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Shoojit Sircar's film for your body and your soul. Amitabh's best in years. Masterfully done.
Just like Bhashkor Banerjee doesn't like liars I wouldn't want to keep my readers in dark for long. I just loved the film. I loved each bit of this film from the core of my heart. It is the best (if there is any other) slice of life, road trip film to have come out of Bollywood in recent history. The film has all the ingredients to be a wonderful cinematic journey and it just doesn't fail. It has the star of the millennium leading from front. Many would also go to the extent of calling him the actor of the millennium as well and I would rather choose to agree than to disagree. It also has one of the best character actors that Bollywood has today. It also has someone by the name of Deepika Padukone who is no way close to the other two when it comes to acting but she is learning and she must get the credit for that. Not to miss out on the fact that she also manages to take your attention on the screen away from none other than Big B himself, courtesy her charm. She plays her part well enough to make the film a joyous journey. And over all this you have Shoojit Sircar, who has now started to show glimpses of brilliance through simplicity, a tag that has been associated with Basuda and Hrishida for long. He seems to have perfected the art of taking difficult subjects and turning them into supremely smooth slice of life films.
The film never gets distracted from its central subject which is Bhashkor Banerjee's stomach just like the Banerjee family never gets time to discuss anything else. The film is a joyride for the whole of 2 hours and 5 odd minutes. It makes you laugh out loud for phases lasting from few minutes to tens of minutes, only to slice new layers of sensitivity in the next few. Even though the span of the film is a few days, Sircar so skilfully is able to show us the deeper traits of all the characters that you begin to relate with each one of them. There are hardly any weaknesses in the film, but the strongest of strengths is the realness of the film. There are quite a few slice of life films that Bollywood has been able to create in last few years, none is as natural as this.
The film begins with a lot of fast edits, which are required when you have a real Bengali situation with real people trying to make multiple points unintentionally moving towards a chaotic confluence of non-ideas. The film could have easily made use of quite a few cinematography tricks to please you on the road trip, but why would it ever need to con the audience when it has such amazing character waiting to give you a free laugh and a cheerful tear. Instead, he uses Anupam Roy's brilliant voice and composition to blend with the screenplay. There are surely quite a few stereotypes that the film breaks and at the same time there are few it doesn't because some stereotypes just don't go.
At 70, Amitabh Bachchan is still at the top of his game. If you have ever been a big Bachchan Saab fan and have not got the best of him lately, this is going to be your dope. His comic timing will put all comedians of today put together to shame. The way he has played the part of an over anxious, ageing and well-meaning Bengali is only something that he could have done and no one else. Needless to say the reason why Irrfan Khan is who he is today is his natural dialogue delivery and he does it again. Every time he delivers a dialogue or even when he communicates in silence, it becomes a treat to watch.
As the story of the film moves ahead, the landscape shifts from the crowded Delhi roads to the 'cultured' streets of Calcutta. Each frame shot in the last 20 minutes of the film will rekindle your love for the city of joy and would want to make you go there again, not just for the aesthetics of the frame but because it speaks through the character of its wood and the structure of its soul. I would not want to spoil anything for you, but I can not not mention the scene where the 70 year old Bhashkor Banerjee rides a bicycle and wanders through Calcutta's core with the look of a child. You would want to watch these five minutes again and again.
Go watch Piku today, and don't just leave it at the theatres, bring it home through your heart err .stomach.
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