Poop and Rock
Film: PikuCast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan
Directed by: Shoojit Sircar
Duration: 2 hrs 2 mins
Rating: * * * *
Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Piku is a triumph for commercial cinema – It has popular actors and yet the story is not main stream by any stretch of imagination. It may not have much of a story to speak of, it is all character driven, but Juhi Chaturvedi (of Vicky Donor fame) who has written the screenplay and the dialogues, delivers one of the finest films of 2015.
The devil always lies in the detail and the film makers have got that spot on. Amitabh Bachchan in his most remarkable performance in recent time, plays Bhaskor Bannerjee (note, it is Bhaskor and not Bhaskar) a Bengali settled in Chittaranjan Park, Delhi. To say that he is an eccentric man would be an understatement. Among other issues that he has, the main is constipation. His daughter Piku (Deepika Padukone), a single working woman, has a tough time coping up with the old man’s obsession of sorts with his bowel movements. It doesn’t sound very appetizing but just how the writer director team pulled off the issue of sperm donation in style in Vicky Donor without ever making you squirm in your seat, constipation is tackled with a great deal of amusement here.
Piku wants to get on with her life, more often than not she manages to do that. But the next issue related to health or bowel is never too far away, even when she is on a date.
Irrfan Khan plays Rana, the owner of a taxi service – initially, it is not clear what exactly the relationship between him and Piku is. They are acquaintances but we don’t know if they have a soft corner for each other.
Bhaskor da decides to take a trip to his ancestral home in Kolkata, since traveling by air is likely to give him palpitations and a train journey is not good for his tummy, they decide to drive down all the way.
As expected the fun continues on the road as Rana drives them down but it doesn’t unfold in your regular road movie format. There is more to it than just the journey, the destination also matters.
With those quick cuts and smart dialogues, the tone is set right from the word go. At just over two hours, there is never a dull moment in the film, you are smiling, laughing or a bit emotional towards the climax. It is also refreshing to see an ending that is not exactly in the traditional mould.
The film makers have also crafted the Bengali’ness perfectly which adds to the milieu. The old man’s character is most fascinating – while he is always overtly bothered about his health, he is also as liberal as a father and has progressive views on just about everything. It also touches upon the issue of children taking care of their parents in old age - it raises questions, as for the answer, to each his own.
While the music score is also impressive, it is the cast that takes the cake. With the kind of roles she has been doing recently, Deepika Padukone ascertains herself as one of the best actresses on the scene. The father daughter chemistry between her and Big B is terrific. Irrfan Khan is reliable as always but it is Amitabh Bachchan who stands out in a remarkable performance. Whether it is the accent, mannerisms, expressions or timing, Bachchan shows that if the role has any potential, he can still make mince-meat of it.
Piku offers the most wonderful time at the cinemas, don’t miss out on it.
Published in The Navhind Times, Goa on 10th May 2015