Piku: For the Motion..

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Hindi films, Wifey



This time I beat my husband to it—by quickly writing a review and floating it for the world to see. What I am going to say isn’t earth shattering and its probably been said to death, but who cares, we Bengalis like to talk about ourselves, our culture,our drama, our literature, blah blah, blah and think we know it all. I am not the kind who flocks to multiplexes since I just hate to watch a film alone and my better half seems bitter about this whole experience of wasting money watching inane films (well, we don’t get to see a ‘Tahader Katha’ every season which leaves us with too few choices). But when it’s on TV, it’s a kind of a free for all and then my hubby is content to keep his brains on the back burner. Intellect can of course fly out of the window!

I seem to have lost the point completely but I am itching to write about ‘Piku’, a film that I had the fortune to see only yesterday. Did I like the film? Yes and no, simply because my Bong Puritanism is saying one thing, while the more contemporary side of me says it’s kind of cute, dressed up in a way that is a treat for the eyes. Look at the aesthetics of it all, the pretty-as-a-picture house in Chittaranjan Park, the old colonial mansion which seems freshly painted and white washed for the film shoot (though the characters claim it is in a state of disrepair), Deepika Padukone oozing charm in a dishevelled kind of way, vignettes of Kolkata fusing the old and the new which appeals for reasons of nostalgia, yes I was lovin’ the whole spread.

But the storyline seemed faulty in parts –isn’t that entire bowel syndrome far too exaggerated? After all, we Bongs may take pride in our ‘acid attacks’ and ‘constipated chatter’ but is that what really characterizes us? I remember my own Mama drawing up the ‘pathology’ of people’s lives, illiciting squeals of laughter (he was a master on the subject) but jokes apart, had it not been for Soojit Sarkar, we Bengalis may not have forgiven such idiosyncrasies portrayed so unabashedly Bollywood style.Come to think of it, does a ‘Madrasi really enjoy being panned for his thick accent or a Sardarji for his lack of common sense? But we Indians, for lack of originality, love to draw stereotypes. I quite agree with the script where it says we are an argumentative lot –just give us an issue and we will be exercising our vocal chords to the hilt, since drama (or is it jatra ) comes naturally to us. Medicines and medical history fascinate us like no other topic of discussion. The film seems to have done reasonably well on that score and that bit about being paranoid (remember where the father-daughter duo discover the knife in the car and jump to conclusions!) is so very true since we love to create hype, and yes, make a mountain out of a molehill. Amitabh Bachchan gives us a convincing portrayal but both he and Deepika seem disconnected in parts(is it because they are not of Bengali origin and needed tutoring for their parts?).The storyline seems concocted though old people tend to be stuck in their ways and a road trip seems like an inevitable fallout. Irrfan Khan is his natural in-your-face-self and helps to ignite the chemistry between Piku and Rana, but you can’t just clap with one hand and it takes two to tango. So what is the other half doing? Only fretting about Baba? What we are left with is just a whiff of a romance, but in the West, they would have given us a more full blown account. Here, there is just a hint, since the emotion has been invested in the motion and there is too much of it everywhere. It’s only in the end that the dust really settles but by then there is no storyline. All we are left with is anticipation: wish the movie had more to say. Why, oh why the abrupt denouement?

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