Piku (2015): Shoojit Sircar's evocative family drama that tugs at our heartstrings

A powerful lesson on the meaningfulness of life

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Piku, directed by Shoojit Sircar, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone
Piku (2015) By Shoojit Sircar
Our Rating: 7.5
IMDb Ratings: 8.3
Genre: Drama
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Runtime: 123 min
Color: Color

Summary: A quirky take on the father-daughter relationship in which a cab driver gets caught between a dysfunctional father and daughter as he drives them from Delhi to Calcutta.

Piku is a 2015 Hindi feature film directed by Shoojit Sircar whose previous assignments include highly successful films like Vicky Donor (2012) and Madras Cafe (2013). Written by Juhi Chaturvedi, Piku stars Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan, and Moushumi Chatterjee in the major roles. The movie revolves around a Delhi-based father-daughter duo hailing from an upper class Bengali family. Bhaskor Banerjee, a 70-year-old widower, is an aging hypochondriac whose only real trouble is his chronic constipation. Piku Banerjee, a 30-year-old successful architect, hasn’t yet managed to find herself a worthy suitor, partly because of being fully devoted to the cause of looking after her pesky father (who selfishly wants her to stay single and serve him), and partly because of her own short-tempered nature and promiscuous sexual tendencies.

Amitabh Bachchan as Bhaskor Banerjee in Piku, paddling a bicycle in Kolkata, Directed by Shoojit Sircar
Amitabh Bachchan as Bhaskor Banerjee in Piku
When Piku decides to sell off their ancestral house in Kolkata, Bhaskor, who is adamant on keeping the property, cajoles her into taking a 1500 Km road trip from Delhi to Kolkata, citing his health issues for not wanting to travel by air or rail. When the regular driver doesn’t show up on time, Rana Chaudhary, the owner of the taxi service company contracted by Piku’s organization, fills his place. Rana, who lives with his grumpy mother and annoying sister, is a civil engineer by profession. After he gets fired by a company in Saudi Arabia, he returns to India and takes over reins of his dead father’s taxi business. Unbeknownst to Piku, Rana secretly admires her eccentricity, willfulness, and social independence. The road trip allows Rana to see Piku up close. It also allows Piku to let go of her prickly façade and understand herself better. As for Bhaskor, it’s a rare opportunity to break free of his monotonous life and reunite with his family in Kolkata.

Deepika Padukone as Piku in Shoojit Sircar's Piku, seeing school girls through the window, childhood memories
Deepika Padukone in Shoojit Sircar's Piku
Part family drama, part road movie, Piku is a unique cocktail of human emotions that tugs at our heartstrings, making us laugh and cry at the same time. Piku delivers a serious message about life in an altogether non-serious manner. It teaches us about the meaningfulness of life while depicting how most of us fail to savor its true pleasures while we still can. How instead of embracing the life’s unbridled happiness, we waste our time seeking materialistic pursuits, constantly cribbing over trivial matters. How we allow loneliness and solitude to slowly creep into our lives while remaining completely ignorant of the eternal joys of the universe. How we fail to find solace in the company of our loved ones and let our ego and not love dictate the decisions we make. How the generation gap between the young and the old keeps widening with passing time. How death takes away everything save the memories which stay with us forever. 

Irrfan Khan as Rana Chaudhary in Piku, playing Badminton with Deepika Padukone in Piku, Directed by Shoojit Sircar
Irrfan Khan as Rana Chaudhary in Piku
The strongest point of Piku (apart from direction and screenplay) is the performances of Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone. While one expects nothing but the best from stalwarts likes Mr. Bachchan (a great follow up to his remarkable turn in R. Balki's Shamitabh) and Irrfan (he seldom disappoints… and Piku is no exception), it is Padukone’s performance that’s the biggest surprise of the movie. First Finding Fanny (2014) and now Piku, without make-up looks seem to suit Padukone really well. We all have seen her in numerous glamorous avatars in big banner Hindi films but here we get to witness a very different side to her. Padukone's character epitomizes the 21st century Indian woman for whom self-respect and social independence are as important as the love for her family (perhaps, those who have seen Vogue India’s “My Choice” video dedicated to women empowerment can relate to it better). It’s indeed quite heartening to see a modern Indian actress like Padukone try her hands at something new and challenging. Yesteryear actress Moushumi Chatterjee’s cameo in Piku is another high point of the film and few the scenes that she share with Mr. Bachchan are quite memorable (who can forget their sizzling romantic number "Rimjhim Gire Sawan" from the 1979 movie Manzil?)

Irffan Khan as Rana, Amitabh Bachchan as Bhaskor, Deepika Padukone as Piku in Piku, going on a road trip from Delhi to Kolkata, in Piku, Shoojit Sircar
A Still from Shoojit Sircar's Piku
Overall, Piku makes for a great family viewing and can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. The credit goes to Sircar and team for concocting up a simple but meaningful film about life. As alluring as the road trip from Delhi to Kolkata itself are the resplendent shots of the Ganges at the holy city of Varansi, captured during the early morning as well as in the night. Some of the scenes towards the end of the film brilliantly capture the bewitching beauty of the enigmatic city of Kolkata. It’s quite heartening to see Sircar pay tributes to the great Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray on a couple of occasions in the film (first, in the opening scene itself, we get to see a portrait of his hung on the wall... second, one of the characters makes a reference to the master India filmmaker's body of work... perhaps, the name Piku is also based on a character in Ray's exceptional short film, Pikoo's DiaryPiku’s innocent toilet humor may be at the receiving end of some flak from certain sections of audiences but most viewers will certainly appreciate the spirit in which it’s done. Piku will certainly prove to be a great experience for those looking for a nice family outing. But, if your sole aim is escapist entertainment then Piku would certainly leave you cold. Recommended!

Readers, please feel free to share your views/opinions in the comment box below. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  


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  1. Saw it last night. Enjoyed it thoroughly! As you said, one could hear giggles and laughter from all age groups in the movie hall!

  2. Sarthak Brahma SrivastavaMay 10, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    You said it just right Murtaza..my exact feelings regarding the movie (although I couldn't express it so eloquently in my review). Only that I didn't quite like Deepika's acting in the movie so much.

  3. Glad you liked it, Deepak... I too had a nice outing with my family and of course everyone seemed to be having a nice time! :-)

  4. You have humbled me with those kind words, Sarthak!

    The thing with Deepika is that we all are used to seeing her in those glamorous roles and so this would come as a big surprise to all of us. Since I was lucky enough to watch her in Finding Fanny, I could relate to her part in Piku better.

    My review of finding Fanny could be read here:


  5. Read this classic review just now.. I trust your reviews more than ToI or other newspapers .. am going for the film in next 3-4 hrs :)

  6. And guess what? You just made my day! :-) I look forward to your thoughts on the movie.

  7. All good. Wish it continued. But if i have to maybe point to a weak corner its the Irrfan's character development. could have dwelled more in his past perhaps. Always a pleasure to see him emote

  8. Well, yes, I also wanted the road journey continue for longer than what it eventually did. Also, Irrfan is always a treat to watch... maybe, they didn't want him to overshadow others! :-)

  9. Hi
    Saw Piku yesterday. Awesome movie.
    Amitabh, Deepika, Irfan, infact entire cast of the movie was perfect.
    And Murtaza your reviews are the best always.

  10. Thanks Swati... it's so reassuring to hear positive things about my film reviews... it indeed matter a lot to me. And, yes, the movie is simply awesome! :-)

  11. I have to watch it. All I've heard so far are great reviews.

  12. This was a very sensible and mature movie. One of its own comedy movies that delivers serious message! Brilliant characters and performance by all.. Well written review!

  13. rajan chandrashekharMay 15, 2015 at 11:26 PM

    just got over with the movie. came straight here . and now it feels even more complete.

  14. Really glad to hear that... thanks for sharing your thoughts! :-)

  15. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts! :-)


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