What’s a girl to do when she’s got work, home and an aged dad with angsty digestion? Go on a road trip, obviously.
In Shoojit Sircar’s comedy drama Piku, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan are seen channelling their inner Bengalis and the trailer is guaranteed to make you grin.
After having rumbled and roared as a drunken actor in his twilight years in Shamitabh, Bachchan returns with a wig, thick spectacles, a neck brace and a Bengali accent. The effect is utterly adorable and it’s wonderful to see someone making good use of Bachchan’s comic skills.
Piku (Deepika Padukone) is your everyday city slicker, only a few dollops more gorgeous than the average girl-next-door looks in kurtas and t-shirts. In addition to working as an architect and running her home, Piku has got her dad, or Baba (Bachchan), to look after. Constipated, hard of hearing and “kaanjoos” (miserly) by his own admission, Baba is quite a character. Among his talents: he can turn any conversation towards the working of the small and big intestines.
When Baba has to go to Calcutta, Piku decides to drive him there even if it means going across the country. Since no taxi driver will suffer the cantankerous old man and his idiosyncrasies, Piku’s friend who seems to own a taxi company (Irrfan Khan) takes on the task of being the driver. After Roohdar in Haider, Khan returns to the silver screen playing a character that’s lighthearted and fun. It’ll be interesting to see the chemistry between him and Padukone. Khan has a gift for playing the unconventional romantic lead, as films like The Lunchbox, The Namesake and even Life in a Metro showed. If the trailer is any indication, then at least the banter between him and Padukone will be a fun watch.
Of course there are moments of sentimental ranting in Piku, like when Baba accuses Piku of seeing him only a burden, but it looks like Sircar has kept a tight rein on the melodrama. All the high-strung moments in the trailer are punctured by a humorous line that keeps everyone grounded.
Piku is set in a charming world. It’s yet another example of the fantasy Bengali culture that fascinates one section of Bollywood. While Dibakar Banerjee is imagining Bengaliana in a noir light for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, Sircar’s is a sunlit, classical take on Bengal’s old world charm. And so we have the Bengali accent that makes a rounded and mispronounced mess of Hindi; homes filled with books, bookshelves and paintings; and old, North Kolkata houses with red floors and green shutters. It’s a beautiful little world, fantastical as it may be.
Tastefully-decorated sets, adorably grumpy old men, charming banter and the promise of a sweet romance between Padukone and Khan all add up to make a trailer that really does make you eager to see Sircar’s new film. It’s a far cry from Madras Cafe, but hopefully Piku will have the wit that made Vicky Donor so much fun.