Starring Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan. In Hindi, Bengali, and English, with English subtitles. Rated PG.
Piku is an intimate, clever, and life-affirming story about the complex relationship between an adult daughter and her aging but persistently vital father.
Piku (Deepika Padukone) is an architect and co-owner of a firm in Delhi, where she lives with her father, Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan). She is constantly stressed as she tries to manage all her responsibilities while making ill-fated sporadic attempts at a romantic life.
Her retired and widowed father spends all day obsessing about his constipation and speaking about it graphically to everyone. Bhaskor is irascible and prides himself on his critical nature and his brutal honesty. He is a champion of his daughter’s independence, particularly insofar as it allows her to have more time to be devoted to him.
On a whim he insists that they visit their home in Kolkata by car, as planes and trains will undoubtedly aggravate his bowels. Here enters Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan), the owner of the taxi company who steps in to drive them when none of his employees are willing to subject themselves to a road trip with these notoriously difficult clients. Rana slides right into their familial dynamic.
This basic plot is merely the premise for a surfeit of dialogue that moves rapidly between Hindi, Bengali, and English. The ensemble cast is superb, but Padukone is by far the star of this film. She beautifully captures the fine balance between loving devotion and utter exasperation that typifies filial responsibility.
Despite their perpetual bad moods, there is an immense amount of love between father and daughter, and it permeates every scene. She adores him, despite his ability to be entirely engrossed in his ailments while maintaining the illusion that he isn’t aging.
This is a beautiful and often hilarious film about a love that lasts a lifetime.