Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Film Review - Piku, a film of Bengali eccentricities

You have to give it to Deepika Padukone! Sandwiched between two stalwarts, Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan, she struck out and carved for herself to be acknowledged as a remarkable actress with an unforgettable role as Piku, in the film by the same name, directed by Soojit Sarkar.

Depicted as they come, a serious Bengali girl who is an Architect in Delhi, Piku is single, unmarried yet and a care giver to her 70 year old father, Bhaskor Banerjee, played by Amitabh Bachchan. Bhaskor is inflicted with a condition often a problem with aging people called constipation. Had it remained at that, it would have been fine but it has the Bengali twist to it, that being, constipation has become an obsession with the senior. From morning to night, breakfast to dinner, all conversations are around constipation!

Poor Piku! Needless to say, she is in the thick of having to listen to it and handle her father’s bowel condition, day in and day out. Being a dutiful daughter, she does not show resentment although a war of words ensues every now and then between the two.

Syed Afroz  played by Jisshu Sengupta is a good friend, although her Boss too at work and Piku and he could have made a good partnership, had Bhaskor not played dirty, like most Bengali single, to be read, widowed/widower father was not so selfish. He wanted Piku only to himself.

In the meantime, it is decided that the family house in Kolkata must be sold and Piku and Bhaskor, set off on a long journey to Kolkata by car! Bhaskor is mortally afraid of both Plane and Train, because, he is paranoid that his bowels which are already so reluctant will now create havoc for him.
Come Rana Chaudhary played by Irrfan Khan, the man who is a Civil Engineer but has had to settle to his father’s business of running a taxi service, after being cheated in the Gulf, by taking a job there, but made to do something else. He returned as soon as he could and then, took up his father’s business.

Through the long and quintessential journey from Delhi to Kolkata, Bhaskor and Piku get fond of him and find that even after arriving at Kolkata, they are averse to leaving him. But Rana must return soon to be followed by Piku  - alone.

Having given up the idea of selling the Kolkata house, Bhaskor overdoes his fun moments in Kolkata and leaves all of a sudden for his swargloka, happy as a lark, having had his full measure of fun and also having then forgotten all about his constipation.

Deepika returns to Delhi and its business as usual, with a difference! A game of badminton between Piku and Irrfan is indicative of things to come, in future, perhaps!

This review will remain incomplete with the mention of Chaubi Mashi, played by Moushumi Chatterjee, who is Piku’s maternal aunt, always visiting the family and never stopping to deride Bhaskor Bannerjee, Amitabh Bachchan, her brother-in-law in the film for causing the early death of her sister, by his constant idiosyncrasies.

I give 4 STAR to the film if you are to look at it from the Bengali point of view. It does a wonderful job! But if you are to look at the larger mass, I would give it only 2 STAR, because, unless you knew Bangla and their absolute eccentricities, it would be a film that could not have been watched at all!

Having said that, the director missed out on another Bengali idiosyncrasy, that being gorom joler kulkucchi – a warm water gargle.  But then that may be in the making of Piku II.


Amitabh Bachchan as Bhashkor Banerjee
Deepika Padukone as Piku Banerjee[5]
Irrfan Khan as Rana Chaudhary
Moushumi Chatterjee as Chaubi Mashi
Balendra Singh as Budhan
Raghuvir Yadav as Dr. Srivastava
Jisshu Sengupta as Syed Afroz
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury as Nabendu
Akshay Oberoi in a cameo

Maushumi Chatterjee boasts of her role in Piku: Click Here

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