Shoojit Sircar’s “Piku” tells a compelling story

10 May, 2015 8:40 pm

MUMBAI – 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. – Reuters

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