Saturday, May 16, 2015

Piku is as real as realism in cinema can get!

Realistic movies seemed to be a thing of the past in Bollywood, with few exceptions in between in the last couple of years and now, of course Piku, with a beautiful dad-daughter story. My first reaction to Piku - it's so real, relatable, and so effortless. It's a rare movie that says so many emotional and hearty things, in such casual and unemotional ways, without actually telling you in so many words.

So what if it's about dysfunctional family, as if there's something like an ideal family? Aren't we all quirky in our own ways. Isn't that what adds life to our living? And who decides how families should conduct themselves. The way all these hypocrisies were thrown in the thin air, and the way the movie made so many social statements ...amazing movie making!

If on the one end the movie is as real as the digestives and laxatives being sold in the market, on the other, it's as adorable as a theatrical episode depicting few whimsical slices of life.

It goes to show that heartfelt cinema needs no great story with twists and turns and no exaggeration to drive the point, and not being preachy at all. Other two Bollywood movies that I could think of with stories about girls and their dads was Mili and Daddy. But then, they were typical movies with drama, songs and all that. Piku doesn't get into that genre; it's so new, genuine, unpredictable and true-to-life.

Yes, we all shout at our parents, we become strict with them and our relationships get strained as they get older, adamant, stubborn and we start aging and getting impatient...but, there's something so true about this lovable frustration! It's as true as Piku's tears on seeing her father lying on the bed with an oxygen mask! It is as helpless as her anxiety when the driver doesn't turn up for their trip to Kolkata. And, it is as worrisome as the scene when her father goes cycling early in the morning. Oh my God! so many of these scenes are so much like what happens in our daily lives, especially when there's a huge age gap between you and your parents and if you are strong-willed and your parents don't want to accept that old age comes with its own limitations.

Wish my father was here to see this movie; I'm sure he'd have liked as much as I did.

The cool dude Irrfan Khan is a treat to watch! He blended so well in this very idiosyncratic set up with his I-don't-care-a-damn look. Don't remember this serious guy playing this kind of a role in movies other than Life in a Metro. If I watch the movie again, it'd definitely be for him,  those glimpses he steals with Piku, those melting romantic moments where his eyes speak more than his words. And of course, all the other characters were equally interesting.

Good to have directors like Shoojit Sircar and writers like Juhi Chaturvedi. They could break all the self-imposed barriers (like in Vicky Donor) and make us laugh in the company of larger audience on themes and topics that were mostly confined to the walls of our house and strictly all in the family. It's heartening to see how credibly the narrative flows and we become a part of the larger family and start identifying with the characters, mapping them with our parents, uncles, aunts and other relatives.

This movie is one good example of how cinema can mirror real life and real people.

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