Verbal Diarrhea Ne Ghar Ki Yaad Dila Dee By God!
3 and 1/2 stars
Your family and my family may not indulge in constant conversations of the scatological nature, but this movie will delight you in many more ways and you will crave for family time.
Just when your movie screens and eardrums were being shattered by large villainous men being crushed in slo-mo by silly heroes and simpering misses were cowering in fake fright just waiting to be rescued, along comes a movie that pleases you from ten minutes into the movie until the end.
Why not from start to finish? Let me explain.
When you come across the name 'Motion Se Hi Emotion' you want to make sure you find a seat in aisle in case you wish to puke at the jokes on constipation.
You don't want to buy popcorn because you know you will be subjected to strange bodily sounds and the sounds of the flush which might make you run to the nearest loo to puke again.
You've also hated the big B's overacting in Shamitabh and wonder if you are going to be subjected to more.
A small voice inside you wants to say the title should be 'Hee' not 'Hi' because you want to hate a movie about constipation.
If you've hated 'Replace Important Words In Movie Titles With Tatti' on your timeline, then you will begin to watch the movie with trepidation as I did.
But Shoojit Sarkar brings you a movie so brilliantly written (by Juhi Chaturvedi) and so beautifully shot, you find yourself making plans to go walkabout in Kolkata, you wish your dadaji would paint his house red, you wish you had said yes to a road trip with family and you will be chuckling at many many discomforting moments...
How effortlessly Amitabh Bachchan wipes away our memories of Shamitabh and make us collectively pray that he has a great bowel movement. That itself is a directorial achievement.
Plus there's Irrfan Khan, who is also capable of doing the 'I'm a Hollywood star' thing but doesn't... In fact, you begin to identify yourself as him, the outsider unwittingly drawn into the father-daughter drama. You roll your eyes when he does, you feel just as claustrophobic in the cab as he does when the father-daughter get into arguments, you feel as shocked at he does when the father daughter duo involve him in their arguments and then gang up against him as if it were his fault.
And the daughter, oh, the daughter! Deepika Padukone is like so many people you know. A caregiver to elderly parents. The part has been written so beautifully, you understand why she's the way she is. You don't - not for one second - hate her for having become like she is. If you had a parent like she does, you would probably be serving time for having murdered a parent most brutally. I would, if I could shower accolades upon her pretty head with that one scene in the car when she realises that someone took her side.
The one horrendous but i suppose necessary evil in the movie are brand placements. Not as bad as in Krissh or other movies, but brands showing up so blatantly make me cringe...
And the other characters! Simply amazing! Moushumi Chatterjee has the best time of all maasis in Hindi cinema. She makes you want to be as cool as her. The young man Jisshu Sengupta makes you divert all your empathy towards him by just a 'Hunh'. Kaka, kaki, Bodhon the servant, the batik shirt wearing agent, the commode chair, the Varanasi lodge keeper, the maid are just as important to the plot as the father-daughter drama unfolding before us. Yes, Raghuvir Yadav's fake hair annoys you so much you cannot hear him speak at all. And you cannot believe a strong character like Amitabh Bachchan would take advice from him over anything. He is the weakest link in the movie. Amitabh Bachchan looks like he would self-medicate by reading books on homeopathy rather than have Raghuvir Yadav come over to offer advice. Maybe a voice on the phone?
That brings us to the one thing you need to seek when you watch Piku. You will notice that everybody talks too much, and that the verbal diarrhea does tend to make people laugh (the 'tatti' jokes), but despite all those recurring descriptions of his 'motions' (and I will nitpick about the story failing to go ahead because there's that one more tatti joke that needs t be included), you will appreciate the amazing silences Shoojit Sarkar captures in the movie. Yes, silences. That's when you realise that this is not just an ordinary funny movie, this is a great movie.
Thankfully it arrives on the big screen in time when most of the audiences are happy to make the horrid heat of summer an excuse to stay away from the dhishum dhishum movies. Piku is a feast of amazing visuals and funny lines and strong characters and you will want to go back home and hug your family, no matter how much they drive you into thoughts of murder or suicide. Better yet, watch the movie with the family. Despite the constipation, you might enjoy having food after watching the film.
p.s. The food in the film is delish! And tell me if you too felt like Piku's date did when she took that phone call at the restaurant.