the performance, and not in a good way. (It's like when Irrfan Khan is asked to act in English. Such a waste of a great actor.) They did hire a very good language coach for him, but the outcome was disappointing. Aamir just couldn't pronounce 'expression' as 'esperason' as taught by the coach. (In the movie, he ended up saying 'experason'). Fortunately, the dialogues themselves were hilarious (think "Woh kauwa nanga baitha hai..." and the different meanings of the word "achha"), so they kinda just sold themselves.

  • Harping on the Bhojpuri, I was really annoyed at the song 'Love is a bhaste of time'. If he can say 'love' and 'mirrorWA', why can't he say 'waste'? Sigh. The tune is very catchy though!

  • Speaking of catchy tunes, I found the 'Tharki chhokro aayo re banke mhaaro mehmaan' song HILARIOUS. I'd heard the song before but somehow I thought it was 'ghar ki chhokro' and dismissed it as something in some local dialect. But the picturisation and the lyrics were hilarious. Sanju Baba was toooo good. He really killed it as band wala Bhairon Singh. And my heart is aflutter at Vidhu Vinod Chopra's statement that there will be a third Munnabhai movie!

  • I was so amazed when I found out that all the costumes Aamir wears in the movie belong to real people on the streets. The costume team was asked to roam around and buy interesting clothes off people! Watch this video for more interesting trivia about the movie.

  • I wish they didn't have a love track between Aamir and Anushka in the movie. Seriously, it was totally unnecessary.

  • Why, oh, why did Sushant Singh Rajput have to do the trademark SRK open-arms pose in the song with Anushka? No one should be allowed to do that anymore. The original pose was done in a different era, and yes, we all swooned, but no one, not even SRK, can pull that off anymore. No no no no. NO. Please. Go back and watch DDLJ. Preserve the sanctity of the pose. Just don't try to replicate it.

  • The bride-cat-letter scene was a giveaway. I'm sure most people went, "Of course! I knew it!" when they "revealed" what had actually happened. I'm still wondering if they could have done it in a more subtle way.

  • Did anyone notice that Parikshit Sahni has changed his first name to Parikshet? (Viv works in colour correction for movies, so we end up sitting for the entire end credits of most movies, and that's how I caught this one.) This one's not for numerology for sure. ;)

  • UTV has released an entire bunch of behind the scenes videos on YouTube for curious folks like me. It's amazing how a simple scene lasting just a few seconds can be so complex to shoot and nail. The fat-barber-butt-pyjama scene took 11 retakes! I pity the poor actor!

  • Ranbir Kapoor's cameo was such a welcome surprise! And I know that this might offend Aamir fans, but at some point during the movie, my mind did wander over to the 'who else could play this part, and maybe better?' zone, and I could only think of Ranbir. I hope they do a sequel with him in the lead.

  • But first MunnaBhai 3. Please. 

Bar rating - * * * 1/2

* Run for your life! And do not look back.
** Once-watchable (if you have nothing better to do).
*** Good stuff, watch it in the theatre.
**** Awesome! Watch it in the theatre AND buy the DVD!


Arun said...

Haven't seen the movie yet. But here is another review/headache :)

humblog said...

I cannot disagree with you more on the movie. I didn't like it at all.
My problems might be because of my dislike of 3 idiots and Aamir Khan. From his mouth satyavachan sounds like bhaashan. He lacks the innocence, the vulnerability...When Sanjay Dutt hugs Maqsood at hospital in MBBS you feel the connection. He strikes a cord that Aamir can't.

Yes, Anushka's lip job is horrible. May be she could be your new Donald duck-faced actress?

I thought the love angle with Sushant was not needed. So, may be there doesn't need to be any love angle.

BTW, there is shot in Tharki chokro where Sanjay Dutt's gestures as if Aamir is trying to grab his wife's hand. The director in me thought that at moment the lady will take off the ghungat and it will be Gracy Singh (or Vidya Balan) underneath. A nice mumma bhai/ lagaan throwback.
What do you think?

Arun said...

Just returned from the movie. It is a Friday evening end-of-week entertainment, well made for most part. Nothing to swoon over. Nothing deep in it, except for those, so to speak, who think Christmas was about shopping and Santa, and for whom the divine is a stern but occasionally kindly father who deals with the world like a human father handing out allowance to his kid. I'm not sure what percentage of the population that is, and would be shocked and disappointed if it was a significant percentage :) I mean, as a philosophical challenge, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was a greater one.

Since I didn't know what Anushka Sharma's lips used to look like, I didn't see anything particularly peculiar about them, nor did I think the camera lingered on them a lot.

Since Jaggu had pressured Sarfaraz into marriage, I can sort of understand her not calling him after receiving that note; but I can't understand at all why he wouldn't call her. I suppose if you accept a final goodbye via a note, you deserve what you get. :)

Also not clear to me, if PK can acquire language with such relative ease, why he didn't acquire more languages. And why along with language, the folk knowlege of god/religion didn't pass on to him. I mean, during that six hours of holding hands surely the lady must have thought, "Oh God, what is going on" or "Hai Ram" or some such.

I also wish they had spent more money and had better quality of graphics of the earth and moon and so on - what they had was cringeworthy.

Anyway, as I said, this movie will give one a good time pass for a Friday evening.

Arun said...

I looked for Anushka Sharma before and after pics. My only comment is that I can't understand how someone like her could be so insecure about what she looked like to want to change her look. In this case I really don't see much difference between the wrong number of the plastic surgeon and the wrong number of the god-managers - why do they cater to such insecurities?

starbreez said...

Ah, good philosophy on SRK movies! ;)

Hehe, now I see the movie through your lens!