Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Rating: * * ½
Simple in design, this basically three character word-play about a constantly constipated septuagenarian hypochondriac, Bhaskar Banerji (Amitabh Bachchan), his hyperventilating Architect daughter Piku (Deepika Padukone) and a hire-taxi service owner Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan), has it’s fair share of mildly effervescent and
sublime moments. Unfortunately that’s all there is to it.
The plotting attempts to flush out the quirks within each character and play it against each other for some humorous chuckle worthy moments. The father-daughter duo are typically wildly eccentric Bengali while Rana is from UP. Thrown into that syrupy cauldron are a motley crew of distinctive characters including Piku’s business partner Syed Alfroze(Jisshu Sengupta), her maternal aunt Chabi Mausi(Maushami Chatterjee), a homeopath(Raghubir Yadav), Rana’s avaricious widowed mother and sister, Bhaskar’s brother and wife who take care of the palatial home in Kolkata, and his ever loyal man Friday.
The film begins with a distended focus on Bhaskar’s hypochondria wherein he constantly carps about being constipated and is obsessing over not being able to pass motion. His daughter Piku, continues to dutifully show concern even while being exasperated by his profoundness on the subject of motions. Needless to say both of them
have become experts at it. Bhaskar is shown as someone who wants his daughter to be independent and forward thinking. He does not want her to ever get married to a man who will want her to take care of the home and hearth. But he also wants her to keep taking care of him and bear with his eccentricities. A contradiction that becomes quite hard to swallow as the narrative progresses. Into this scenario walks the owner of a hire-taxi service which Piku has been having trouble with lately. Rana is quite wary of Piku and her ability to fly off the handle. So he is quite unwilling to drive the father-daughter duo to hometown Kolkata. But business demands it and the trio set out on a road trip which is where they get flirtatious with each other under Bhaskar’s eagle eye!
The film is interesting and likeable too but after a point it ceases to affect. The constant carping about motions does take it’s toll towards the end. To begin with it felt charming especially because the interplay between father and daughter was so succinct but thereafter when every character begins to get overly involved in it, the charm begins to wear off.
While Amitabh and Deepika are effortless with their expressions the same does not apply to their Bengali accents which comes across as unnaturally stressed. It’s also not note perfect either. Irrfan Khan has the easier bit and lends the character he essays a casual masterliness that is distinctive. Maushami Chatterjee is a welcome addition though she does seem to be all over the place without any rhyme or reason. Juhi Chaturvedi’s screenplay and dialogues are credit worthy for the naturalness with which they come about. the story though, lacks depth. Anupam Roy’s music lends character and atmosphere to the narrative while Shoojit Sircar’s helming seems assured and confident. ‘Piku’ is quaint and quirky, has a few chuckle worthy moments but never rises to any great heights in terms of content or form!