Ek Tha Alien: A silly film that bothers irrational people, not surprising Aamir's PK made Rs 300 cr

Piyasree Dasgupta

Jan 08, 2015 12:08:47 IST

An alien with the heart of Tulsi Virani, Aamir Khan's PK is actually more Bollywood than even the star cast of Border. You've met this fellow before. He is the thoughtful masterji-with-a-mohawk Ram Nikumbh from Taare Zameen Par whose lachrymal glands go into Nirupa Roy overdrive when they hear a sad, violin-heavy Hindi song written by Prasoon Joshi. Oh, that's the host of Satyamev Jayate, right? Now slap the Batman bust of Dhoom:3's Charlie on him, and there, you have PK.

Now how did PK manage to rake in Rs 300 crore and topple another Aamir Khan gem Dhoom:3 from of its perch as the highest ever domestic grosser in Bollywood? And it's not because the film's protagonist is a retrospective of Aamir Khan characters of yore. It's also not because Indians from far and wide wanted to marvel at Anushka Sharma not toppling from the weight of her lips. It's also not because they wanted to confirm that dialogues cheesier than those in Dil Toh Pagal Hain could be ever written in a big-budget Bollywood film again.

Ek Tha Alien: A silly film that bothers irrational people, not surprising Aamirs PK made Rs 300 cr

Aamir Khan in PK.

What does PK have that Happy New Year, Kick, all the editions of Dabangg and Singham did not?

Those films didn't do what PK did - give a sense of big-budget purpose to hundreds of people who have to painstakingly hunt for 'secular' people on the internet and then troll them with a potent combination of stupidity, bad grammar and irrationality. Vandalising a few theatres is so much more exciting than mere typing which can be quite a hassle, especially on a phone, and then you have to face the deep disappointment of failing to tag people who have blocked you. It's also much more thrilling to go after a megastar everyone knows instead of say a literary figure like U.R.Ananthamurthy. So out came the Aamir Khan is anti-my religion brigade.

While some, like the Hindutva brigade spent a weekend working on their biceps by swinging batons on theatres across the country, others worked on their triceps by furiously typing away on Facebook and Twitter, commenting on people's posts and bombarding others with 'tera khoon nahin khaulta hai' (your blood doesn't boil?) tweets. In fact, Sunny Deol should thank, erm, god, that Gadar was made in the pre-Twitter days. Otherwise, no doubt the makers would have found a dhai kilo ka haath on Twitter itself - the more disfigured the figures of speech in a tweet, the angrier your man is! Deol would have never made a cut then!

And then there were the conspiracy theorists, like the UP cleric who said that the film could lead to communal riots. You must marvel at the sheer intelligence of Azam Khan's buffaloes. They didn't want to flee the state  for no reason.

Now what did all this anger lead to? It made a very mediocre film, which feels longer than an episode of CID, the biggest grosser of Bollywood ever! The more people circulated #BoycottPK hashtags, the more newspapers and TV channels reported how angry people are vandalising theatres, the more curious everyone else became. Of course, they had already had their curiosity piqued by those naked-but-for-transistor-radio posters. Ideally, the only people who should have felt offended by PK are the wig-makers of the country - what rested on Anushka Sharma's head and we were asked to consider as hair was actually semi-monkey cap. PK hardly dissed religion in a way that would really sting - it in fact it touched the subject with such trepidation it felt more like an aspiring engineer nervously looking at IIT test papers.

From the songs to the Bollywood alien, from the dialogues to the obtuse climax, PK was more an exercise in silliness, than in audacity. Yet, some people decided to get furious and fan outrage. So the rest, who either don't watch Hindi films or don't watch Bollywood all trooped into the theatres to find out what the deal was really about. Some - since religion is a greater unifier than language is a divider in India - came back frothing at their mouths and vowing never to watch a Khan film. Others came back, yawning and cursing themselves for having bitten the bait.

In the end, PK showed what works better than a stupid film like Dhoom:3 in India - a stupid film which fans an epidemic of irrationality.

Updated Date: Jan 08, 2015 12:13:46 IST

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