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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Nanga punga dost!

Reading Time: 3 minutesBehind the scenes insights from the superstar of PK himself, Aamir Khan

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With a startling, one-of-a-kind poster, Bollywood’s Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan and blockbuster hit director, Rajkumar Hirani are back again with another meaningful, social drama, PK. The film stars Aamir Khan in the title role, with Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, and Sanjay Dutt in supporting roles. And as per Hirani the film is a satire on ‘God and godmen’.

Aamir, who is seen in the film’s poster standing on a railway track, stripped off with nothing but an old school radio slung across, told the Australian media, “My character is not actually trying to hide his private parts, it just so happens that the radio is hanging in front of it. But if I tell you everything, it will be a spoiler!”

“The fact that I am not wearing clothes is very important to the script and there is one person who influenced the writers of this film the most – Charlie Chaplin.”

Hirani brings us PK five years after his mega hit 3 Idiots. And with films like Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai, he has always entertained and almost enlightened the audience with an innate social message that causes introspection. At the end of his films, the audience is typically left with an aspiration to become an optimist and a better human being.

“It’s a film which is saying something extremely, fundamentally important,” Khan told the Australian media at a press conference in Melbourne. “And it’s using humour as a vehicle to tell it. And Raju is, in my opinion, one of the most talented directors we have in India, and has written the script along with Abhijat Joshi.”

Aamir’s ‘chaplinist’ character in the film teasers is seen wearing atrangi clothes, speaking in Bhojpuri, constantly chewing paan, with co-star Anushka Sharma sharing some outright fun moments with him.

“I’m wearing assorted clothes that have actually been used by people. The costume designers were told to walk around the streets and when they find something interesting they should request that person to give us their clothes. And in exchange we would give him money, or a new shirt or jeans or whatever he wanted.”

Aamir is one of those actors who has this incredible fluidity to transform and get into the skin of the character and the result is an entirely unique approach to cinema and a box office hit too. Mangal Pandey not only looked but was also poles apart from Rancho.

“Every role you approach has got its own challenges and every role is equally difficult. The main thing for me as an actor is to understand the head of the character. And each character is unique and is as challenging as another.”

Much of the Australian audience might not even know Bhojpuri or what paan is, but Aamir’s films have always given us a slice of the Indian society, entertained us and fared well at the box offices here.

“We are all human beings and fundamentally our emotions are fairly similar. Cinema is not divided by geography or language, it does cross those barriers very easily. And I think that is why it is all across the world – not just my films but films all across the world.”

Bhojpurilanguage plays a key role in PK. And the ace actor ended up eating 100 paans a day while shooting and also learned Bhojpuri from the Bhojpuri TV writer, Shanti Bhushan, who taught him the distinctions of the language.

“I had to learn my lines and get the Bhojpuri accent right. I started preparing four months before starting to shoot. I would make him (Shanti Bhushan) speak the lines, and would write it phonetically. So if the word was ‘confusion’, I would write it ‘kon-phoo-jun’,” chuckled Aamir.

Like before every movie release, team PK too expects it to be a soaring box office hit. But, will the film generate as much buzz as 3 Idiots?

Talking about cinema and the trending 200 crores box office records, PK says, “To me, cinema is an art form. It can be a good piece of art or a bad one. But my responsibility as a paid person, to my producer or to the people investing in the film, is that they should at least make their money back. So I want each film to be economically viable too.”

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Saroni Roy
Saroni is a senior writer, editor and a PR professional. Her forte is lifestyle journalism, art, food, beauty, films and travel writing.

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