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PIKU - Simple, Endearing, Pensive, Memorable
The downside of a great film-viewing experience is - "to unable to shake-off the affect of the afterglow, by incessantly recalling the events and vowing to re-watch it all over again, and continually laughing/crying or both." However, I have one more disruption to add - "finding myself incomprehensively helpless to pen down a decent, up-to-the-mark review."

PIKU is a drama-comedy, marked by the typical stupidities of a Delhi-based 'Probashi' Bengali family's hypochondriac, self-centered, part-senile 70 year-old man, Bhaskor Bannerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), with the obsessively chronic condition of 'difficult, incomplete or infrequent evacuation of the bowels' and his authoritative, stubborn, irritated 29 year-old daughter, Piku Bannerjee (Deepika Padukone) - who frequently squabble over 'motion' issues of the former.

The events evoke instant laughter, even in melancholic moments while gradually shifting the attention from trivial issues to rather emotional ones, like - ageing, parent-child responsibility and its shifting paradigms. We do feel a little pensive towards them, only to find ourselves laughing-out-loud at the very next moment. Still, the fine line between 'frivolousness' and 'finesse' is worked out well.

The film has a very "authentic and honest" tone, just like Soojit Sircar's previous "Vicky Donor", much due to its compact screenwriting by Juhi Chaturvedi. There is no certain plot, but well etched-out events making a fable-like trail. At the same time, Sircar successfully preserves the film's 'entertainment-quotient' by not letting it slip to become slapstick-run-of-the-mill-comedy. More than creating, the director rediscovers and recreates the next door father-daughter relationship.  The Background Score by Anupam Roy and the Sound Design by Bishwadeep Chatterjee is fresh and most appealing, with cinematically-suitable songs.

The casting (Jogi, "Udaan") of Irrfaan Khan, Moushumi Chatterjee, Jishu Sengupto, Raghuveer Yadav is apt; especially the former, playing Rana Chaudhary (non-Baangali), who effortlessly delivers sort-out part-cynical dialogues. From playing pacifying to being infatuated, he is a class apart comic and performer. Amitabh Bachchan is terrific as always, and is a backbone of sorts, for all other performances.

However, the scene-stealer is Deepika Padukone, who has really come a long way as an actor, and delivers a neat, matured performance while never over-doing herself. She always gels well on-screen with the two National Film Award recipients, and creates a distinctive space of her own while playing the titular role. She is surprisingly lovable even at her cantankerous worst.

As rightly said in "Good Will Hunting" - "...the little idiosyncrasies, that only we know about and miss the most about our loved ones when they're not there. One can call them 'imperfections', but they're not... that's the good stuff." PIKU just gently reminds us of those good stuffs and for this appreciable effort, the film is worth a fair shot of viewing.

Verdict - A rare release. Highly recommended!

Rating - 8/10

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