Thursday, 21 May 2015

Piku :: Movie Review

Piku is a delightful, quirky movie that gives a passe to usual formulaic elements of commercial film making and offers a fresh take on deeply layered father daughter relationship. The stand out factor in Piku is its invigorating storyline that has been penned down by Juhi Chaturvedi. Take a bow, Juhi Chaturvedi as this is one of the finest & intrepid writing that Indian Celluloid has seen after a long hiatus. It delightfully delves deep into and explores the ultimate elemental connection of life between a father and  a daughter. In an enchanting way, it talks about motion pills, discussion on shit, annoying folks and domestic helps who serve us dutifully until we perish. It is difficult to imagine bona fide sugariness from a film that talks about a grumpy old man and his peeved grown-up daughter whose most of the time is consummated in discussing remedies about his digestive problems. But to his credit director, Shoojit Sircar has been able to extract humor from the unlikeliest of situations. The script has been laden with germane of questions about the line of difference between sacrifice and duty, how dynamics of responsibilities shift from parents to children, co-operating and understanding the needs of aging parents. The relationship between Piku (Deepika Padukone) and her aging father Bhaskor (Amitabh) that has been portrayed through this movie is something we have never witnessed on Indian Celluloid before. It is a blend of both, progressively modern as well as conservative. On one hand, Bhaskor introduces his daughter as "Financially, emotionally, sexually independent, non virgin woman" to a suitor he meets in a party but on the other hand he is reluctant to see her get married and move away to a new home. As far as the storyline goes, Architect Piku is the only child of 70-year-old Bhaskor. Her life has become monotonous as her day begins with routine work in the office and ends up discussing bowel problems of her father. Being a dutiful daughter, she is ready to compromise everything for the sake of her father who is ever-worried about his constipation. One fine day, Bhaskor decides to visit his hometown Calcutta but insists on traveling by road. What all happens when a taxi service owner, Rana (Irrfan Khan) drives them to to Calcutta forms the rest of the story. What lends a further impetus to the movie is stellar performances from its star-cast. Deepika Padukone has portrayed the character of Piku without an inkling of contrivance.To her credit, we are not able to locate Deepika in the movie but only Piku. Amitabh Bachchan has given such a believable performance as a Bengali that it becomes difficult for you to digest the fact that in actual he is a Non-Bengali. His mannerisms, tantrums regarding his bowel problems are a treat to watch. Irrfan Khan as Rana Chaudhary who owns a taxi service has played his character to pitch perfection. He is such an effortless actor who can emote through his expressions without speaking a word from his mouth. Watch out for him in the scene where he expresses his displeasure without saying a word when Piku's family servant comes and sits along with him on the front seat of his taxi and than Piku alights from the vehicle and sits along side him. This unspoken affinity speaks volumes about the craftsmanship of the movie. Other noticeable performances have been delivered by Moushumi Chatterji, Jishu SenGupta & Raghuveer Yadav. The musical soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Anupam Roy who has done a brilliant job by keeping it in tandem with the screenplay. The opening title track is simply a treat for music connoisseurs. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the narrative must go to the cinematographer of the movie i.e. Kamaljeet Negi whose usage of color palettes as per the requirement of the shot is praiseworthy. The movie has been crisply edited by Chandrashekhar Prajapati who has kept the run-time to 125 minutes. As a director, Shoojit Sircar has scored all the brownie points as he has presented this simple, refreshing tale of a father-daughter relationship in the most captivating way. He has ably not only portrayed the finer nuances of relationships but also infused the film with some valuable lessons without making it sound preachy. Piku explores the relationship between an aging father and his daughter on whom he is completely dependent in the most endearing way. Piku is a must watch as it portrays a very pragmatic perspective of a typical Indian family gently tugging on your heartstrings.    

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