Not to be mixed up with Aamir Khan’s PK, Piku is that small budget movie that came out from nowhere to literally bow(e)l us over with its warmth, simplicity and love.
Set in Delhi, the story is focused on Bhasokar Banerji (a wonderful Amitabh Bachchan), a 70 year old senile man with chronic constipation, and his daughter, Piku (a brilliant Deepika Padukone), a busy architect who spends her time looking after her father. Their relationship can best be described as borderline dysfunctional with a lot of hidden love for each other that doesn’t necessarily come up.
Bhasokar is a selfish man and he knows it. He will do anything to keep his daughter from getting married, so much so, he will say out loud how “financially” and “sexually independent” she is, just in order to make sure she doesn’t leave him. Piku is struggling to balance her life with work and looking after her father. She has no time for relationships, and the one man she has in her life is merely an adjunct. Piku and her father bicker and banter with each other and this is heightened with the the extended family in tow.
Plot is set in motion when Bhasokar is told that there is a buyer for his old estate in Kolkatta, which propels him to go there to sort out the deal. With no driver in hand, we have Rana Choudary (Irrfan Khan, a fireball of understated talent!) who offers to drive the father and daughter (along with their servant) to Kolkutta. It’s a road trip where the three characters will get to know one another, talk about hopes and dreams, success and failures (an interesting point is made about how life is tough in Saudi Arabia). There are some unique moments between Piku and Rana too, where they share such a strong chemistry you want to scream at them to kiss already.
The denouement of the movie is a very goosebump-y one, leaving you with a slight lump in the throat, something I will not get into.
A lot of talk is made of the toilet humor, which in my opinion was not that bad. We have a character who happens to suffer from constipation. The jokes are not “shitty” and they are not dirty, but rather, they are something I would expect anyone with chronic constipation to discuss. More importantly, in a central scene at a dinner table, Piku says out loud: Stop being so constipated about life. That, my friends, is what the movie is all about. Life is too short to be “constipated.’ We should live it up, follow our dreams and hopes and pursue our passions.
I have extreme respect for Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan for essaying on such characters, but it is Deepika who I have fallen in love with. A beautiful, gorgeous looking woman with such intelligence, taking on a role that requires no make up and glamour. Utmost respect for her, for she is the one holding the movie together. Piku is a short (two hours) movie filled with so much life, love, laughter that I wanted the movie to continue on for a while longer.
On a more personal note, I have to admit that several scenes hit me hard because movie was about a daughter looking after her sick father, and seeing my dad suffering from cancer, I could relate a lot to Piku. I did shed a few tears towards the end and had a lump in my throat.
A near perfect movie, Piku is an absolute must watch.
4.5 out 5