Piku Movie Review

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Writer: Juhi Chaturvedi
Music: Anupam Roy
Producers: MSM Motion Pictures, Saraswati Entertainment, Rising Sun Films
Sometimes, a journey becomes the destination. Piku is like that. Watching the film is like sitting across it’s characters and being part of their dysfunctional but hilariously real lives. This slice of life film is fascinating, funny & bittersweet.
That the film weaves a realistic father- daughter relationship around the uncomfortable but core issue of daily bowel movements, tells you that it is more experiential than plot driven. But this experience is worth every bit of your time.

‘Piku’ (Deepika Padukone) draws you in right from its opening credits- names that appear on a black screen underlaid to an Indian strings tune soothingly. We are introduced to an independent, single architect who has to balance career, home, relationships & a cranky, ageing father (Amitabh Bachchan). Her 70 plus father is a hypochondriac, obsessed with his constipation & imagined health worries; ministered upon by a family doctor (Raghuvir Yadav) and an acquiescing man Friday. In the mix is her Masi (mother’s sister) played by Mousumi Chatterjee who constantly worries over Piku’s single status. A liberated woman, Piku chooses to fulfill a physical need for a man, with her business partner (Jisshu Sengupta), who is also a friend. Her father, her Masi & Piku herself are opinionated naturally, as they are a Bengali family! Overwrought with pressures, Piku’s short fuse has a regular casualty- the drivers of the cab service that she uses; don’t want to work with her. And the owner of this company, Rana (Irrfan Khan) has to constantly play mediator.
A road trip brings together Piku, her father & Rana for quite some time in a compressed space- thus leading to romantic sparks between Piku & Rana; and hilarious analysis of constipation crises.
In it’s essence, Piku is a family film that becomes both endearing & entertaining because of Amitabh Bachchan’s eccentricities & Irrfan Khan & Deepika’s effortless performance. It’s the mix that works. But in its subtext, Piku is a poignant tale- of a responsible daughter who silently and patiently deals with her cranky, ageing father- because deep down she loves him dearly. She won’t give up on him. It’s a quintessentially Bengali flavored tale; or rather Eastern Indian story. Independent women who choose beyond a marriage are common in Eastern Indian cultures. At the same time, it is also a story that almost everyone can relate to.
Apart from a solidly written, nuanced story, this film’s charm lies in it’s stellar acting. While Mr Bachchan’s Bengali accent & mannerisms at times are a bit over the top, the act comes together beautifully simply because his struggle with constipation is so convincing. Irrfan Khan, a magic arrow in a director’s quiver, plays the amused regular Joe perfectly. And this is Deepika Padukone’s finest performance so far. For most part of the film, she doesn’t say much and lets her eyes do the talking. Her opinionated, sarcastic persona is very credible. In one scene, she decides against dating a guy for he hasn’t watched a single Satyajit Ray film and doesn’t vote! Just something you would expect from an independent, liberated woman. The ensemble cast- Mousumi Chatterjee, Raghuvir Yadav, Jisshu Sengupta- are completely natural in their performances.
A word for Shoojit Sircar’s director & Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing- in their fourth collaboration; in creating the effortless world of Piku, they have meticulously worked in their personal experiences & commonplace reality to create a family film beyond the bombast. Shot in real locations for the most part, ‘Piku’ resonates with your life.
Anupam Roy, the music composer who has made great impact in Bengali films, peppers the film with a soothing soundtrack. With it’s use of Indian musical instruments, the songs remind you of Amol Palekar films & Hrishikesh Mukherjee classics.
As for Rana & Piku’s chemistry onscreen, its believability is completely to the credit of Irrfan Khan & Deepika Padukone.
Give this road trip a chance, and laugh your heart out at a typical Indian family story.
Ticket Price Value: 85 Percent

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