Review : Given that film is packed with Bengalis, like director Shoojit Sircar, music composer Anupam Roy, side actors like Moushmi Chatterjee, there is a distinct Bengali authenticity that diffuses through the screen and you can't help be bowled over by the simplicity and light-handed manner in which director Shoojit Sircar treats the film.
The real star of Piku is writer Juhi Chaturvedi (a frequent collaborator of Shoojit Sircar). This is some of the most insightful writing you've ever seen on screen. The dialogues, though delivered partly in Hindi and partly English, never seem laboured or contrived and credit must go to the actors for that. Juhi's meticulously written characters for the three leads and their exchanges make for some hilarious moments. The first half of the film is absolutely terrific where jokes keep coming thick and fast and virtually every dialogue evokes a laugh out of you. She displays affection even for the tiniest of characters like Amitabh's attendant, Moushmi Chaterjee (as Piku's aunt), Raghubir Yadav (as their doctor), all get to shine in their respective parts making each role a memorable one. In fact, the writing is so sharp that, through their conversations, she makes Piku's mother's absence felt even when she never appears on screen. Ever since he debuted with the lesser known Yahaan, director Shoojit Sircar has grown with every film of his; be it the amusing Vicky Donor or the gripping Madras Cafe. Piku, however, turns out to be his most mature film. He keeps all the actors on the leash, leaving no room for melodrama or over action. He treats even the most serious of scenes in a light-hearted tone, consciously steering clear of cliches. As a result, the film doesn't pack a punch but ends with a kind of relaxed naturalism.
The jokes in the second half, however, dry up and a kind of repetitiveness does seep in, but despite the slow pace you can't help be swept away by the characters and their situations which are so endearing to watch because they have been performed by one of the most talented bunch of actors Bollywood has. Anupam Roy deserves a special mention for his soulful, melodious soundtrack that lends a soothing touch even to the most ordinary of scenes.
As Bhashkor Banerjee, Amitabh is pitch-perfect as the hypochondriac who is eternally constipated, both physically and mentally. Irrfan is in his best form too. What else can be said about an actor who doesn't need a dialogue to convey an emotion. As Piku, Deepika does justice to the best written role of the film by underplaying her part in the only way it should have been done.
I'm still going with 4/5 for Piku and a thumbs up for Juhi and Shoojit. It's filled with moments that will stay with you long after you've left the cinema hall and more importantly, leaves a big smile on your face. How many movies these days can boast of doing that? Well, not many. Don't miss it.