Piku (2015)

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Piku is a refreshing movie about a 30-something Bengali architect who balances her personal life whilst taking care of her hypochondriac father. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the movie portrays an interesting take on the daughter-father relationship. While I wish the full time domestic help was treated more equally in the film, this is a movie that captures human relationships the way they are in real life.

Spoiler Alert

If you have not watched the movie, there will be important plot points that are discussed here.

  1. Piku is sexually active, but she is not committed to any serious relationship. And, no one (including her family and friends) judges her for that.
  2. Bhaskor Banerjee (Piku’s father) constantly encourages her and the women around him to think beyond marriage. He wants them to be independent individuals, not servile people who “serve men.”
  3. Piku’s masi (maternal aunt) casually asks her if she is having sex. No strings attached.
  4. Family conversations are all inclusive. Women take part in discussions about property and everyone expresses their opinion.
  5. Sex does not necessarily mean relationship. And the people Piku dates know it.
  6. Piku makes a male friend with whom the movie does not explore any romance.
  7. The onus of caring for parents is not just a son’s job. A daughter can do it equally well. And Piku has a life beyond caring for her father.
  8. There are other female characters who are not just two-dimensional stereotypes. They have a role to play in moving the story forward. Chhobi masi is very comfortable with her multiple marriages and the choice she made to give attention to her own needs.
  9. Relationships between family members are not unrealistically saccharine. Elders are not always right and children speak up when something is wrong.
  10. There are family members who are of the opinion that marriage is important. However, no one thrusts them on Piku. She is allowed to choose for herself.
  11. Bhaskor da is a septuagenarian who needs care and attention, and breaks the conservative-elderly stereotype we see often – he is very vocal about women’s liberation.
  12. Piku is independent in every way and does quite well at her job. She does not try to please anyone including her clients. She is unapologetic about being emphatic. So, are the people around her.
  13. Death is not horribly sad or devastating. People accept, move on and lead their own lives with dignity.

Featured Image Credit: A still from the movie

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