Movie Review: Piku

May 8, 2015

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

In Shoojit Sircar’s “Piku”, after a particularly graphic conversation about constipation and bowel movements, Rana (Irrfan Khan) asks the film’s protagonist (Deepika Padukone), “Is this all you’ll talk about?” Yes, she says.

Indeed. That is all Piku and her septuagenarian father, Bhaskor Banerji (Amitabh Bachchan), talk about throughout the film. Just like their first venture “Vicky Donor”, Sircar and co-writer Juhu Chaturvedi make another funny film about a “dirty” topic. There is no obvious toilet humour. The dialogue is smart.

Anyone who has taken care of an elderly relative or a grandparent will relate to Bhaskor’s petulance. He discourages his daughter from getting married, calls her in the middle of her dates to discuss his digestive problems, and drives away every man who approaches. Piku complains about her father’s eccentricities, but admits to Rana that she is far more eccentric and moody.

One of the film’s strengths is its portrayal of a dysfunctional family. It also depicts the difficulties that come with looking after elderly parents.

On a road trip to Kolkata, Rana, the owner of a taxi service, gets a ringside view of this family. They squabble and sulk, playing off each other beautifully, complementing one another. Padukone is a revelation as she stands up to seasoned actors like Bachchan and Irrfan, and comes out on top. Moushumi Chatterjee, as Piku’s gregarious, much-married aunt, is stellar. So is Balendra Singh as Bodan, Banerji’s loyal servant.

“Piku” is a lovely film, which tells a compelling story created out of everyday lives. This doesn’t happen too often, so don’t miss this one.

(Editing by Robert MacMillan and Ankush Arora; Follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay, Robert @bobbymacReports and Ankush @Ankush_patrakar. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)


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Piku – The Allegorical Alternative

Piku : The Allegorical Alternative

Kolkata is seen as the city of the conventional , the conservatism , and the intellectuals . Delhi is the city of the political elites , the powerful , the moneyed , the achievers . Bhaskor’s journey from Kolkata to Delhi symbolizes his journey in life , bartering intellect for money and power . Bhaskor is holding onto his values , his beliefs with his life . The constant constipation is physical manifestation of resistance to letting go . He is not bothered if the maid takes away the smart phone or the tablet , but he is concerned if the maid has embezzled some floor cleaning liquid .

Piku on the other hand is downright Delhite . The power elite . She is ill tempered , impatient and throws her weight around every now and then . A typical new age brat . The major link between the past that is Bhaskor and the present that is Piku was the mother , the mother is no more . The link is broken , and the generation crevice is showing . Thus Piku does not know as to why she tolerates her father . The answer lies somewhere in the past , somewhere in the Sanskars .

The road trip is via Banaras . A city of spiritual awakening . Rana keeps providing Bhaskor with a number of small ” Aha” moments. It is realisation for Bhaskor and the path is Physical / Spiritual . Bhaskor realises that these ideas do make sense . The road trip to Banaras is full of incidents . These show the pains that need to be taken for spiritual awakening . Each of these interventions makes a subtle point . By the time they reach Kolkata , Bhaskor is on the verge of enlightenment .

He gets this enlightenment on his own volition and effort when he cycles through the city and visits all the old landmarks , thus visiting his childhood memories and on the other hand clearing up all the motions he held while becoming elite in Delhi , thus releasing all the emotional blockades . Mentally clean he comes back home and goes to toilet , to get release from all paint up emotions , by the way of physical motion and has the motion of his life . Thus relieved he happily goes to sleep , never to wake up .

Back in Delhi , after the funeral , the same old maid turns up asking for work as Bhaskor is no more . Piku looks at her , tells her to come from the next day , signifying that Piku is ready to move on .

Another interesting thing , the doctor informs Piku that Bhaskor had long suspected that Syed , colleague of Piku , sufferred from constipation . Piku asks him and he agrees . This signifies that he too is holding on to some notions from the past , thus is not suitable match for Piku , if Piku has to move on .

It is all really beautifully done . The message comes out loud and clear . The whole movie revolves around constipation in all its vues and colours but never a bad fart .

A rewatchable movie !

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Awesome Movie, Awesome Review and Awesome Comments from AnandGhurye

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