Film Review: Piku
Rating: Four Stars
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irfan, Moushumi Chatterjee, Jishu Sengupta, Raghuvir Yadav, Nutan Mathur, Prerna Chawla, Rupsa Banerjee and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Music: Anupam Roy
Screenplay: Juhi Chaturvedi
Cinematography: Kamaljeet Negi
Director: Shoojit Sircar
During the past decade, there has been a slew of film makers, exploring new subjects and experimenting with a new genre of cinema riding high on the wave of an audience who refuse to be swayed by almost anything doled on them. The audience taste is ever growing and changing every single day, becoming more intransigent with the films they watch. I always believe, either you make a good or bad movie and disagree with the distinction between commercial, meaningful or art cinema. Shootjit Sircar’s Piku is one film that came like a breath of fresh air to carve a place in your heart, a film beautifully made with no overt drama while exploring the relationship between a father and a daughter. It’s a realistic movie, set in a Bengoli household, which remains true to life and will steal your heart, right away, be it the endearing Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), the independent Piku (Deepika Padukone) who is modern in outlook still care for her father and the ‘crazy’ Rana (Irfan) as Shoojit Sircar camera zooms and takes you in the beautiful Kolkota, set as the movie’s background.
It’s for the first time that a director and script writer has made constipation the central part of a character ,Bhaskor that makes it a laugh riot from start to finish. What works in Piku’s favor is the hearty laugh, dialogues and one-liners that makes the film a winner. Credit to the screenplay writer Juhi Chaturvedi whose dialogues remains, the hale and hearty, part of the movie. Piku’s strength is based entirely on author-backed roles and performances cum endearing acts, strong dialogues by Juhi and brilliant execution by Shoojit Sircar. Describing Piku as a ‘feel-good’ movie would be an understatement to describe this cinematic journey that charms the audience. It’s after years that a beautiful movie and lyrical in prose like Piku has come to charm the audience. It’s coming of age, experimental cinema, energetic and fresh in appeal cum romancing life on celluloid. In short, a gush of fresh air aimed to not only entertain the audience but make them think progressively in a light manner. Piku is a winner all the way and a refreshing movie.
Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) is irritating and a pain to his daughter (Piku), obsessed with constipation, making it the trigger that would save the mankind from World War III. A transformation, from the angry young man to the upright patriarch and now a sweet and sour father. Bachchan re-defines himself with Piku, a far cry from the deep baritone we love so much and makes us go gaga over him in his new, endearing ‘avatar. He doesn’t shy away to tell us that he loves his deceased wife whose way of doing things were wrong and never cared for her individuality, fettered in the name of duty. Big B does a feminism in an effortless manner when he says, ‘My daughter is not a virgin, is financially and sexually independent.’ What ease! What honesty in the act of the old man with self-declared and unabashed selfishness. Superbly woven by Juhu Chaturvedi and Sircar who uncover the lid on the hypocrisy in society. Or, the low IQ of ‘women’ who want to get married. It’s one of the most poignant scenes at the dining table. Kudos to Bachchan who plays himself down, the actor and the star, to make Deepika Padukone take centre-stage.
Deepika Padukone is Piku and the soul of the movie. The girl has transformed beautifully right from the days of Om Shanti Om, Cocktail, Happy New Year and Piku. Audience will forget about Deepika Padukone at the end of the show and will remember Piku, which is her best performance so far. The manner in which Deepika matches two giants and towering actors, Bachchan and Irfan, is commendable. It is not given for everyone to match an Amitabh Bachchan at every step and credit goes to Deepika Padukone, one of the most brilliant actors of her generation who raises the bar a notch higher in every scene and simply explodes as Piku. The palatable chemistry she shares with Bachchan, shouting at him in the house, singing in Bengoli, Aei poth jodi na shesh hoye from the 1960’s movie Saptapadi during the road trip or the drunken scene at home, doing a jig to the song Jeebone ki parbo na sung by Manna Deyin the 1969 flick Teen Bhubaner Pare, is poignant and subtly done.
Irfan whose skills as an actor is effortless, is a treat to watch. A man that can perform anything, at any rate. His one-liners as he develops a bond with Bhaskor or Piku is mind-blowing. One scene that remains in our mind how he stops the car to give an earful to Bachchan on ‘family burden’, his character that doesn’t see eye-to-eye with his mother and sister. Simply superb! How true when parents don’t let their children bloom with the whole emotional drama. He explodes with his dialogues with Sr Bachchan and Padukone.His dialogue, “ye baap beti to aise hi time pass karrahe hai. Mujhe to nai lagta inhe calcutta jaana bhi hai”. Simply brilliant. Or the scene, when Irfan teaches Bachchan senior the merit of sitting on an Indian latrine. Epic!
Moushumi Chatterjee has had tremendous chemistry with Bachchan in the past and makes a comeback in Piku as the flamboyant Chaubi Mashi who never shy away from saying she married thrice. The endearing Moushumi has never lost her inherent charm and provides some animated discussing with Big B about women’s role in society. What a pleasure to watch the veteran in this comeback vehicle and I am sure she will earn a place in the hearts of young cinema fans.
Piku is a daring and gutsy movie made in a subtle manner-If Women are meant to serve men food during the day and have sex at night, stellar performance by Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan redefining himself as an actor or the Poti Chair flying high atop the car. Amazing screenplay by Juhi Chaturvedi and Shoojit Sircar’s vision of cinema, shooting Kolkata in such a majestic manner, the by-lanes, trams and roads. Bachchan’s cycle ride is shot in such a delightful manner. Or, Anupam Roy’s endearing music that goes with the theme of the movie. If you haven’t watched Piku, it’s high time to do so since you have no right to miss this journey kyon ki Motion se Hi Emotion Hota Hai. The film is going to redefine the progressive father-daughter relationship which is one of the best made during the years. Piku will stay you forever