Piku Movie Review" title="Piku Movie Review">
A warm, charming and bittersweet family drama, Piku
turns the genre completely on its head.
The result is a magnificently original film that delivers a memorably unique movie experience.
Coming from the man who crafted Vicky Donor
a quaint drama around the adventures of a sperm donor, and got away
with it, this comedy about constipation is par for the course.
is truly surprising, and impressive, is that director Shoojit Sircar
puts just enough spin on this wild whimsy to keep it whirling engagingly
over its running time of two hours and a bit.
He is aided, of course, by a remarkable cast of actors who plunge headlong, and with full conviction, into the film. Piku
gives the go-by to the usual trappings of Hindi cinema and offers a
fresh and deliciously quirky take on a deeply layered father-daughter
relationship that borders on the dysfunctional.Piku
the story of a cranky old Bengali widower Bhaskor Banerji (Amitabh
Bachchan) who subjugates his paternal instincts to the health, or the
lack of it, of his alimentary canal.
The more trouble that the
crotchety gentleman has clearing his bowels, the more difficult he
becomes for everyone around him, including a harried maid who he
summarily accuses of kleptomania.
Mr. Banerji has a formidable
counterpoint is an equally strong-willed daughter, Piku (Deepika
Padukone), a busy architect who, despite the challenges that her dad
poses every waking hour, takes the man's frequent mood swings in her
Caught between the two is a cab service owner Rana
Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan) who, as the baffled outsider in the course of a
road trip that threatens to run off the rails, gives both father and
daughter perspectives that promise to deliver them from the stalemate
they are trapped in.
On the face of it, there isn't much scope
for overt conventional drama in this narrative construct in which most
conversations veer around to the old man's daily potty trouble.
the film is packed with humour, poignancy and occasional dashes of
bathos, which ensure that all the shit-talk does not stink.
The two central characters of Piku are the kind of figures that one does not encounter all that often in Hindi cinema.
dad is an unabashedly selfish man. He does not want his daughter to get
married because he dreads the thought of being left alone.
At the same time, he is a father who has no qualms about declaring that Piku
"is not a virgin" and "is financially and sexually independent".
This, too, stems from self-interest: he uses his daughter's emancipated state to ward off potential suitors.
Mr. Banerji also genuinely believes that it is "low IQ" of a woman to
get married and devote the rest of her life looking after her husband
and his home.
That is something that his own wife, a former
teacher at Kolkata's la Martiniere School, had done. He does not want
Piku to end up like her mother.
Not that the latter needs any
prodding to keep thoughts of marriage at bay. Piku is fiercely
independent and the men in her life, including her business partner,
Syed Afroze (Jisshu Sengupta), are mere adjuncts.
of Piku and Rana developing an emotional bond with each other on a
Delhi-Kolkata road trip remains just that - a possibility that stops
well short of culmination.
Piku is not a romantic comedy although it
has an entire strand that could have yielded a full-blown love story.
That it does not only adds to its richness.
The drama in Piku
is subtle and low-key. Not much of it bubbles forth to the surface.
It courses gently through innocuous scenes of domestic discord, alternating between the absurd and the emotionally enriching.
drama is inherent in the little moments of disagreement and the sudden,
rare flashes of consonance between the two central characters, and
between the duo and the extended family.
The insightful writing
(screenplay and dialogues: Juhi Chaturvedi) and Sircar's deft
directorial touches fill every frame and every scene with delicious
isn't only about a man and his toilet
travails. It is also about ageing, filial responsibility and nostalgia
for what is gone forever.
is also about the
inexorable passage of time, which impacts everything - individuals,
families, cities, cultures and belief systems.
whose performance is otherwise effortless, tends to overdo the Bengali
diction bit. What is worse, he does not get it right all the time.
That apart, there are passages in the film where Bachchan's presence works against the understated tone of the film.
It is Deepika Padukone who holds Piku
together with a restrained star turn. She is believable all the way.
A characteristically confident Irrfan is, as always, pitch perfect.
singer-songwriter-composer Anupam Roy's musical score (his first for a
Hindi film) is outstanding, enhancing the film's delicate emotional
is an absolute must watch.
Piku Movie Review