Piku 1
By Adite Banerjie …………………. Once in a long while you come across a movie that totally resonates with you. Piku is one such film. In terms of production, it's not lavishly mounted nor does it boast of a plot that will keep you on the edge of the seat. But it does have two powerhouse actors Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan. That alone should be well worth the price of the ticket. However, this time around, it’s not the actors who are the stars of the show but the screenwriter-director team of Juhi Chaturvedi and Shoojit Sircar. Who would think that a film--which feels like you had strayed into the room of your own cantankerous, geriatric parent suffering from a bad case of constipation--would turn out to be the sleeper hit of the year? The story revolves around the constipation problems of 70-year old Bhashkor Banerjee and the daily battles that his 30-year old unwed daughter Piku (played brilliantly by Deepika Padukone) wages in dealing with him. Irrfan is cast, thankfully not as a romantic lead, but a cab service owner who is forced to drive the father-daughter duo from Delhi to Kolkata. The interactions between the three are sharp, witty and full of subtext. The movie is rooted in the Bengali culture adding a layer of authenticity to the characters that is rare in Bollywood films. And yet, the themes that it touches upon are universal – be it the problems of caring for elderly parents, women’s empowermentor sounding a lament for the way we are disconnecting from our traditional roots. Mostly though it’s about a daughter-father relationship that often borders on the hysterical but has its own quiet moments. There is one such moment when Piku walks off in ahuff after her father declares at a party that his daughter is “not a virgin.” The father returns home much later, having had a few drinks and is in good spirit. He puts an old song and dances clumsily to it. A tired Piku is about to scold him but stops, watches him with a smile, turns around and walks back with a spring in her step, quietly shutting the door. Even the scatological humour is not misplaced as it fits the character of the hypochondriac Bhashkor Banerjee and stops just short of turning into an overplayed running gag. As Irrfan’s character Rana says in the film: “Death aurshit, yeh do cheezhai jokabhibhi aa saktihai (death and shit are two things that can happen at any time.)” *Adite Banerjie is a romance author and screenwriter

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