Sunday, May 10, 2015

Piku Movie Review

Kamal Swaroop, the genius filmmaker, once said that he puts bio (of biology) in Bioscope, because watching films is a physiological process for him. Shoojit Sircar does quite a similar thing in his latest Piku- Motion Se Hi Emotion. He puts the other physiological "motion" in- what a Bioscope projects- motion pictures. And his motion picture is like a physiological organism in itself: it breathes in daily life's commotion and exhales its insurgent emotions. Piku, is, what they call a slice-of-life. It takes the cinematic shift- only in form- when Sircar sets it on a road journey. (And I'm calling this cinematic because it is only on a journey when you see visuals constantly running in front of your eyes just like pictures-in-motion, or what they call a film, metaphysically changing the window into a screen.) And Piku, for a good part, is also a road-movie.

But it is not like one of those Imtiaz Ali journeys after which certain characters change and conflicts resolve automatically. Nothing changes here, no one. Each character- even a sidey- remains perpetually dysfunctional to the core. And I love how their dysfunctionalities and idiosyncrasies are etched out- not just for the sake of it but with a subversive intent. Which reminds me of Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi's (the writer) own brilliant Vickky Donor (2012). If it was the eldest dadi in their former film to first understand the sperm-donation job that Vickky does, it is again the eldest dad who proudly boasts his daughter's sexual independence. It is refreshing to see that Chaturvedi is re-writing the elderly roles keeping their authoritarian voices intact but only making them sound more progressive than patriarchal.

The problem in this one is that the characters consciously know that they are dysfunctional. They talk about it all the time. One character calls Bhaskor (mind it, not Bhaskar, because, hey, he is a Bengali who keeps a Satyajit Ray poster in his home) senile while other calls him a hypochondriac. Both are true but it comes across as if they are just giving film-reviewers adjectives to describe the character when we can clearly see that he is a senile hypochondriac. Piku (Padukone) even says to Rana, "You must be wondering why I am so weird". Since when did one start becoming so objective about themselves?And indirectly, in a scene, Bachchan's Bhaskor in a conversation with Rana (outstanding Irrfan) asks him, "Kisne bola tum normal ho?" (Who said you are normal?).  After a point, it gets too verbose and didactic. I would have loved if it was left on us to study their inherent behaviour rather than them directly telling it to us. Only if, instead of being talkative, had it talked to me, it would have been one of those physiological processes for me too.


Murtaza Ali Khan said...

Nice Review!

Piku is an evocative family drama that tugs at our heartstrings and delivers a serious message about life in an altogether non-serious manner.

Here's the link to my review:

Tomichan Matheikal said...

Wondering whetehr to spend time watching this movie