Filmmakers should learn from ‘PK’, says Chinese daily

Beijing, June 2 (IANS) Indian comedy “PK”, which is running successfully in theatres here , is an example of “how to tell a bright and thought provoking comedy in an artistic way without necessarily being too cynical”, according to a leading English daily of China.

The science fiction comedy, which brought together the “3 Idiots” team of superstar Aamir Khan and ace director Rajkumar Hirani, has scored 8.3 points on one of China’s biggest film reviewing websites Douban since its release in China on May 22.

“After emerging as the highest grossing Indian movie ever with a box office of $101 million globally, it is standing high in the favour of the Chinese public,” the Global Times said in an opinion piece titled “Comedy films can learn from New Delhi”.

“PK”, which has had a dream run in Indian theatres, crossing the Rs.100 crore ($15.6 million) figure within four days of its release in December 2014, and is doing well in China too, “renders a new answer to an age-old question”.

“Brimming with laughter and tears over its long running time, ‘PK’ has aroused mixed feelings among Chinese audiences as it touches upon religion, one of the most solemn and sensitive issues, not only in India, which has been suffering from long standing religious strife, but also in many other countries.

“Back in 2009, ‘3 Idiots’, which featured the same director and leading actor as in ‘PK’, became a massive success across China and caused a stir among Chinese audiences for its ironic look at India’s rigid and dreary education system. Now ‘PK’ has created history by ranking the 70th biggest box office earner in the world last year, apparently taking the shine off the somewhat chaotic comedy market of China,” the article read.

“PK”, which also stars Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput, has raised questions on the movie industry in China.

“It is time that we seriously mull over and reflect why China’s filmmakers are unable to produce both interesting and thought provoking comedies. There might be only one thing in between amusement and real comedy: the power to think, which has perhaps created the biggest gap between ‘PK’ and previous Chinese comedies.

“Satirising the social evils of the day with Indians’ peculiar humour is Hirani’s recipe for success. Without meticulous observation and profound thinking, such inventive details would not have been included in the film. This is just what blundering Chinese films lack,”the article stated.

It said a number of internet users attribute an absence of excellent comedies in China’s film market “to the country’s relatively rigorous censorship, which, however, is a lazy and convenient plea”.

“Similar to India, China, amid unprecedented development, has been seeing a wide spectrum of social ills, providing a broad space for filmmakers to fully exert their talent. They should learn from ‘PK’ about how to tell a bright and thought provoking comedy in an artistic way without necessarily being too cynical.”

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