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PIKU - Do watch it for the brilliant, enjoyable performances from every single person featuring in it. (Review By Bobby Sing)

08 May, 2015 | Movie Reviews / 2015 Releases


Post a decent debut film YAHAAN (2005), his VICKY DONOR won over the masses and the classes (critics) together in 2012 and his MADRAS CAFÉ (2013) was widely appreciated by the critics as well a certain section of viewers ready to accept the well made, off-beat gems defying the set formula. So there were huge expectations from his PIKU and director Shoojit Sircar once again delivers a fabulous winner making a commendable hat-trick with a film that should be loved by a majority of audience looking for something fresh and original close to our real lives.
However reviewing the film with a distinctive vision, I would like to begin with three major characteristics of Sircar’s films that deservingly take him into the list of Top 5 thinking directors of the present times without any slightest of doubt.
Firstly its his choice of subjects as seen in his last three fine films, wherein MADRAS CAFÉ follows a completely different mindset of making a hard hitting, real life inspired, espionage thriller. But both VICKY DONOR and PIKU intend to tickle the viewers with a very enjoyable mix of humour, love, emotions and our real life problems depicted perfectly. Plus regarding the novelty of subjects in these two films, just see how Sircar and his team incorporate the “Human Excretion System” as their basic plots so entertainingly (both from the front and the back, putting it in a more lighter tone).
The second major feature of his films (becoming the backbone of the entire project) remains a highly believable, straight forward and fast paced writing with simplistic dialogues as we generally speak in our daily lives. The truly relatable characters, their language and their mannerisms easily win over the viewers in just the opening minutes of the film and then one effortlessly flows along with them throughout. Here in PIKU, the credit of this entire department once again goes to immensely gifted Juhi Chaturvedi as the story-screenplay-dialogues writer. And she was only the one responsible for that splendid impact of VICKY DONOR (story-screenplay-dialogues) and MADRAS CAFÉ too (only dialogues).
As the third solid merit of Shoojit Sircar films one has to mention his unusual but flawless casting that always becomes the talk of the town post the film’s official release. For instance, after VICKY DONOR made into the theatres, you could easily find everyone talking about not only the fresh lead pair but also Annu Kappor, Dolly Ahulwalia and Kamlesh Gill (playing the grandmother). Later MADRAS CAFÉ had John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri along with the surprising and lesser known (in Hindi films) Prakash Belawadi playing the cunning villain. And now we have PIKU featuring Amitabh, Deepika, Irrfan, Moushumi Chatterjee and everyone else in the supporting cast playing it real well. In fact the Bengali flavor thoroughly enjoyed in VICKY DONOR is right there in PIKU too (in the film’s second half), beautifully portraying KOLKATTA reminding you of all the stunning visuals last seen in KAHAANI.
Piku-3Coming to the experience of watching PIKU in the theatre, it begins with a soothing sitar recital in the titles and then the film straight away steps on to the 3rd gear in its first sequence itself showcasing the father-daughter having a tensed, high pitched conversation. The few other key characters in the script get quickly introduced in the next 20 minutes with fast intercuts between its short scenes and the progression never really gives you some time even to look at your mobile phone (following the routine habit). In the middle PIKU turns into a road movie with the team of four (Amitabh, Deepika, Irrfan and the servant) deciding to go to Kolkatta via road (car) from Delhi and then the city of joy greets you well with another impressive Bengali couple strongly demanding your attention with their noticeable act. Its final moments make you feel the pain of separation with moist eyes and the climax leaves you thinking on an indecisive note, probably shying away from having a routine, predictable end.
Based on a unique and unusual plot about constipation, PIKU is certainly not an easy film to make as it doesn’t have any descriptive storyline and it more or less remains predictable too once its basic premise gets revealed in the initial moments. The topic of toiler humour is quite difficult to express in dialogues being spoken on dinner tables but Juhi does it superbly establishing the loving relationship between the old age father and his daughter in the early thirties. The sequences keep delivering many enjoyable moments and good laughs regularly till the finale and one doesn’t feel tired at all watching only 4-5 characters in the entire film simply conversing with each other on the topic of constipation. In other words, the film has no conflict as such (as it was there in VICKY DONOR) but Sircar still successfully manages to make it all fun and nothing boring or dragging with an amazing ease reminding you of the classic films from Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee
An intelligent film made straight from the heart, PIKU fearlessly talks about many serious issues in a comical mode such as old age ailment, the lonely life of a widower or a widow when their grown up kids are willing to start their own family, the attention seeking nature of old people and the nostalgia they like to keep living in remembering the gone era. It focuses on a weird, over-indulgent father who feels no shame in telling a stranger that his young daughter is not a virgin and a visibly frustrated but caring daughter who only has the topic of constipation to talk about on the phone even when she is sitting in a restaurant on a dinner date. Besides the best part of the film turns out to be its particular scenes and dialogues dealing with Bengali language, culture and the city of Kolkatta, making it a visual treat to enjoy along with the touching relationships developing between its various characters.
Musically, PIKU has few average but soothing numbers from singer-songwriter-composer Anupam Roy (his debut Hindi project) perfectly suiting the mood of the film. The songs are inserted at the right moments that make them sound even better as per the situation. Plus the beautiful cinematography, crisp editing (though too quick at times) and casual costumes designed quite authentically establish an instant connection with the viewer enhancing its overall impact.
Piku-2Moving into performances, though the film has two towering male personalities having their own distinctive screen presence known to all, the film still completely belongs to Deepika Padukone alone as conveyed by the title PIKU that happens to be her nickname (the original name not mentioned anywhere). The actress truly gives another career best performance as the young, casual, middle class, working girl (with minimal make-up) who has twinkling eyes, killer looks and an adorable controlled grin that slowly makes you fall in love as the film proceeds further. Making the risky but right choices, Deepika has strongly proved her understanding of the medium too in the recent years and PIKU brightly showcases a sincere growth of a hard working performer willing to take up new challenges repeatedly.
Amitabh Bachchan as Banerjee is a sheer delight to watch and that too minus his baritone voice in an eccentric kind of character conversing in an enjoyable Bengali tone. He is simply outstanding slipping into a different body of an old man annoyed of his own non-existing or self-assumed diseases. And I really doubt we have any other actor around who could be giving these kinds of performances at the age of 70. Completing the trio, Irrfan Khan as expected plays the travel agency owner with an incredible perfection. The way he calls out his drivers to take up different duties and his entertaining interactions with Amitabh Bachchan on the road trip generate a good laugh in the theatres. And not to forget only a two scene depiction of his own family disputes with his mother and sister say a lot about the actor and his impeccable style of expressions.
In the supporting cast, that always has been the highlight of a Shoojit Sircar film we have the return of Moushumi Chatterjee on screen as the talkative Mausi who is delightful talking with Amitabh Bachchan about his dead wife, her sister. Raghuvir Yadav makes a decent impact as the friendly doctor and then the actors playing the Bengali couple, Irrfan’s family and the accompanying servant, all remain fairly entertaining in their respective roles, particularly the servant.
Having praised the film whole heartedly, I still found PIKU as a project majorly made only to entertain its audiences (and not enlighten them), focusing less on the drama and emotional aspect of the relationships that happened to be the key element of films of Hrishi Da and Basu Da. Music being the soul of our Hindi films, the melody was once again missing though the lyrics were right there expressing it fine. Moreover it simply touches many sensitive issues of life but avoids getting into them in details fearing the viewer’s loss of interest. Frankly, I would have loved the movie even more, if the writer-director had also focused on the way old age needs to be lived re-discovering life and its meaning in those uncertain final days focusing on the character of Banerjee. (And what I wish to convey about the same is there in details after the review, for all interested friends)
Summing up, it can easily be said that PIKU is original, innovative and highly enjoyable too as a film revolving around few unusual characters. But it still might find difficult to reach the masses as the humor mostly remains the city-humour, spoken in mixed lingo of Hindi, English and Bangla. Also the finale, avoiding any clichéd, seen before climax is not going to be appreciated by all ending on an abrupt note. It’s a highly satisfying watch if you consider only the performances and their close to real-life interactions keeping you entertained and engrossed throughout. However adding it into the director’s body of work, I will like to place it above MADRAS CAFÉ but below VICKY DONOR to give you a clear idea.
Having said that, with PIKU as one of the best films of 2015, Hindi film-makers do expand their vision of mainstream cinema exploring new ideas undoubtedly and therefore the film deserves to be seen as a must supporting the progressive move.
Rating : 4 / 5
Piku-4“A short insight on how the old age ought to be lived with a positive outlook”.
Just recall the days of our vacations, when we go out of station or country for a few days or weeks only to enjoy the outing, thinking nothing else for that particular period of time.
The days are all spent in an enjoyable mood with the family or friends together. And as soon as the last few days of those holidays come closer we tend to make the most of it, doing much more in a day, visiting many more places in those hours, buying many more things from the market, fulfilling many more desires before the limited hours get over.
In short, we simply try to make the best of that time before it again gets back to the same routine life as usual. We don’t like to waste even a minute of those final days knowing the climax is sure to be there.
And that’s exactly how we ought to live the old age, like an enjoyable holiday coming to an end soon………… making the best of those final days before it all gets over either on our own cozy bed or in the hospital room with all the electrical appliances pierced in.

That’s the way to end the life on a cheerful, satisfying note………………heading towards a new divine horizon spreading more smiles around and not sorrow.


Tags : Piku Movie Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Best Hindi Films of 2015
08 May 2015 / Comments ( 6 )

Hey Sir..

Hope you are doing good. Poking my nose again in your writing after a long gap :D

I do keep visiting your blogs but however could not make time to converse with you. Or may be I was not being myself for last few months..

Watched Piku last night and felt in love with its simplicity at the first go, with a small glitch - bengali pronunciation of Amitabh..May be fault lies in my ear.. \'cos all three of them were simply brilliant in their respective roles..Raghuvir, Moushumi, Jishu were great too.. same applies for rest of the supporting cast.. Just wanted to add a special mention of one particular character - the one playing owner of the car which met with an accident with Irrfan\'s car. I somehow loved this guy for one simple reason - sharing 10 sec.s of screen space against Irrfan with such an ease and confidence..

I am not totaly taking your point on " I still found PIKU as a project majorly made only to entertain its audiences (and not enlighten them)".. What I believe is that this time Shoojit and Juhi were more focused on Piku and not on BhaskOr, for obvious reasons. They tried to present us life from Piku\'s point of view.

[ I have 3 friends, named bhaskOr, all of them are bengali and spell their name as bhaskAr :D ]

However, your insightful writings made me remind of another so called Flop movie - Club 60. I loved this one.. specially Raghuvir Yadav (with all due respect to Farooq Sheikh and other greats). Just to add on - last week a bengali movie (Bela seshe - *ing Soumitra Chatterjee) ,dealing with life of an old age couple, was released here in Bengal..

Bye for now.. Kp up the great work Sir.. signing off with all my love and respect..

Bobby Sing

Hi Avik,
I am good and great to see you back too.
Yes you are right that this time Shoojit and Juhi were more focused on Piku presenting it from her point of view.
But from my personal experiences I can inform that this is a prescribed pattern now being followed to make completely entertaining films with very very few moments of sadness and sorrow in them. And that is the reason you will not find this side of the coin in almost all the films made in the last few years in terms of mainstream cinema.

However regarding CLUB 60, I hope you have read my review of the movie too at BTC.
And I will sure chek the Bengali movie (Bela Seshe - *ing Soumitra Chatterjee) in the next few weeks.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,

It is nice review.
But one sentence really had me thinking,
\"And I really doubt we have any other actor around who could be giving these kinds of performances at the age of 70.\"
what does this mean?

why do you think Om Puri . Naseer , Pankaj Kapoor, or even Rajit Kapoor can\'t play such roles?
forget those, Dharmendra is very capable of playing this role!

I don\'t see a reason for the glorification of this role by Amitabh. he himself is an aging man! not a 30yr old.

If you expect 30yr olds to play old men like these, then check some roles of Sanjeev Kumar. he was a far better actor than Bachchan except in action roles.

sorry, for the harsh tone, I didn\'t see anything \'tough\' in this role. but if you want to glorify Amitabh and pls. do it for KHUDA GAWAH.

none of his fatherly roles deserve it.
Bobby Sing

Hi Chris,
Thanks for agreeing to the review but you know I was really smiling reading your comment because in your emotions against Amitabh you actually took the line in a completely different and wrong meaning.

The one sentence that made you thinking was not about any person in the age group of 70 today. But it was about the present heroes who would be turning 70 in the next few decades.

So the line actually meant that "I really doubt we have any other actor around (from the present stars) who could be giving these kinds of performances at the age of 70 (in the coming decades)"

I hope its more clear now.

amit joshi

Yesterday I was watching Vicky donor on tv. There is a scene where gautmi\'s father ask her whether the bangali boys are not good in bed/sex as compared to Punjab boy ? In piku also Amitabh kept telling strangers that his daughter is not virgin. Both films are written by same writer. What you think what could be the reason/mentality behind such purpuseful dialogues ? Pls enlighten.

Bobby Sing

Dear Amit,
Must say that you noticed this similarity quite well in both the films. But more than anything else this has everything to do with the charaterisations written by the same writer and nothing in particular about any community or region.
In reality our society in any part of the country is not so free to talk about such things with their daughters. So its more to do with the writer's individual vision towards a story or character and not anything else as per my opinion.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,

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