Went to see the latest Aamir Khan movie ‘PK‘. As usual it was good. I mean when I say good, I don’t just mean it as a package but in how such a sensitive subject has been dealt with. Of late when I go to watch an Aamir Khan movie I go with expectations of having my comfort zone shaken. I’ve been forced to look at ‘things’ from a perspective which is very obvious yet not palatable to the average mind. PK has once again made us all rethink about something’s which we all in our deep subconscious know as a ‘wrong’, yet most of us would not touch it with a pole. Even with people with whom we profess to be honest, we discuss such issues cautiously lest we disturb their sensibilities.
Director – Rajkumar Hirani
PK is a movie about an alien who gets stuck in our blue planet because his first encounter happens to be with a small time thief who makes a quick getaway after robbing this naive alien of his remote. The whole movie is thereon about this alien’s attempts to get back his remote so he can go back. Cute storyline, I thought. Ok, they could have done away with, or cut down, the rantings of Anushka Sharma in flowery summer dresses, showing off her svelte figure, in the cold climes of Belgium. But then I guess, “the script demands it”. After all they need to have something for the non-thinkers too. Anyways no complaints there though I confess Sushant Singh Rajput looked pleasing in the sleeveless sweater.
Back to PK. Though the initial attempts of PK to retrieve his remote looked hilarious, it also made me think. There were many instances when his simple observations force you to not only think but also admit about their correctness. Finally I would feel the cogs of my under-used grey cells trying to turn, much against their will. Like when in one simple sentence he conveys the importance we give to clothes when he points out that it’s the crow which would appear out of place if it dressed up in a necktie since it’s a not a natural thing for it to do. Or when he gets a few people to dress up in dresses which identify them to a particular religious group irrespective of what their personal beliefs. Yes of course it’s so true. I mean isn’t this what our subconscious has been conditioned to think like over the years? A guy in Pathan suit has to be a Muslim, a Sikh has to have a pagdi, etc. Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all indulged in this kind of stereotyping many times in the course of our social interactions.
PK tries to approach as many gods as possible in his attempts to retrieve his stolen property. But every time he asks for assistance, our God fearing brethren tell him that only God can help him out. I could feel his helplessness and anguish when he speaks to the unfinished idols of Durga. His confusion is so genuine. I mean what are we, the normal regular people, supposed to do when dealing with such states of helplessness? His remote is symbolic of our own problems. It could be anything; uncontrollable situations or circumstances going out of our hands and spiralling into unwelcome directions, or unfulfilled, untenable goals or ambitions. I don’t know, it could be just about anything which we desire so badly that we want to get it by any means. And that makes us desperate. And that desperation makes us so vulnerable that our otherwise logical mental faculties just stop operating and we decide to seek interventions. Really? Does it help? I don’t know that but what I know is that it provides us with some kind of excuse to look for comfort, like knowing someone’s there watching over us.
PK very aptly calls these overseers ‘managers’, I mean after all they do manage our affairs once in their hands. PK’s inferences and comparisons may sound childish and naive but the logic doesn’t fail. I couldn’t help but agree when he says that our minds have been so absolutely conditioned to give in to these managers that we unconsciously act the way they want us to, not how we actually should/would. Jaggu leaving the church just before her wedding after reading a letter is a perfect example of how even the educated are remote controlled by social conditioning. Of course the whole scene was very filmy et al but one can’t ignore what’s been said so loudly.
Why all this hullabaloo about this movie? Damaging theatres, tearing down posters, filing court cases. What’s it all for? Excuse me gentlemen, if you can take a well earned popcorn break (all these activities are strenuous and can burn a lot of cals as well!), I would like to ask you what exactly offended you to go so aggressively against the movie? PK never said anything about God or any religion. He didn’t like the managers. That’s it. Assuming the managers maybe paying for all these activities but then it’s their job. They thrive because they work on the weak minds of desperate people who want to get results which they are not meant to get. In India at least there’s no dearth of such managers because there’s no dearth of God fearing people. With more media coverage and exposure, one expects people to be more cautious of such pseuds, but daily we get to see more and more of how these Godmen are exploiting the masses while they live in unbelievable luxury. Bottom line, even education doesn’t help since many ‘educated’ people also fall for such fakes. After all who can resist a shortcut to guaranteed results?
The basic premise of the movie is that we don’t need managers to speak to our God because somehow the whole conversation between our God and us gets lost in transit when we speak through the managers. And in the bargain, the managers gain control of our minds and by extension, our lives. I absolutely agree with this whole thing. What happens between my God and me is personal. If I can’t get my God to understand what I’m saying, then how can anyone else, who doesn’t even know me well enough, get through to him and get my job done. It sounds so demeaning to the whole spiritual experience. Maybe that’s why I no longer feel like visiting temples.
Each of us as individuals has a mind of our own. Each of our minds is an individual in itself. It thinks like no other. Has views and opinions of its own. It’s a medium of expression of our deepest thoughts. So why get so aggressive and agitative? If the views expressed don’t suit you, don’t watch the movie. It’s that simple. But please don’t ask people to stop thinking. Or worse still, don’t ask them to think like you want to. That’s death knell to many. Personally, I give a total thumbs up to the movie, the content and the acting. As far as the concept is concerned, well it’s beyond such trivial things as star ratings. I think it’s life altering.