Dear Aamir, PK ho kya?

300 ‘Crore ke nashe mein’, ‘Biggest hit of Indian Cinema’ ke nashe mein? You’ve proved your point.

The one star who was associated with quality stories and stories that could reach corners of the world along with reaching the four corners of the country and with a certain level of intelligence can also give the two, ok, feel better, three biggest hits of Indian Cinema. Point proved? Now can we also have some good cinema? Can we, your fans, have that one super star who backs good films just because they’re good films, akin to Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt (Who’ll be in a 12 years a Slave even as a character artist to lend it support) and George Clooney (Who’ll act in Gravity just to give it star support and power). Can we please have the Aamir Khan who backed LAGAAN when no one else would consider it and every major star including SRK had rejected it? Can we please have the Aamir Khan who post putting out a stellar work like Taare Zameen Par asked fans on his blog to talk of the weaknesses instead of the strengths? Can we please have the Aamir Khan who could look beyond just what HE got from a film and at the overall picture? Can we have that star back? The one that deserves the stardom and wields it with grace rather than with an iron hand to push every film into now being a showcase for just his physicality and new look?

As a fan I want your mind, not your abs, I want your ability to discern not your inability to ride a bike, I want the risks you took when you weren’t the country’s biggest star, not the kind of insecurity of choosing films like someone who’s just starting out displays. Yes I’m being dangerously honest, because I worry for our cinema and unfortunately till very recently you seemed like the only star who had any story sense and thanks to whom people really got to experience movies that matter, movies that made us think, that made us feel deeply, made us want to watch them and talk of them as if they were our own. Yes there have been brilliant and beautiful films like HIGHWAY, QUEEN and HAIDER this year but your films have joined the ranks of the dumbed down content. And that is troubling.

Have you also begun to believe that content needs to be dumbed down for the masses? The same masses who made DIL CHAHTA HAI a roaring hit? The same masses who came to watch a DHOBI GHAT and actually made it profitable, who watched a TAARE ZAMEEN PAR and made it a roaring cult hit, don’t you miss the kind of deep interaction you had with fans on your blog post TZP, how people said they’d been deeply touched? How people felt moved post a LAGAAN? Don’t you miss that yourself? Are you satisfied with merely tickling a mind when you can deeply engage it? Are you satisfied with more money in an overfull bank when you have so much more than mere money? That goodwill was made by 20 years of good films, of films that really moved people, and you’re squandering it over the biggest hit of the year that lasts only 365 days. You make a film like a LAGAAN or a RANG DE BASANTI backing it with your star power and you have immortality, you make DHOOM 3 and PK and you’ll have 365 days of fame.

Let me make this more personal. I came back from watching RANGEELA in school, loving it enough to watch it 27 times in the theatre, only to be beaten by DDLJ which was released at the same time. I was moved enough by LAGAAN to stand up and clap and cry as if my father was at the bat in that field. I have watched DIL CHAHTA HAI sometimes 3 times a day, because they all resonated with me that much. I have wept and wept each time I’ve watched DHOBI GHAT and loved it dearly. My favourite film of all time is TZP, yes, all time and I’ve seen a fair amount of world cinema. Why? Because it’s the film that made me cry the most and for me crying is a way deeper emotion than laughing.

Did I feel for either of the two brothers in DHOOM 3? Not really. Their father dies, they almost get torn apart and at the end they both die. I should be feeling a fair bit. But i didn’t. And almost no one I know did. Do I feel for PK? Nope. Do I feel for his message? Yes. But it could have been so much stronger and then Oh My God has already said most of what PK is saying. And as for PK himself, since y’all have spent almost an hour of the film on his love story, his sacrifice, his pining for home etc. I should be feeling a lot more no? Hell I felt ten times as much for E.T. and he didn’t cry, dance, spew one liners or fall in love. And even the supporters of PK are saying that they didn’t feel much for PK but feel for the message of the film. This isn’t a documentary, so clearly the intent of the makers is also to make people feel for the messenger and then subliminally for the message. Else what’s the point of trying to make PK so human? or making a fiction film. Munnabhai did these same things so much better a character. I’m sure you’d agree. Why did I mention the abs? Well E.T. had no abs, neither did Bhuvan, or the police inspector in Sarfarosh who made quite an impact even against someone much larger. Did the guy in Ghajini need a physique? Yes Because he was obsessed with revenge and worked towards it, did the guy in DHOOM 3 need a physique? Yes probably because it’s that kind of film. Did PK need to have this crazily ripped physique? Nope. It isn’t THE TERMINATOR. PK is a soft, social, sweet guy. No killing machine. So unfortunately this also seems more like getting lost in the look of the character and jumping on the bandwagon instead of building the character itself.

Of course you’re a free man who doesn’t owe anyone anything, you can choose to amass another 1000 crores and have more reach than any actor of your times. But don’t you want that deeper love? That power to influence one’s subconscious mind with films that become archetypes in Indian Cinema rather that just biggest grossers? Do we really need to see your 6 pack abs instead of feel what that heart feels? I don’t think so. We have abs a dime a dozen. Please, for the sake of the very cinema that made you this passionate till very recently, wake up. The Indian Film Industry needs a Munnabhai in real life. Actually many Munnabhais and many Queens in real life.

Yours Truly,

A fan.

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