“Zahid sharab peene de masjid mein beth kar,
Yaa woh jagha bata jahan par Khuda na ho”
That song plays in the background as PK walks towards a Masjid to offer wine to please the almighty, based on ‘wisdom’ he picked up at a Church. Of course, he’s accosted by some rough looking types and runs for his life, even more confused now, for the umpteenth time in the movie – his naive understanding of how religion works misread once more by various people on this planet he’s trying to get off.
Perfectly picked lines, and perfect argument penned ages ago by Ghalib against the extreme views and intolerance one sees all around us, increasingly so.
I finally saw the movie today – and despite having heard and read much about it, had not commented on it yet because I had not seen it yet. We almost did not see this – even the benign reviews trashed it for being too preachy and “like Satyamev Jayate”.
Was it a great movie?
I don’t consider it to be one, from a purely “great movies” perspective. There are very many more with deeper plots, or better editing, or screenplay. The plot had many holes, some cliches, the performances were merely “good” not memorable (it helped that the roles and characters didn’t need too much), and parts of the story were unnecessary – the alien-in-love thing actually took away from the main theme and thought, and the had the ‘dancing cars’ not been part of the movie, it would have been great to show to the kids. But again, that might merely be a “wrong number” drilled into my head 🙂
But it got the message across really, really well. Including the nuances of the message.
This movie was not about the plot, or anything of the sort. It was about a feeling many of us agnostics have – and one of the songs communicated it really well – we go through the motions, but don’t really get or feel God, and often question it. The lack of any layers of human bias PK started with helped explore this from a purely rationalist point of view – and indeed the rationalist movement has explored many of these questions.
To those who found this offensive/on the ‘controversy’ around this:
Watch the movie (again, if you missed the big elephant in the room earlier).
It’s not about this God or that God or this religion or that. Duh! That’s precisely the point of the movie. One widow’s white sadness is another bride’s white joy. And the black that mourns someone is regular attire for another. It’s all our “fashion” and contrived behavioural layer. God – or whatever – never did draw these lines, and we’re spending too much time/effort and causing too much pain because of this?
Anti-Hindu? Seriously? There were enough references all over to hint (ok, it was nowhere that subtle – more like an over the top, clear message) at the one God being totally disregarded by those that have created their own convenient Gods and become brokers of “faiths”. The only serious violence was attributed to Muslim extremists. And nobody seemed to want uncomfortable questions – not the Hindus, not Muslims, not Sikhs, or Christians, or anyone.
Folks are either being deliberately blind, or extremely biased or cynically invested into certain agendas.
Calling out the wrong number was the big call to action, and that’s precisely all those “offended” by this movie either deliberately missed, or can’t afford to have popularized.
This movie should have been a great trigger to question religion as practiced, not one that triggered weird insecurities and knee jerk reactions driven by agendas. And I hope that’s the message most took from it – to soul search within themselves, communities, to challenge the extreme amongst them and to keep faith a personal thing, and God one’s version of goodness, not brokered power or control.
As for Satyamev Jayate, I might just start watching it now!
If you haven’t, go watch the movie. It’s a message alright, but a good one and told well, packaged entertainingly too.