I have seen PK. Like millions of others. And unlike millions who have not yet. But will see, the makers hope, very soon.
And like all the millions who have seen PK, I have also been asked – so, how was it?
How was it? How was it? How was it?
For all those who have asked me in person, they see my expression and they get a clue. Since you cannot see my expression, you will have to suffer through my meandering thoughts on the record-breaking movie.
So, how was PK?
Melodramatic – especially, the climax.
Unoriginal (I can see all those who saw Oh My God nodding their assent).
And then I could also tell you about how the best parts of the movie were at the start and the end – with Sushant Singh Rajput and Ranvir Kapoor. Once upon a time, Aamir would have done the same for a movie. But times change.
Back to the topic at hand. PK was all of the above. Yet, it has made pots of money and it’s not yet done. It has broken the records of Kick and Happy New Year – two unabashedly mass entertainers.
The question is why?
I don’t think that the millions who have watched did not realize the flaws that I have listed above. Then all of it probably got waved away with a benevolent par itna toh chalta hai. Message kitna achcha tha. Aisa hi hota hai. (Loose Translation: You can allow this much to a movie with such a great message).
And what was the message? That God exists but the God-men are not really God’s men. Regardless of religion, despite all the hullaballoo about the movie being insulting to one particular religion.
I think therein lies the masterstroke. Hirani, the film’s director, does not question the existence of God because he has realized the basic truth about our nature. We need hope – to live, to survive and even to die. If you take away God, you take away that hope.
Therefore, God exists. Just not in the way the modern proponents of religion would have us believe. Or, even our own parents and grandparents. In the theatre, when the youngsters clapped at the scenes which showcased the hypocrisy surrounding our religions, there was a sense of vindication: This is what we have been trying to tell you. We don’t have to go on a pilgrimage. Or perform 101 rituals for every little thing. Religion is a business. We do believe in God but not in the religion that lives in the places of worship or in the myriad rituals.
I do think Raj Kumar Hirani is a brilliant director (despite all the issues I have had with his casting choices). He can be profound in a touchingly simple manner. In fact the best scene in PK had nothing to do with God or religion. It had to do with a confused PK handing over photos of Gandhi to the vegetable vendor, hoping to get some carrots in return. And realizing that Gandhi’s photo has value only on one particular kind of paper.
But the fact remains that PK is his weakest and most flawed film. Yet, it succeeded. I think the reason lies in the message that it conveyed. It kept the hope but did away with its touts. In that sense, it is like Kabir, the illiterate saint philosopher, whose religion has never been identified. So, let me end with his most famous and most fitting lines in English translated by Rabindranath Tagore:
O servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque:
I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies,
nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker,
thou shalt at once see Me:
thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
(a market research professional)
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