Piku

I saw it twice. And I might see it a few more times before it leaves the theatre nearby.

Multiple viewings might suggest that I’m in awe of Deepika, which is correct. But what has touched me is the sweetness of the movie. And of course, it’s on a Bengali family and I have a long association with Bengal, having done my school there. Anything Bengali, I relate to it deeper. I know the language, I know the food, I know the people.

The movie is sweet but the characters are not. They are fussy, moody, cantankerous but they are all well adjusted  to take the story forward.

The movie’s chief protagonist is widower Bhaskor (Amitabh). I call him “chief” because, for the entire movie, the rest of the cast is dealing with his problem of constipation. This topic is prevalent from dinner table to romantic dates. The writer and the director took care not to make the topic too indulgent by mixing some seriousness and humour in right measure. The viewers, such as me, became genuinely concerned as to how and when Amitabh will solve this conflict. Constipation is the core of the story.

Complimenting Amitabh is his marriageable age daughter Deepika who is the Piku of the story. Piku is single and looking but her attempts are defeated by her father who is scared of loosing her care and nurturing. Hence he concocts narratives to dissuade her to find a partner.

Amitabh and Deepika have a terrific chemistry in this movie. And Deepika is just fabulous. I’m enthralled by the range of her expressions. There are many scenes where the way she looks or the way she talks or the way she displays anger adds tremendously to the emotional value of that shot. The casting of Deepika in this role is one major reason for the success of this story.

Piku comes out as an antagonistic character but with a good heart. There are a few words in the movie to state this point. She is opinionated and stands her ground. But she’s unable to break free or create her space. The father-daughter relation is shown as close but overwhelming. There is a need to create diversion and bring in another dimension.

That’s where we see Irrfan (Rana “non-Bangali” Chaudhury). He opts to drive father-daughter from Delhi to Kolkatta. If there could be another character to match Amitabh and Dipeeka, it is Irrfan. In his characteristic way, his mannerisms, he is like a balm. By the time the family reaches Kolkatta, you really want Irrfan to rescue Piku from her father. There is one striking scene where Irrfan scolds Amitabh and Piku just looks on. That expression is of a very accomplished actor. 

There comes from time to time, movies with stories which are so right in many ways. In last five years, the last movie in this class, in my opinion, was Dhobi Ghat. Well, watch on to catch the next.

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