Saturday, May 09, 2015

Piku



Rating : 8/10
Release Date : 8th May, 2015
Time : 125 minutes
Director : Shoojit Sircar; Writer : Juhi Chaturvedi; Music : Anupam Roy
Starring : Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan, Moushumi Chatterjee, Jishu Sen, Balendra Singh, Raghuvir Yadav




Piku is a funny, incident filled look at life, relationships, family, ancestral homes, roots, parenting, how to cope with parents, the cycle of life, marriage, hypochondriacs, Bengali’s, Kolkata, road journeys and above all, constipation !



To say Deepika Padukone, playing the title character, is aggressive would be a gross understatement. She is used to getting her own way – whether at work, (with boss / lover / friend with benefits, Jishu), or even with drivers of her taxi service (whom she relentlessly bullies into speeding and accidents). Except with her Dad. Amitabh Bachchan. An eccentric Bengali. Who more than holds his own.



He doesn’t want her to get married (“It's what women of low IQ aspire for”). Is an A Grade hypochondriac, disappointed to receive a medical report that reveals no issues. Bosses around the help at home (hilarious scene where maid accused by him of stealing (hold your breath) phenyl, yells if she wanted to steal, why wouldn’t she steal laptops instead). Needs help from long time servant, Balendra Singh, to do most routine things (an incredible scene at a roadside toilet). He suffers from constipations so his bowel movements govern his and his households life. He shares an easy camaraderie with his doctor, Raghubir Yadav, with whom he spends many a happy hour discussing frequency, colour and viscosity of his motions. And thinks nothing of leaving updates with Deepika’s office receptionist about the same.



Also, unlike Deepika, he doesn’t want to sell his ancestral home in Kolkata. And this necessitates a road trip there from their current abode in Delhi, since he refuses to fly or take the train. Which brings our UP ke bhaiya, Irrfan into the equation. He is the helpless owner of the taxi stand which suffers from Deepika’s haranguing regularly. And after a fleeting meeting with her, he is also haplessly smitten. And when none of his drivers turn up, he decides to escape his own household circumstances and do the drive himself. Though he regrets it on many occasions, especially after a knife throwing incident !


What is excellent about the film is that it firmly stays grounded in the here and now. An episodic, almost incident by incident manner of narration, helps avoid most of the ailments that normally afflict Hindi film-makers – there are no cumbersome flashbacks, no moments of morbid sentimentality, no reveling in some silly sentimentality. Like life, shit happens (or in this case, doesn’t), and you move on.



The performances are excellent – Deepika is outstanding - not a single expression out of place, whether being close to breakdown, scolding the driver, battling with her father or gazing in amusement at Irrfan who’s desperately trying to impress her. Amitabh Bachchan over-acts, in line with his character – he is loud, over-bearing, and if you’d met him at a dinner party, you would never want to meet him again. Irrfan’s dead-pan expressions suit his on-screen persona perfectly and special praise for Balendra, who delivers simply the most brilliant portrayal of a typical Bengali long time help – willing to do anything or everything for his masters, without flinching or a change of expression. Moushumi, a host of other assorted characters and the music are all like jokers in a deck of cards – you never know what you’re going to get next – and it keeps the fun and the surprise element going through the film.



I thought the end missed a trick – wanted something or someone to be able to tie everything we had witnessed together. For me, it isn’t about the desire for a traditional happy ending here but more a moment of epiphany, which would put everything in perspective. This is a very touchy topic in traditional India – where the children are expected to take care of their parents but struggle to do so amongst the pressures of urban India and the waves of generational change assailing us. However, its so rare to get a film like this, where its almost as if Shoojit and Juhi (the director and writer) chose not to take sides, just narrate the incidents and let you make up your own mind… Very nicely done !

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adulation to the blog's writer...what a clear cut review..

Anonymous said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

In youth we learn; in age we understand.... No wonder you are not stingy in ratings. It becomes mandatory to watch a Deepika movie.. What a delight ! A clean progressive story, devoid of all the useless subplots and extravaganzas, is something of a rarity, especially coming from Bollywood, where people mistake elegance for flamboyance... Go watch the motions with your old folks people. It is a masterpiece, the characters quite complement each other. Crisp dialogues and steady storytelling keep it going. The lady has nuanced her craft over the years. Irfaan unloads tons of charisma, aspirational... The legend Mr B. as the cranky, hyper, attention seeking father is simply marvellous... Unconditional love between a daughter and her father.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate a woman who is independent, economically and sexually liberated at the same time is grounded and knows the values of her roots.. If one can maintain that balance..nothing like it, and above all, if shecan multitask then it's 'sone pe suhaga'...

Anonymous said...

But why are people so much dependent on domestic help ?

Anonymous said...

Tumhe Deepika bahut pasand hai na ?

Anonymous said...

Tumhe Deepika bahut pasand hai, hai-na ?

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Anonymous said...

She was pretty and even daintily dressed. She moved between them as a chaise between carts, was heard after them as a romance after sermons, was felt among them like a breeze among furnaces... Her eyes had a softness, mistiness.. piercing to simple clearness. A shapely woman in full bloom and vigour, an elasticity in her firmness which removed it from obstinacy.. Headstrong, not allowing her interlocutors to finish their statements... Magnetism and beauty of her face and movements, her genial warmth stimulates, lightens up every scene. One characteristic pre eminently marked her - dignity.

Anonymous said...

Completest silence... Silence has sometimes a remarkable power of showing itself as an disembodied soul of feeling wandering without its carcase, and it is then more impressive than speech. In the same way, to say a little is often to tell more than to say a great deal...

Anonymous said...

Causes of love are chiefly subjective...

Anonymous said...

Am a living testimony to the truth of the proposition. Classic..

Anonymous said...

Deepika is indeed a pretty woman, long and lean, with a good figure and graceful hands and a sense of humour that dances in her eyes. Her laughter and her fire and her courage and her rabid determination to stick by what she believes in.

Anonymous said...

Road trips are fun, no ?

Anonymous said...

In foreign lands too, must have driven to far off destinations ?

Anonymous said...

'Tullu-pump' on ho gaya, aur paani aa gaya ! Lifeline for survival...

Anonymous said...

Hope I am not dependent on anybody in my old age. Would prefer an instant death and organs be donated.. Not suffer from age related ailments (mentally I still do have issues, but physically hope never..)

Anonymous said...

Disappointed to receive a medical report with no issues... Hah ! The same happened with my mother in law in Shimla, she refused to walk till the Mall Road. On being coaxed, was willing to go by car till the farthest point. Got off and said, 'I can't walk!'... So a young chap and a wheel chair was arranged for. Later the doctor on call did her check up, everything seemed normal, so scribbled something on the note pad. She said, "kuchh nahi nikla ..." For the next two days she remained glued to the television with two pillows under her head constantly complaining about cervical pain..

Anonymous said...

I don't want to live as long as Bhoskar... Shall end up sooner cause of depression..loneliness.. He too knew the ailment that would be the cause of his death..

Anonymous said...

Aaj Delhi mein piping hot samosa aur chai ka mausam hai...simply loving the pitter-patter of raindrops...

Anonymous said...

Soo very romantic..

Anonymous said...

Visualise with closed eyes...such weather and "The Bike Ride" at Rajpath...

Anonymous said...

Ufff ! Kitna suhaana mausam hai...

Anonymous said...

Aur koi nahi hai, bas ek main hoon...bas ek...

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the new advertisement of Tanishq featuring Deepika ? Has a dimply giggle at her own gall... Adorable warmth...

Anonymous said...

The sound of water gushing from flush is music to the ears... Normalcy after the hardships...