Religious satire PK is India’s most successful film
Posted by robertpriddy on January 22, 2015
PK was India’s most successful film to date, quite a huge achievement! It is only in Hindi (so far). The Guardian writes about it in glowing terms:-
“Aamir Khan has the global touch. His satire on world religion, PK – in 16th place on this week’s chart – breaches the $90m mark worldwide this week and in doing so becomes the highest grossing Bollywood film ever. It’s the fourth time he has claimed that record, after the Memento-inspired thriller Ghajini ($30m, 2008), college drama 3 Idiots ($62m, 2009) and action extravaganza Dhoom 3 ($85m, 2013). He has a quirkiness and innocence on screen that sets him apart from cookie-cutter Bollywood glam gods – things on show in PK, in which his Mr Bean-like alien gets to grips with the absurdities of organised religion on planet Earth. Khan’s star vehicles seem more substantial and reflective than the bulk of the Indian mainstream ‘3 Idiots’, in which he played a similar kind of holy fool, and was a plea for better educational standards. Perhaps this gives them greater resonance with a diaspora inclined to getting impatient with the old masala clichés.
The PK phenomenon has strong foundations in India, where it has also become the most successful local film ever (currently on $48m, passing Dhoom 3’s $41m). Not only does it delve headfirst into the syncretic melee of different faiths in that country, it takes direct aim at “godmen”, the guru figures who proliferate there. PK actually had a relatively slow start on home turf – well under Happy New Year’s record-breaking opening in October – but the film’s quality and the controversy generated by the subject matter has seen it make up the gap in no time. Despite protests by some Hindu groups, the film isn’t that provocative, though; more of a playful shove in the direction of greater tolerance and a more questioning attitude to institutionalised religion. So there’s definitely scope for the film to appeal to spiritually concerned non-Indians, too – in China for starters, where 3 Idiots and Dhoom 3 both built a following for Khan. No word of a release there yet.” See Aamir Khan’s religious satire PK becomes India’s most successful film
By stark contrast both in quality and popularity, what must be very near to being India’s least successful film in recent years is the much heralded ‘Satya Sai Baba’ by Atman Films with Anup Jalota as a self-satisfied Bollywood and bowdlerised version of Sathya Sai Baba’s life and message, as the trailer review (8 mins. 15 secs) makes clear to all. Videos are to be found with ‘First Look Launch’ of the film, but it is uncertain whether this means that the complete film was actually shown! Perhaps it is only available via online black market. In a video, Anup talks in Hindi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LcCF0ZiGcI and apparently says “We made this film with zero percent pressure. I’ve known Baba for 50 years, I saw him, met him, went with him, I was so happy to make it with Baba’s blessings, I didn’t act, the director didn’t direct, it was all Baba; this film is like a meditation, we made a beautiful film…”