Movies are supposed to be a mirror to our lives. Over the decades, Hindi commercial cinema has produced and promotes movies that portray and ideal, Utopian world, where children love their parents selflessly. According to Hindi movies, there is no greater sin than not taking care of your old parents, after all, ours is the land of Shravan Kumar- the ideal son. We have grown up seeing movies where “Maa-Baap” were the ultimate epitome of love and sacrifice, who are loved equally selflessly by the “Hero”.
But what happens when you realize that an old father can be selfish enough to keep his young daughter to himself, trapped in his daily tantrums regarding his health, especially his bowel movements? It is with this view that Piku, directed by Shoojit Sircar of “Kahaani” and “Vicky Donor” fame, creeps in stealthily and captures our hearts.
Piku is the story of a young, independent, working Bengali woman, Piku Banerjee(played with absolute finesse by Deepika Padukone), who lives with her eccentric father (and this is the reason why Amitabh Bacchan is a living legend) in Delhi’s CR park (where else, apart from Kolkata? 😛 ). By now you must have read raving reviews of Piku, the superb acting of Irrfan Khan and others, and how it continued to rake in the moolah at the Box Office, till “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” ended its winning streak, and quite rightfully.
A simple story with a beautiful narration, Piku tugged at my heart and by the time it ended, it left me with many things to ponder. In a society like India where families are so close knit, often we see that even after children are grown up and independent, parents tend to hold on to them. They expect their children to revolve their lives around them, and to them it is only fair, since they did that for them too!
A lot of people celebrated Piku as the modern Indian woman, independent and self-reliant, brought up with a broad mindset. And yet, they ignore the fact that Piku’s Baba uses her active sex-life as an excuse to drive away potential suitors! Of course, there are a lot of ways to interpret a cinematic experience, people say that Bhaskor Banerjee was quite progressive, but if you ask me, he used “empowering women” as an excuse to tie down his own daughter into shackles of responsibility and loneliness.
At the end of the day, everyone is selfish to some extent. It takes a great amount of love to be truly selfless, letting someone you love go to find their own path. Piku too tried to tie down her father into the customary old-age restrictions of not walking too much or eating oily/spicy food, but she did let him go, eventually. Love is weird that way.
If you haven’t watched Piku yet, do watch it. It is good to see Hindi cinema revolving into meaningful and enjoyable cinema, without being preachy or boring.
Featured image source : Koimoi