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In an age when subtleties and nuances are lost in the hubbub of the market, when “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”, one seems to need film fables like PK to call the shots upon the terrible nonsense, rabid intolerance and inhuman violence that have seeped into every nerve and sinew of society. One could critique Rajkumar Hirani’s PK as a glorified TV reality show. Indeed it is so, in a certain sense. Especially in the way in which it conceives of the climactic television show in it as a space above and beyond the clutches of vicious interests and vested tastes. But the movie blissfully forgets the fact that just like the godmen PK is fighting, media itself are run by an increasingly globalising oligopoly that moulds and presides over a hegemony of consensus about a lot of other myths like morality, nationalism, development, rationality and beauty. Compounded to this is the fact that there is not a single image of a politician in the film, and the only visible representatives of the state we see in it are policemen of the lowest ranks. All this clearly outlines the apolitical ideological terrain within which the narrative unfolds.
But PK does use television to animate and tie its narrative knots. From the everyday world of television discourses, PK picks and plays with several sensational and sensitive (“hurtable sentiments”) issues that haunt our politics and public sphere: it openly discusses mandir building projects, pries into the shady world of godmen, jestingly hints at love jehad, takes communalism head on, and makes fun of jingoism. Without much ado and with the ease only a “superhit-to-be” can adopt, PK rips apart the masks that cover the greed, inhumanity and violence that lurk behind these ghosts. This slew of subtexts gives an icing to PK’s mega dream-narrative of a free, rational, democratic India. In the narrative world of PK, it seems TV is the only conceivable platform in India where one could hope to bring everyone together and provide some space for other voices. The television screen/arena still seems to offer that popular magic and spontaneous unpredictability where the powerless could still speak out and, obviously, in this tele-drenched world, the new hero/ine is the television reporter.
To appeal to a pan-Indian audience of subcontinental dimensions and cultural diversity, one needs to work with the lowest common denominators in terms of narrative style, stereotypes, visual idiom, masala formula, etc., which PK does with effortless ease. At one level PK is an India-Pakistan love story that develops into an interstellar love triangle; it is told by an alien incapable of telling lies, who, in the process, turns into a crusader against godmen on earth and goes on to settle scores and finally succeeds in reuniting a divided family back into its original form (undivided India?). Into its narrative web, PK weaves together all the elements one can think of: science fiction, an inter-religious love story that shifts its location from an NRI (non-resident Indian) to an Indian family setting, a sentimental family melodrama, a media crusade against godmen, and in the middle of it all, an alien picking his way through India in perpetual wonderment. But he is not powerless like a Chaplin tramp, but seems to win hearts all the way and has powerful media machinery and professionals to back him.
PK begins with shots of outer space, gradually zooms down to the earth and to the vast vacant landscape of Rajasthan, where a glowing space ship slowly descends and from which a nude PK (Aamir Khan) steps out. Shortly after landing, this alien from another planet is robbed of the remote that connects him with his host planet, and he is literally lost on earth. His primary mission is to find it, which triggers the rest of the story. From here, the film moves to Belgium to narrate a spicy love story between a Hindu Indian girl Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma) and Sarfaraz (Sushant Singh Rajput) a Muslim Pakistani boy. This brief but intense love relationship is abruptly disrupted and the heroine returns to Delhi, to work as a television journalist, adding a twist to the story and the tropes of separation and longing into the narrative. Her boredom prods her to pursue PK, the odd man she happens to meet in a metro station. PK has arrived in Delhi in search of his lost remote. After a series of encounters that inflame her curiosity, he recounts his story to her, through a flashback of his encounters with the men and women and the customs and manners of earthlings he came across. It is a journey that spans the rustic colour and gaiety of Rajasthan and the dust and din, thrill and throng of the metropolis of Delhi, the other extreme of India.
Bestowed with the gift of accessing the thoughts and knowledge of others through touch, he learns the Bhojpuri language from a woman. If such tactile communication is denied, he has to rely upon the words and deeds of people around him, which he finds totally contradictory. People say one thing and mean something else, and do something entirely different, which makes him often ponder over the authentication of words spoken. He discovers that the same object, act, dress or colour mean different things to different people.
On the basis of the above passage, answer the following questions :
- The movie “PK”, as per the passage ignores which of the following pertinent issues?
a.All those who preach are undoubtedly the unfeigned souls
b.Any form of life existing outside the Earth or its atmosphere cannot be trusted upon
c.The media is dominated by one social group over others
d.The police authority displays the apolitical ideological terrain of nation
e.All of the above
- Which among the following themes is not one of the themes of the movie PK?
b.Corruption by Politicians
c.Mandir building projects
- As per passage, PK is constantly wondering about India, what is the reason behind PK’s state of wonderment?
a.The hypocrisy of the general public
b.Distinct personality of individuals
c.The sudden interest of media in PK
d.Only a and b
e.All a, b and c
- Which among the following is the primary mission of the character PK, strictly according to the passage?
a.To go back to his host planet
b. To make people realize about their vague religious beliefs
c.To gather knowledge about the planet Earth
d.To find his stolen remote
e.To blow the godmen scandal
- What was the special quality of the character PK, as per the passage?
a.He could read people’s mind
b.He could make people smile
c.He could hypnotize people
d.He could access other’s knowledge through touch
e.He could make himself invisible
- Which of the following is farthest in meaning to Hegemony as used in the passage?
- Which of the following is farthest in meaning to Perpetual as used in the passage?
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to Triggers as used in the passage?
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to Prods as used in the passage?
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to Hubbub as used in the passage?