Piku: a refreshing peek at the Banerjee family. No shit!

As beautifully as the movie is put together in the official trailer, it was surprisingly refreshing.  And it's not about just constipation. Or shit.

 Directed by Shoojit Sircar
 (Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe) and backed with story &  script by Juhi Chaturvedi of Vicky Donor fame, PIKU is a slice of life story, a silent peek of 2h into the everyday life of the Bengali family that transcends into a soul searching journey in a 1500km road trip to Kolkata, of whims, of responsibilities, of desires, of one's roots and about judgements.

Amitabh Bachchan fails to be Amitabh Bachchan and thus succeeds to be Bhaskor Banerjee,  the cranky old man, pot bellied, extremely fussy about his motions, strongly opionated and oh,  yes! stubborn.

Although the movie was aimed to be about the daughter Piku's (Deepika Padukone) story, of her paradox of life, we get a glimpse to their life with every character having an equal to do.

She is different. Nothing like the typical heroine. She's irritating, annoying, weird and says it so herself. In a friends with benefits relationship with her boss Syed, she's put in awkward situations where her own father breaks it out to every man she meets that she's no virgin. The question there, 'So, is she a nice girl?' very subtly mocked at the fragile harmony of the youth today, their parents and the hypocrisy of men when they wish to marry. Bhaskor is no typical Dad and he wishes her daughter not to be married.

No one is nice here. Piku doesn't worship her father, she merely accepts him with all his flaws. That is love. This movie is about the Grey Shades and no black and white and being unapologetic about it.  Because there's no need.  Because it is the reality that we try to hide with the ideal Indian family bollywood movies or sitcoms.
Indian cinema is evolving indeed where we are being able to see realistic movies that have nothing of a formula movie- No item number, no kissing scene,  no hero entry. Just the story and a sweet and lovely take at romance.

Moushumi Chatterjee as Piku’s maternal aunt Chhobi and Raghubir Yadav (of Mungerilal fame) as Dr. Shrivastava, Bhaskor's homeopathic doctor bring life to the story. And so does Rana Choudhary ; the non Bengali and repeatedly mocked so, for us to remember. Played by Irrfan Khan, Rana is a lovable character who is Syed's friend and has a crush on Piku.
He really wins your heart with his subtle moves to solve the Banerjee family and understand Piku. But he is no white shade either. With typical fights with his mother and sister and yet bearing their responsibilities, we get a sneak peek at another paradox. Can't live with them. Can't live without them. Turned emotional when all his drivers run away from the nightmare of driving not just the foul mouthed Piku but her equally weird father all the way to Kolkata,  the owner of the cab company Rana himself takes a break in his life,  sneaks out of his house at 4.30 am and drives them. Or atleast tries to!

They pack half their house for this adventurous road trip and you should see Rana's face. It's a comedy of sarcasms. With the to sell or not to sell the ancestral home where her mother died, PIKU in parts becomes like her father. It's an interestingly raw take at the way we are, practical or not.

The story also addresses familial ties and how things worsen when things are kept in the heart. 'Frustration leads to constipation. One should always speak.'  says Bhaskor.
The lighthearted way in which we discover cynical Bhaskor's love for his wife, his brother's love for him and the most bitter sweet relationship of Chhobi (Mausomi Charterjee) and her brother in law Bhaskor win your heart. When the characters are so well written and so well performed you wish there could be more with it.

The first half is filled with energy and the pace slightly slows down in the second half.

Of all the characters Piku felt less Bengali than everyone else. But that's purely coming from the acting and direction or makeup.
Kamaljeet Negi at the camera brings out the everyday Kolkata beautifully.
Veera Kumar who has done the costumes for the film has put every character to perfection to look and feel like who they are.

All in all,  worth a watch.


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