Set in the very famous CR Park, Bhaskor Banerjee (Bachchan), a hypochondriac septuagenarian, lives with his unmarried 30 plus daughter, Piku (Padukone). Both father and daughter are what you would call typically in Bambaiya lingo dimaag ka dahi…
Piku tries to run a small time firm with her partner Sai (Jeeishu Sengupta) but as shown in the first 15 minutes of the film, her life is controlled by her father’s constipation issues. The person who bears the major amount of brunt of Piku’s ire is her daily taxi transporter, Rana (Irrfan), whose drivers and cars take a literal beating due to her temper.
The film thrives due to the simplicity of its writing. There is no huge melodrama nor unnecessary back stories about Piku’s mother or Irrfan’s father, who keep getting regular references in the film, but yet you realise there is a particular void due to them in the respective lives.
Shoojit proves yet again that given the creative freedom, he can do wonders with his cast and crew. Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing and screenplay are the real hero of the film. Just like Vicky Donor, in Piku a common ailment is so deftly handled without getting technical or gross.
Music by Anupam Roy is pleasant, especially the background music, which keeps adding more colour to the vivid landscape captured by Kamaljeet Negi, from CR Park to Howrah via Kashi Ghat. Although a rare thing off late, but the editing by Chandrashekhar Prajapati too keeps this 125 minute film tight. For not one moment would you even look at your watch or the exit.
Chaturvedi’s writing is done justice too by the performances. It was a given that a cast like this would not let you down in the hands of Sircar. And do they deliver. Bachchan’s Bengali dialect coupled with his expressions, add to Deepika’s angst conveyed through her eyes. The icing on the cake is Irrfan’s lost cause look and approach. The manner in which these 3 try and justify situations based on their experiences, makes for an excellent road trip.
Moushami is a delight as the nagging sister in law who just wont give up on her dead sister’s family. Raghubir Yadav is good in his Anu Kapoor inspired wig, wonder why. Sengupta as Deepika’s friend, partner and sounding board is good.
The film belongs to Deepika, no doubt. Her every emotion is conveyed through her eyes, be it anger or self pity at her ownself, care and irritation at her father, indifference and eventual curiousity towards Irrfan is conveyed through her eyes, which in this case, do speak a thousand words. Playing today’s modern, independent woman who wants to live life but yet is not brazen enough to leave her ageing father is one thing, but playing it in the manner Deepika does, is taking it to the next level. The role reversal between parents and children and its responsibilities forms the core of Piku’s existence.
Having said that, it is always a delight to see Bachchan on screen, but here we get to see him face off with Irrfan. The interactions and discussions between these 2 are the high points of the film. Be it Irrfan’s pitch for herbs, using the Indian style of toilet or the drawing of the digestive system or Bachchan’s insensitive questioning of Irrfan’s father’s death. Bachchan is Bachchan and because he has his dialect right, the rest of his loud reactions make the character believable and not a caricature.
Irrfan on the other hand, with lesser screen time and dialogues steals the show with his dry humour and hapless expressions. His constant checking of Piku’s acceptance is truly endearing.
Undoubtedly one of the best films of Hindi cinema.
Does it have The Y Factor : YES
Rating : 4/5