Piku advocates for unmarried, working women

Published: May 20, 2015
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It is an informal, witty, and emotional anecdote about the convoluted rapport between an educated daughter and her inflexible elderly father.

Brilliant art direction, exceptional storyline, unconventional relationships and very subtle performances come together to make Piku an enjoyable and unforgettable family drama with a harsh reality.

It is an informal, witty and emotional anecdote about the convoluted rapport between an educated daughter and her inflexible elderly father. The movie focuses on daily tribulations in a cheerful and carefree manner which effortlessly speaks to the audience.

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the movie relates the story of a 70-year-old retired Bengali man, Bhashkor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), who lives in Delhi with his daughter, a working woman, Piku Banerjee (Deepika Padukone).

Photo: Facebook page

Photo: Facebook page

Piku is seen as always trying her best to look after her widowed and hypochondriac father who has unidentified age-related health issues, including constipation. The small Banerjee family discuss bowel movements during their breakfast or dinner time with such ease that it seems like they are talking about extremely serious issues. Bhashkor is seen updating Piku about his frustrating toilet experiences during her office hours.

In these circumstances, Piku gets awfully irritated with her father’s persistent self-indulgent and odd behaviour. Though a self-reliant career woman, she is still waiting for his permission to get married.

On the other hand, Bhashkor has always admired career-oriented women who choose to remain unmarried throughout their lives. He considers married women as creatures with low levels of IQ. In fact, he dislikes the idea of his daughter getting married and shedding her own identity.

Photo: Facebook page

During an outlandish road trip from Delhi to Kolkata, grumpy Bhashkor’s non-stop complaints and short-tempered Piku’s crankiness with a reluctant driver, Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan), paints the strange lives of a freaky father and a caring daughter.

The road trip and their eccentricity keep the audience mesmerised for the rest of the plot.

Photo: Facebook page

Photo: Facebook page

Sircar’s Piku does not require a romantic Bollywood set-up, sensational scenes and meddling songs and dances. Instead, it’s an endearing story with an emotional stance about the deep attachment of a father–daughter bond – all presented in a very subtle manner with lots of scatological wit.

The basic reason why I felt Piku is relevant is because of its strong and moving theme. In many households, families have stubborn ageing elders who are dominating, yet they provide a warm and loving atmosphere for the entire family.

People, and especially single daughters, who cope with Bhashkor-style fathers or parents and their irksome tantrums is something which a lot of individuals can relate to – it is a reflection of reality. It would be easy to identify oneself with Piku or Bhaskhor.

Sircar and screen writer Juhi Chaturvedi, who previously enticed moviegoers with Vicky Donor in 2012, once again picked a common story and proved that a wacky, avant-garde subject can perform well at the box office and garner praise from critics.

Padukone and Khan have shown remarkable acting skills by turning their respective characters into congenial and factual figures. Both are idiosyncratic and tuned in with their own thoughts. However, they do not allow those idiosyncrasies to engulf them.

Photo: Facebook page

Arguably, it is the wonderful Big B who steals the show. The ways in which he portrays himself as an unremorsefully selfish, bad-tempered old man and delivers his witty lines with cynical looks is a sign of his commendable acting skills. He is entirely convincing with his wide-eyed innocence and the tone and expressions of Big B are extremely memorable.

Piku is a plain and simple movie. But despite its simplicity, it manages to keep the audience engrossed and entertained for two hours. There are no larger-than-life characters, dramatic arts or a happy-ever-after ending, yet the movie is like a much-needed breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, it is magical because of the humorous and quaint remarks by the characters, further supporting their insular stereotypes. The story delivers a significant message about old age, something which we all can learn from.

I would definitely recommend all moviegoers to watch this movie. I assure you that the emotional and insightful script, as well as the memorable performances by Khan, Padukone and Bachchan will keep you captivated throughout.

Overall, I would rate Piku a 4 out of 5.

Tanveer Khadim

Tanveer Khadim

An avid reader, freelance writer and a blogger, Tanveer is pursuing fashion designing. She has a passion for cooking, attended cookery courses and tweets as @TheFusionDiary (twitter.com/TheFusionDiary)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Anila Qadeer

    Agreed we all have a father or grandfather like Amitabh in our families.Recommend

  • Daniah

    Good review! Fathers always have unexplainable relationship with their daughters and Piku is about it. Recommend

  • Kaleem Ahmed

    Piku is lovly film I loved it for its real life events. Recommend

  • Reader

    Nice watch-able movie and light hearted topic about the problems old people face.Recommend

  • R Khan

    @Tanveer
    After Amir Khan’s PK, Deepika and Amitabh’s Piku is another splendid film in which every actor acted very well.Recommend

  • Mansoor

    A very heart-wrenching movie! Parents have to go one day, cherish your time with them.Recommend

  • MZ

    Loved it for awesome acting by Bachchan.Recommend

  • Riffat Tahir

    Completely worth it. Fantastic Bollywood film I have seen in a very long time.Recommend

  • Tanveer Khadim

    @All readers
    Thank you everyone for reading the review.Recommend

  • Laiq Alam

    It reminded so much of my Dada Ji during his last 3 years before he died of a heart attack.Recommend

  • Talat

    Loved the arguments of piku and her father. Recommend

  • Jahanzaib

    Wonderful performances in Piku. This film is not everyone’s cup of tea only those who have seen such situations in their homes can understand the message of Piku.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Saw the movie yesterday and though it was slow paced but it was enjoyable. For once Amitabh Bachchan plays a character ( a hypochondriac ….and plays it well ) and does not play Amitabh Bachchan.Recommend