Films and Religion: An analysis of Aamir Khan’s PK

  • Author(s): Monisa Qadri, Sabeha Mufti
  • When: 2015-12
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • Every year, the Indian film industry produces the highest number of films in the world and also figures at the top position for ticket sales, but that does not make the society completely tolerant of how different issues are represented in films. That is a question which PK (2014), the biggest Bollywood grosser of all times, raised. This satirical comedy is based on challenging the superstitions labelled as religious practices in Indian society. India, being home to multiple religions and a diverse cultural fabric, supports many layers of understanding about faith, religion, rituals, and beliefs, which form a sensitive issue. The film delves headfirst into the syncretic melee of different faiths in India and it takes direct aim at ‘godmen’, the guru figures who direct the followers towards following symbols of religion. Hindu groups have been considering it as a blasphemy against Hindu gods and gurus, because of which the film has had to plunge into controversies. There have been protests and attacks. A ‘boycott-PK’ movement as well as a parallel ‘Support-PK’ trend have been seen in the real as well as virtual world. It becomes all the more interesting to see the depiction of religion in this film, using strong narratives along with visual representations to deal with the issue of faith. Also, the timing of the film coincided with the prevailing atmosphere of religious intolerance within India. The series of events regarding religion in the Indian society lend a meaning to a study on this film as a mediated reality of Indian society. The study will conduct a qualitative analysis of the film and present a reading of this popular media form.

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