BizAsia Movie Review: ‘Piku’

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When the first trailers of Shooit Sircar’s ‘Piku’ were unveiled, it was clear that the film had the potential of being a rare gem. With Amitabh Bachchan playing father to Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan playing the latter’s love interest, it was definitely a promise of good cinema, exceptional acting performances and an overall interesting movie. However, with the main theme of the plot being constipation, it would be right for one to wonder whether a full 2-3 hours could be successfully put onto celluloid to keep the audience’s attention. Does ‘Piku’ manage to be engaging throughout?

Piku poster 2 340x

Piku (Padukone) is a 30-year-old architect living in Delhi with her 70-year-old hypochondriac father, Bhaskor (Bachchan). Her life seems to be surrounded by his problem with constipation. When he decides to visit Kolkata to his ancestral home, he insists on travelling by car. Rana (Khan) unexpectedly turns driver for the trip which not even he envisages to be as excruciating as it is.

Director Sircar seems to indeed have created a whole world for ‘Piku’. The characters seem to be laugh out loud funny even on the most serious subjects in the most dramatic scenes. However, the best way of describing Sircar’s absolute triumph in ‘Piku’ is the way such an everyday subject takes each character on a journey; a journey of discovery somewhat. He also seems to bring in the beauty of Kolkata very silently into the scenes which definitely helps the narrative to move forward for Piku and Rana if not Bhaskor too. ‘Piku’ seems to etch Sircar’s excellence in bringing a small-town story to the big screen in a big way, similarly in the style he managed to do with his previous directorials. One would think that ‘Piku’ in particular may be a little tiring to watch but to the contrary, one almost doesn’t want the film to end.

As far as performances go, there is no one that can be highlighted. Khan’s subtle perfection is little to write home about because it’s something the audiences should be used to. What is fresh is his romantic angle with Padukone which almost brings an extra realism to the overall plot. Padukone as the protagonist seems to have outdone herself. Having been praised for her recent roles, her performance as Piku is simply simplicity personified. The way she renders the character’s frustrations, her humour, her candidness and her beauty in all of those is truly commendable. Her on-screen chemistry with Bachchan is definitely a huge part of the film which is a delight to see. Bachchan’s rendition of Bhaskor is extremely natural and makes for hilarious cinema, even in the most frustratingly stubborn and illogical scenes. Together, even the ensemble cast which includes Moushami Chatterjee and Jisshu Sengupta bring out a certain feel to the story which makes it unique and loveable. It is a film which more than a one-time watch and this is just for performances alone. Akshay Oberoi does a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance as Padukone’s very first date in the movie.

Piku Amitabh Bachchan Deepika Padukone

It can be said that Sircar’s cinema is something many will have been watching out for. After ‘Piku’, this will be more the case. Here is a director who is par excellence with emotions (and motions as the tagline suggests). You will laugh, you will cry and you will feel warm inside when watching ‘Piku’ and all in a way which you probably won’t have done before. It depicts the intermingling relationships as ones that each viewer is likely to relate to but yet it seems a little larger than life only because of the way it makes you feel good about the everyday things that are totally relatable. You hear the family discussing food, the passing of family members, marriage, and much more and this is a very real portrayal of discussions that take place in most Indian families. The only thing that might let the story down is the lack of a complete love story. The hint is very much present but it feels a little incomplete without a full-blown singing and dancing romance – although it is definitely a great thing that this is one film which didn’t need to rely on such a thing to be a success.

‘Piku’ is a healthy, heart-warming and absolutely hilarious film and no doubt everyone who watches it will find something about it which manages to create its own little space in your heart.

BizAsia Showbiz rating: 4/5

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