How could I not have written about this movie, when it has a song called the ‘Journey Song’?
Piku is a movie that deals with a father-daughter relationship, but when you dive deep, you realize it is so much more: it is about connecting to your roots; accepting, loving, and finally learning to live with people no matter how flawed they are; moreover, it’s about the journey of life. All this has been presented to us by combining such humour with the routines of daily life (not to forget, Bhashkor Banerjee’s bowel problems) that you are left asking for more.
A continuous back and forth regarding the selling of their ancestral home in Kolkata leads Piku (Deepika Padukone) and her father Bhashkor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) to take a road trip to Kolkata with Rana (Irrfan Khan). This in turn, gives us a beautiful movie as the three characters bicker and banter through their trip.
The chemistry between Piku and Rana is charming and attractive — it has its own sense of subtlety to it, which makes it all the more beautiful. The romance is hinted at, through the numerous glances and smiles that they exchange, but it is never overly expressed. The badminton rackets, quarrels over phone calls and the Kolkata egg rolls become a witness to their growing romance.
North Calcutta has been portrayed in this movie in all its glory – the narrow by lanes, old houses with hanging verandas and of course, the sumptuous kochuris and jeeleepis. It’s a delight to watch Amitabh Bachchan as he cycles through the golis of North Calcutta.
There are many things that Piku gets right – an independent woman taking care of her father without a man to ‘save’ her in times of distress, the scene where Rana explains to Piku that her reasons to sell the house are justified but one should never forget one’s roots, and a feminist father who may appear difficult but supports his daughter throughout. The movie also shows us how some people become so important in our lives that we start caring for them despite their numerous flaws. Piku points out to Rana that her father may be ‘selfish’, ruining her lunch date and also her chances of a relationship with other men, but he is still her ‘nabbay saal ka bachcha‘ whom she will never stop loving or caring for. Maybe it is those little quarrels that make love even stronger, be it between Piku and her father, or Piku and Rana.
Piku has always been one of my favourite movies, but now it has an even more special place in my heart as it always reminds me of Irrfan Khan and the brilliant actor that he was – its soulful songs never fail to make my mother teary-eyed in his memory.
I have come across many movies that explore a father-daughter relationship, but none has been so touching, beautiful and emotional as Piku. You never need an occasion to watch it again. In fact, you might as well get a tiny trip to Kolkata as you lounge on your sofa in the middle of lockdown.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.