June 04, 2015

Piku: Warm, lovable, funny and engaging

Here's the thing: I love Amitabh Bachchan.

I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Anand.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Don.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Aankhein.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Black.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Viruddh.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan in Kaun Banega Crorepati.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of the 70's.
I loved Amitabh Bachchan's baritone voice from the 90's.

I think the Senior Mr. Bachchan can be hotter than Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham put together. At the same time, I think Amitabh Bachchan can also be the most endearing grandfatherly character you can come across.

When Amitabh Bachchan says he will keep crossing many more milestones for the wannabe actors to emulate, I agree with him, even though I love Shah Rukh Khan (AB said that with reference to Don and KBC).

I love Amitabh Bachchan so much that I don't think a salutation/prefix is necessary to indicate respect. I think the reference Amitabh Bachchan commands respect on its own.

And when Amitabh Bachchan does a Bhaskor Banerjee in Piku (link), which is very unlike most of the other characters he has done in the recent past, he made me fall in love with him all over again. He tells us once again why he is Amitabh Bachchan. I strongly feel that Bhaskor Banerjee wouldn't have been even remotely lovable if any other actor would have played that role.

All that said, the movie is fantastic. Generally, any scene which indicates that the lead actress has an actual career/dream/goal other than/apart from meeting her 'true love' is a gold-standard bench-mark of whether I am going a particular movie or not. In this case, I haven't even seen the trailer before deciding to watch the movie, but the poster itself was convincing enough for me to have high expectations from the movie. My expectations were justified, given the lead actress is occupying considerable space on the primary poster, not in a romantic or erotic pose. I wasn't disappointed in the least, as it turned out to be a treat from start to end. I won't bore you all with a typical movie review here, by talking about performances (which were all good), screenplay and direction (reflect maturity which is rare in Indian cinema), dialogue (warm, funny and relatable) and the storyline itself (simple and straightforward, with no unnecessary baggage). All I can say is I am glad that I had chosen to engross myself in this two and a half hours of high quality entertainment. I really wouldn't mind watching it over and over again :)

On a different note, Bollywood has started giving me hopes to expect good movies, rare as they may come. I can recollect quite a few enjoyable movies in the recent past which didn't have misogynist undertones, so hope this becomes the norm. It seems that our audience is finally ready to accept stronger female characters other than the love interest or the ideal family woman.

Spoiler alert - High points:

- Piku dusts cobwebs and rushes everyday morning to find taxi, something which makes her relatable.

- Piku tells her maasi in a simple, matter-of-factly way that sex is a 'need' when she is asked if she is in touch with her (sexual) partners (implying yes).

- Piku understands the importance of marriage and finding the right life partner, but at the same time is in no desperation to get married.

Bhaskor Banerjee tells his daughter's potential dates that he expects Piku to have a partner who is supportive and is willing to share her responsibilities, and that he will not let Piku marry someone who is controlling and treats her like a servant. Besides, he is not worried that Piku may never be married as he doesn't see marriage as an essential event which completes a woman's life. I really believe that more Indian parents should take this stance and express it as strongly as they can.

- Piku loves her father, and so does he, and neither of them see each other as a burden.

- Piku makes it clear to her potential love interest that she will not give up on her father post marriage.

- The entire movie makes us see that it is okay awesome for daughters to love and take care of their parents without believing that they should give up on parents after marriage. And it is even more awesome for parents to expect this from their daughters, who are as much their children as sons.

Bhaskor Banerjee cycles around the streets of Kolkata and buys Jalebi. It is very heartening to see an old man having childish fun.

- The movie has several funny moments which stem out of Bhakor Banerjee's obstinacy and constipation (to Mr. Bachchan's credit).

Recommended reads (from IndianHomeMaker's blog):

1. Piku in patriarchy - link

2. Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing - link

3. If I made Baghban - link

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