Cast: Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan
A film whose tagline reads as ‘motion se hi emotion’. True to it, Shoojit Sircar’s Piku is clogged with the two, but at the end of it, it doesn’t leave your drained. In fact, Piku’s ‘toilet humor’ leaves you both sober and amused at the same time.Director Shoojit Sircar is out with another heart-warming slice of life tale, one that surely strikes a chord with the viewers.
Bhashkor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) is a 70-year-old grumpy, consciously constipated Bengali widower, and an overprotective father who just wouldn’t set free his equally snobbish daughter Piku (Deepika Padukone). Not that Piku hasn’t had her share of relationships, but imagine the plight of a daughter whose old father has no qualms in making public that his daughter is not a virgin, when she’s surrounded by potential suitors. And most conversations between father and daughter invariably veer towards the severely constipated pot belly of Sir Bhashkor.
Tired of her father’s tantrums, Piku carries the frustrations at her workplace, thereby she’s feared and left alone by most around her. Ironically, it’s an adversity that sets in motion a journey that changes their lives forever.
After being laid low by a pressure attack, Sir Bhashkor is adamant on revisiting his ancestral home in Kolkata, and that too, by road. A reluctant Piku gives in to his demand, but is left livid with the driver for not showing up. Most of whom are scarred by Piku’s famous temper. So, in steps the taxi service owner Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan), not a Bengali but a Brahmin from UP who like Piku is pestered by his nagging sister and mother.
Thus begins a long road trip, filled with many a bumpy ride that leaves all drenched. However, along the way, the protagonists discover new facets to their relationships. The new found bonhomie brings both father and daughter, and Rana and Piku close to each other. The climax is a forgone conclusion, but at the end of it there’s plenty to celebrate about Piku.
Despite his linguistic challenges, Amitabh Bachchan plays the grumpy Bengali widower to the tee. In the process, Bachchan gives an whole new meaning to toilet humour. Not only does Deepika Padukone look stunning in her Bong avtaar, but she’s backed it up by a performance that makes you question her, “Are you sure, you’re not a Bengali?”
However, as often, it’s this man Irrfan who steals the show with yet another stellar performance. Be it his tongue-in-cheek humor or blunt talking, there’s an unflinching honesty in Rana that hits both your mind and heart. Take for instance in the scenes where Rana displays the merits of having an Indian commode, or why cows never complain of constipation. Similarly, you are all ears when Rana minces no words in asking a stubborn Bhashkor to stop throwing needless tantrums.
A director is the captain of the ship, and Shoojit Sircar brilliantly steers his ship to its final destination. One of the focal points of Sircar’s film is how he gives each character, no matter how short their role, its full due. That is evident from the humble performances of the buttler and the maid who returns in the climax scene to keep her promise.
But through Piku, Sircar has beautifully unearthed the sweet and sour relationships between children and their aging, lonely parents. There ought not to be one who can’t relate themselves with Piku, Bhashkor and Rana. And even if you are an obedient child, there’s no way that you can let Piku go down the drain.