Some movies are good, some are bad, some are brilliant and, some are simply magic. Piku is sheer magic coming out of the ordinary life. It is a sensitively portrayed story of a father and daughter relationship. The magic in the movie comes from the brutal honesty and the deep love that the duo share for each other in spite of being completely fed up of the situation they are in. It is a traditional yet modern Bengali story. Traditional in its essence, its portrayal of a typical Bengali household, the locations and modern in its treatment of the subject, the representation of an independent woman and the choices she makes.
Apart from the father-daughter pair, a very important ingredient of the movie is the authentic Bengali backdrop. By bringing a Bengali background, the movie inevitably brings in a lot of spice and effortless humor. Bengalis by nature and instinct are anything but docile. Watching Piku was a treat to my half Bengali self (the other half being Jaat, my father’s side i.e). Bengalis are a very passionate, loud and untamed specie. By loud, I mean LOUD! Yes! That loud. By the experiences I have had with my passionate side of the family, I found the movie hilariously accurate. There is no discussion in a Bengali household that ends well and with logic. For Bengalis, its either my way or no way at all (forget about the highway) . They can start with Mamata Didi and end with Saddam Hussein and fight tooth and nail with such passion and enthusiasm that a non-Bengali could only muster in the situation of life and death or if someone is drowning and help needs to be called in. But, at the same time, these emotionally charged people have their heart in the right place and in fact are a very sensitive lot with their family, their relationships and emotions being the nucleus of their life.
Piku is a working girl, independent, vocal, snappy, borderline rude and definitely hyper living with her father and taking care of his nonexistent illnesses which he cleverly uses to get a constant stream of attention from his daughter. The insecurities Piku’s father has are in fact very cute and at some point in the movie one does feel sorry for this big child in spite of him being absolutely impossible to deal with. Piku’s father always and perpetually complains about the quality of the stool he passes or is unable to pass on days when he has constipation. Somehow, it seems listening to his complains, each and every topic in the universe is directly linked to the digestive track. But, this is no surprise either. It is only just another typical Bengali thing. Not the complaining part, the potty talks. Each and every Bengali family takes great pleasure in talking about their motion (I would try and be a bit sophisticated and use mature words to describe it) and at the same time pretends and laughs as if embarrassed when such a discussion takes place. In reality, it is one of their favorite topics.
While I was watching this movie, to my surprise, I did not see Amitabh Bachchan or Deepika Padukone even for a single moment. All I saw was a fiery Piku and her grumpy, insecure, clever, big mouthed father. Amitabh Bachchan has acted the part so well that every child with an irritating father can totally and completely connect to him and jump and say exactly! this is how they behave!! Deepika is excellent in the role of a feisty, fiery Bong girl who has no qualms in calling a spade a spade. Both the actors have proved their mettle in this cinematic delight and come out with flying colors.
The humor in the movie is not loud. It is subtle. Almost every humorous incident is situational and linked to human emotions. That being another aspect brilliantly covered in the movie. The movie captures emotions in such minute details that the audience can immediately connect to the characters and find themselves immersed in the story unfolding before them. The perspective of an old man who refuses to allow any other male in his territory and near his daughter and the side of a daughter who loves her father in spite of being irritated by him to the limit, loving him deeply, are both portrayed magnificently. This movie proves humor is not only found in the apparent and in your face things in life. Humor can be found in a simple look, a reaction of a father seeing a man talking to his daughter, a daughter scolding the father for drinking and dancing and then falling sick because of the adventure. Humor is a part of everyday being, a part of our existence. A perspective is all that is needed to identify it in our lives and that aspect is covered with efficiency in the movie. The most serious subjects are handled with great maturity in the movie and that maturity doesn’t come with being serious and grave, that maturity comes with understanding the brighter side of everything.
The movie is a refreshing change from the typical run of the mill stories one comes across now a days. It is also very believable. Being made by a Bong has only elevated its authenticity quotient. If a spy cam is installed in a Bengali household, this movie is exactly how the people would be seen talking and reacting. The moral questions the movie raises, the parent-child relationship it depicts and the moral responsibilities the movie talks about, are a few things that have not been paid attention to by our film industry. Calling this movie worth a watch would be underestimating the effect it has on a mind. This movie should be seen and understood for improving one’s own self and for trying to become a better person.