#Piku : Unlike Any Other Made in India Movie …
India is the biggest producer of movies across the world, yes it is true, there are more movies made in Bollywood than in Hollywood, majority of these movies can be described simply as crap.
Its very rare to be able to find a story or a character in a movie that one can relate to. It is specially true for the mainstream Bollywood movies – the Hollywood blockbusters that are released in India are no different. That is why Piku was an extraordinarily pleasant surprise. All the shows of the movie were sold out over the weekend, thanks largely to an high IQ Bong wife, we had the tickets booked in advance :-). The crowd for the movie at the cinema hall ranged from toddlers to retired senior citizens – mostly multiple generations within the same family – maybe as part of mother’s day outing. And throughout the movie the theater was filled with the laughs, claps and specially in the end total pin drop silence. Everyone walking out had a gentle smile on their face – a reminder of wonderful 2.5 hour of flawless entertainment.
If you are a Bong or related to one, you will not be able to stop smiling throughout the movie, it is so much real – a lot of research seems to have gone into this story telling. And everything is so sincere and light that the whole road trip experience becomes a gentle ride.
The story revolves around three main characters – Piku (Deepika Padukone) her father Bhashkor Banerjee / Baba (the undisputed biggest superstar of India cinema – Amitabh Bachchan) and owner of a cab service Rana Choudhary (Irrfan Khan, an amazing actor who has got some roles in world/ Hollywood movies as well), owner of a cab service who has a crush on Piku and gets entangled in the Banerjee family affairs as he takes them on a road trip from Delhi to Kolkata.
The movies starts off and ends on the story young single woman dealing with the child-like tantrums of her 70 year old father – but there is much more than than in between.
Piku is a working girl from Bengal (Eastern part – cultural hub of India) in New Delhi (Northern part, capital city). An architect by profession, she is a strong, independent woman – not so common in the northern part of India. She is grounded and rooted to family and willing to take care of her father without any qualms about it, but she is also a forward looking, modern woman. Piku is the kind of girl who doesn’t shy away from responsibilities.
The film is a roller coaster ride of everyday problems she faces with her father (Baba in Bengali) Bhaskhor Banerjee . He is retired and spends most of his time obsessing about age-related issues. He is stubborn, dramatic and comes with his own set of problems. He has very specific, but unconventional, likes and dislikes and fixed ideologies. He is not a man who enjoys socialising. Baba is not the hero of the movie in conventional sense, but the film does revolve around him as he makes everyone else run around to satisfy his childlike tantrums.
Rana is the outsider who has nothing to do with the Banerjee family but gets entangled with them and all their drama. He is the owner of a taxi service, who comes with his own quota of problems and then happens to get some more, when he finds himself entangled in the Banerjee family. Things take a funny turn once Rana is forced to go on a road trip with Piku and Baba.
Baba/ Bhashkor Bannerjee emotionally blackmails Piku to take a road trip from Delhi to Kolkata and Rana has no choice but to drive them personally since none of his drivers are willing to endure Piku or her eccentric father. During this undesired road trip Rana gets to know the family a little better – learn to deal with the mood swings and idiosyncrasies of father-daughter duo, laughs at the strange bathroom habits of the father and also gets to see the warmth inside Piku’s earth which she keeps hidden under her tough-girl exterior facade.
Its a heady mix of motion, emotion & commotion, finally culminating in Kolkata where Piku and Bhaskhor return to realize they are still strongly connected to their roots. Rana gets to understand Piku a little more as well as Piku’s family starts appreciating Rana as person – someone more than just a North Indian driver. The audience gets an insight into the father-daughter relationship where Baba/ Bhashkor’s irritating yet endearing demeanour and Piku’s equally headstrong nature may always be at loggerheads but this seemingly dysfunctional relationship is bonded by an understated and an unconditional love that leaves you wanting more.
The director does a wonderful job of keeping the story line simple and realistic – not overdoing the romance between Piku and Rana or the emotional drama between Piku and her Baba/ other family members.
I would rate this as one of the best Indian movie I have ever seen. Please go and watch the movie, you will not be disappointed…