Bollywood film fans fall in love with PK despite Hindu nationalist protests! Movie triggers joy and fury in India, with record box office takings and calls for arrest of star for allegedly defaming Hinduism
"Peekay hai kya (Are you drunk?)"
PK, a hugely successful yet controversial film, is turning out to be the strangest phenomenon to emerge from a Bollywood studio. Even as Hindu leaders call for a ban on the film, it has grossed more than 4.82bn rupees (£49.1m) worldwide in its first two weeks, making it the second most successful Bollywood film of all time.
As it began its third week in cinemas on Friday, there was little doubt that if film fans continue to snub PK’s vociferous and occasionally violent critics, the movie will become the biggest money-spinner in Bollywood box office history, overtaking 2013’s Dhoom 3 (£54.7m).
Aamir Khan, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, plays PK’s eponymous lead, an alien who gets left behind by his spaceship in the Rajasthan desert and stumbles on to the hypocrisy and deceit in organised religion. PK then sets about exposing a Hindu “godman”, a term for a particularly charismatic guru who may claim to have paranormal powers. The extraterrestrial social crusader resembles Mad magazine’s jug-eared mascot Alfred E Neuman, and often behaves like Mr Bean.
PK contains all the ingredients that a big-budget Bollywood film uses to attract audiences – song, dance, romance, melodrama, comedy, incredible plot twists. The rollicking satire also packs a message, something typical of films by director Rajkumar Hirani, who first had international success with 3 Idiots, also starring Khan.
Bollywood films have successfully lampooned godmen before, most recently in Oh My God! But PK hit the screens after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) came to power last year on the wings of a strong popular mandate for its leader, Narendra Modi.
As a result, newly empowered radical Hindu organisations affiliated to the BJP pounced on PK after its release. Nationwide protests are being organised outside cinemas, even vandalising a few and forcing some to cancel screenings. Complaints have also been filed with the police and in courts demanding a ban on the film and the arrest of its director and star.
The influential yoga guru Baba Ramdev has even asked for a social boycott of everyone associated with the film. “People think a hundred times while talking against Islam,” he said. “However, when it comes to Hinduism any one gets up and says anything, this is shameful.”
PK (the title is a play on the Hindi word for being drunk) also has an elaborate side story that has further upset Hindu nationalists – the heroine falls in love with a Pakistani, is heartbroken when she thinks he has ditched her, but is eventually reunited with her Muslim boyfriend by the film’s lead. At a time when militant Hindu groups are conducting a high-decibel campaign against Indian Muslim men marrying Hindu women (a practice labelled “Love Jihad”), this is not a denouement that gets the approval of the religious right.
It does not help that Khan is an Indian Muslim of Pashtun lineage. So the hidden hand of Pakistan’s military intelligence agency ISI has also been sighted. “Who financed the PK film? According to my sources it is traceable to Dubai and ISI. DRI [India’s revenue intelligence agency] must investigate,” tweeted BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Indians, however, appear to have fallen in love with the film, despite the protests, accepting Khan’s defence: “We respect all religions.”
Even Bollywood actors have tweeted support. “Is PK not an amazzziiiiing film?” said Salman Khan.
Three reasons why Baba Ramdev is exactly like PK, the alien in the film:
Very recently, while on a trip to Mumbai, he chastised Hindus for being lazy, chips-eating, cola-guzzling, couch potatoes who watch films and yet don't get angry enough. Since the accused Hindus are guilty of lives, careers and common sense, they haven't yet protested the fact that Aamir Khan's PK 'denigrates Hindu Gods and Goddesses.. and insult our saints'. Now, take a moment to quietly applaud how he slips 'saint' into the sentence like Yo Yo Honey Singh slips 'Yo Yo Honey Singh' into his songs covering a variety of subjects from lungi dance to dope shope.
Then consider what he has said, as reported by The Economic Times:
"People think a 100 times while talking against Islam. However, when it comes to Hinduism any one gets up and says anything, this is shameful. There should be a social boycott in society against those who are involved in making such movies."
However, the interesting bit here is, for people who have watched PK, the Baba might seem to have striking similarities with the titular character - the alien in the film played by eyes wide open Aamir Khan. We list three very obvious similarities between the two.
They both have magical powers
PK is your prodigious alien-next-door and follows the human blueprint for aliens - sharper, smarter and can run Apple and the North Korean nuclear weapons industry just fine with a hangover, alone. PK's hands are USB devices. They have the telepathy hitherto reserved for Ram Gopal Verma's possessed heroines. And they can do Google translate in a flash. Six hours of hand holding with a woman and Khan's alien starts speaking like Lalu Prasad Yadav in the parliament. The moment he holds someone's hand, he can not only read what's going on in the person's mind but can also catch up in his/her life history in a flash.
Guess what, our Baba Ramdev has claimed several such feats that otherwise defy all human logic. For example, he claimed that he can 'cure' homosexuality with yoga. "Homosexuality is not genetic. If our parents were homosexuals, then we would not have been born. So it's unnatural," he declared, inviting the gay community to his ashram, so that he could cure them of the 'disease'. Anyone who can tell homosexuality from malaria might roll their eyes in disapproval, but our Baba is not to be put down. "I guarantee to cure them of homosexuality. Today they are talking of homosexuality, tomorrow they will talk of having sex with animals," he asserted. Even PK's eyes should open wider at that.
The again, where as science says that you can't choose the sex of the child you conceive, our Baba would not be deterred by science. He reportedly invented a pill, which allowed you to choose the sex of your child - especially if you wanted a boy - with the same ease with which you select the toppings on your pizza. In the past, it was alleged that Baba Ramdev's pharmacy was selling pills that could help children conceive boys, though the Baba vehemently refuted the claims.
They both rock gender bender chic and how!
While you might be slightly unsure about Baba Ramdev's favoured outfit - we shall call it the yogakini - that's not all that he has to offer in the fashion department. Before you applaud Bollywood for breaking gender stereotypes and making cleavage-baring tank tops fashionable for men, look to our Baba. He gave the good old salwar kameez a makeover even Manish Malhotra couldn't have imagined. In 2011, while trying to flee from the Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi, where he was apparently protesting against corruption, the Baba draped himself in a salwar kameez and covered his head with a dupatta to evade the police. But then, his beard played spoilsport and stuck out of the dupatta, giving him away. Later, he posed nonchalantly in the same outfit - you will notice how it's not a tent that he was hiding under. It was what you call a slim fit, figure hugging one that would have made Bollywood shaadi wardrobes for the aunty-types proud!
Ditto for PK, the alien who must have made a detour to the Vogue office before landing on earth. No wonder then, in the middle of a desert, he picks out a yellow lehenga, with an oh-so-in neon pink border. To go with it, he chooses a beige blazer and a pristine white shirt to cook up an outfit that would make Milan proud. Props for gender bender chic for these guys, anyone?
They both don't get humans.
The reason Aamir Khan's eyes remain distended like Nemo's throughout PK, is because he doesn't get humans, says the film. The same might apply for the man who suggests that there should be a 'social boycott' against the makers of a fictional film or Or questions what contribution homosexuals have made in the world.
In fact, the alien gets its name because its naive wondering questions are usually met with the stock response: "Peekay hai kya (Are you drunk?)"
And that sounds exactly like something we have often wanted to ask Baba Ramdev when he makes one of his tall claims. Source: http://www.firstpost.com/living/three-reasons-why-baba-ramdev-is-exactly-like-pk-the-alien-in-aamirs-film-2020167.html