Rajkumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan-starrer PK will open in cinema screens across Japan this autumn. A deal between UTV Motion Pictures and Japan’s Nikkatsu, one of the largest movies houses in the island nation, has made this release possible.
Nikkatsu is also trying to get the PK actors, Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt, Sushant Singh Rajput and Boman Irani — to visit Japan for a pre-opening publicity campaign.
PK was reportedly the first ever Indian film to gross Rs 348 crore worldwide, and it was a surprise hit in China grossing $ 18 million. Many young Chinese went ga-ga over the movie and this writer remembers his college going interpreters during his jury assignment at the Silk Road International Film Festival in Fuzhou last year being besotted by Khan and Sharma, and the movie itself.
The Vice-President of Nikkatsu’s International Department said: “We love the film and highly appreciate its quality. We also recognise that this same combination will surely accelerate the Indian movies movement again here in Japan.” Once in the 1990s, Rajinikanth’s films were a huge hit in Japan, but for some reason, the craze died down.
Japan is a highly gadget-crazy country, where men, women and children are forever trying out newer electronics products and are invariably addicted to computer games of the most mind-boggling variety. In such a scenario, PK with its fascinating plot of an alien in the form of a handsome human being (Khan) — which made him adorable to the masses, as opposed to the Steven Spielberg variety of hideous looking extra-terrestrial — is bound to seduce the Japanese.
Admittedly, for an Indian, PK went beyond science fiction. It was really, beneath the veneer of an innocent alien’s adventures in a bewildering land — a devastating critique of superstition and the evils of so-called godmen and their wily ways of fooling gullible people.
In PK, Khan’s alien says: “God that created us all is the only one people should believe in and that the other ‘duplicate Gods (read god men) are created by man”.
PK was thus an extraordinarily powerful indictment of all that is happening in today’s India.