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Bollywood Movie PK - Success Or Failure?

Updated on December 31, 2014

PK has been highly successful in terms of its overall box office collections, crossing 200 crores in the first week of release itself. But did it actually deliver the message it intended to?

Let me first tell you that this is not a review for the movie PK. This is a discussion on if the movie is actually successful or not.

The Bollywood movie PK claims to convey that all religions points to the message of love. But sadly, the release of the movie did hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community, intentionally or not intentionally.

Anyone can easily say PK is highly successful in terms of the profit it made over few days. But is it a success or a failure when we consider its impact on the society where it is released? Did PK succeed in creating a positive impact in a secular society or did it negatively affect the secular system? Here is where we need to think whether it is a social success or a social failure.

The question is, how can a movie deliver a secular message when a group of people's religious sentiments are hurt?

Is it possible to do it that way?


PK is released in India on December 19th, 2014. The release of the movie was much awaited as it is the work of a very talented and promising team, who had created some extraordinarily brilliant films in the previous years.

Here is why many people think the movie PK is a failure in terms of its impact on the society.

The release of the film caused religious sentiments and rifts among people. And this happened in a country where a number of people belong to many religions and faiths and follow many kinds of rituals as part of their faith.

In a democratic country, you do have the right to express your voice and you do have the right to agree or disagree whatever the matter is. Democracy also means each individual has the right to follow his or her faith and practice the rituals, provided you don't harm others by practicing them. However, a secular system is only possible if everyone learns to respect the faith of others, whether you agree with it or not.

Making fun of the religious sentiments associated with a particular religion's rituals can seriously hurt the secular system and negatively affect the friendly relations among people of different faiths. And yes, this is a serious issue, especially in a country where people of different faiths live very nearby.

Think of it this way. You stay with someone who follows a different faith and practices different rituals. You can choose to agree or quietly disagree with what he or she is practicing. But will it work if you openly mock and make of fun of their faith? Do you think it is possible to stay under the same roof if you hurt the beliefs of the other one, and still hope to have a peaceful environment? Either it ends up in the emotional abuse of the more tolerant, or you will fight, or you will split.

Is that what we want in our world?

A movie has a great impact on its audience. It can positively or negatively impact the society. It can be fun and entertainment to watch a good movie, but one has to seriously think before releasing a movie that handles a sensitive subject like religion, because everyone hopes for a peaceful world where we all respect each other's beliefs. We already have enough problems regarding religions and we don't want more of it.

Can't we choose to be a part of the solutions, rather than creating more fights and rifts?

One can argue that it is the problem of those who take it too personally and sensitively, rather than seeing the movie as an artwork created for the sole purpose of entertainment.

But don't we all know that people are like that? They have different views, different faiths and most importantly different levels of tolerance. Even the people from the same faith and practices, reacts differently towards an issue, and it is always like that.

Are we still not seeing the sensitivity towards religious issues that happens all around the world? Isn't it better to work on the problems we already have on the name of religions rather than creating new ones from nowhere?

So is the movie PK a success or failure after all?

If the intention of the team who produced PK was just financial profit, anyone can see that it is a huge success.

If the sole purpose of the movie was entertainment and fun, it succeeded to a level in entertaining a majority of people, so yes, it is a success in that way too.

But if the movie intended to spread religious harmony, sadly PK failed in that.

PK is a movie starring Aamir Khan and personally, I am a huge fan of him. He is definitely one of the most talented actors out there, and there is no question of his acting skills even in PK. In fact, the many movies he has acted in the recent years were outstanding and brilliant, and they always caused a positive impact in the Indian cinema world and among the common man. The one film I particularly want to point out is Taare Zameen Par, which carefully dealt with the issues of children who have dyslexia.

But this time, sadly, PK didn't do what the team had intended, if their claims are true.

Let us all hope for a world where everyone learns to respect other's faiths and learn to disagree in a peaceful and more respectful way!

Do you think sensitive subjects like religion should be handled carefully in movies?

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    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for reading FlourishAnyway and Pro Shell!

    • Pro Shell profile image

      Pro Shell 2 years ago from Vereinigten Staaten

      The more that you hear about bollywood, the more you want to learn.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Having never heard of the movie, I just jumped over to Wikipedia to read what the conflict was about. In America, we have movies such as "Dumb and Dumber" that are meant to be a spectacle, a big joke -- if they succeed as being funny. They usually don't have religion as their target, however. Some topics are taboo because audiences find making fun of some things not funny and downright tasteless. Just reading between the lines having not seen the movie.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks so much for reading teaches12345! I do not think the makers of the film intentionally created the issue, but unfortunately there is a controversy. I seriously believe that they could handle it more carefully.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Your article brings an awareness of ethical conduct in movies. I love a good film but when they create controversy for the sake of publicity, it is just wrong.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting thought here and I do think religion should be handled with care in movies.A Happy New Year to you.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Hi AliciaC, thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Hi indianreel, thanks for reading and leaving the feedback! Many times popular movies have created controversies, sometimes because of the way it handles a sensitive subject. Religion is always a sensitive subject everywhere and I think it is always better to handle it carefully, for the sake of peace and harmony among the communities. Thanks again!

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Hi rudra007, thanks for reading and commenting!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub. I have never heard of the PK movie and its controversies before now. Thanks for introducing me to the topic.

    • indianreel profile image

      HK 3 years ago from London

      Very interesting hub. My humble views below.

      First of all, movies are about business, entertainment and art / crafts. This movie scores very high on all three. It did good business, provided wholesome entertainment and all the crafts, be it acting, music, photography, everything was quite good.

      Now, coming to the subject, I think this team is really interested in society and this film is definitely not made just for business or entertainment.

      This world is really a paradox. When you are born, unless someone tells you to follow a particular culture which includes religion, language, rituals, etc, you are a clean slate and you are open. Religion is created to achieve the highest and in that case, how could the rituals and belief systems be so different. For example, if I am an orphan, how do I choose which religion to follow. I think this is what the movie tries to explore and it's a good point though not very new. But, the movie certainly fails in giving a solution. The second half is more interested in resolving heroine's and PK's problems.

      And, coming to people who created controversy, I really think they don't care about the core message but are interested in their own fame.

      If you have time, please do read my review about PK.

    • rudra007 profile image

      Veenoo 3 years ago from India

      Nice is not a new idea...we have seen this before also in movies, i think everything is good about the movie but if the director has put scenes deliberately to create a controversy then that is the bad use of freedom of expression....excellent movie