Deepika Padukone has always managed to win our hearts with her performances. From being the “bad girl” in Cocktail, to the maharani in Padmaavat and an acid attack survivor in Chhapaak, her on-screen transformations are an indication of her dedication to the craft, that make every character relatable. From the numerous films she has done, her character in Piku feels the most at home.
Even when almost seven years have passed since the release of Piku, it is one of the coziest movies ever made. The simplicity of the film feels like a soothing cup of chai on a winter morning, evoking the same feeling as that of a warm embrace. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and late actor Irrfan Khan, the film remains a light, sunny watch.
The titular character of Deepika in the film, Piku, is the representation of a modern Indian woman juggling between her professional and personal life. She lives with her father Bhashkor, played by Amitabh Bachchan, who is completely dependent on his daughter and is obsessed with his bowel movements. Although there is this unique bond between the father-daughter duo, we find them at constant loggerheads with each other.
Deepika does justice to this independent, urban Bengali woman taking care of her aging father, all the while building her career as an architect. The character of Deepika as Piku is the one we can all relate to because her personality takes cues from the people we see in our real lives. Instead of glamourizing a subservient adarshwaadi Rahul-like son from K3G, we have a fierce and bold daughter who has shouldered the responsibility of her 70-year-old father, and still gets irritated at his antics. Because no, doing an aarti that says ‘om jai mummy papa’ is NOT normal.
Piku is a character who is flawed, and yet you can’t get enough of her. The movie has a refreshing take on the parent-child relationship. Does Piku love her father and care for him, even if that means she has to take a road trip to Kolkata and miss her work? Yes, she does. But does that make her the ideal Shravan Kumar-esque child? No, absolutely not. But does she nag at her father and prioritize her own life as well? Yes, she does. But does that make her the negative trope of a Baghban-esque child? No, it doesn’t!
While dealing with all Bhashkor’s shit, both literally and metaphorically, Piku tries to carve her identity as a modern woman. With a father who is a feminist with lopsided but progressive views, Piku is an independent woman who takes on the world and her father, but is not blind to the emotional turmoil he puts her through.
Simple yet relatable, Piku is the Indian woman we all somewhere are. Deepika’s straightforwardness and honesty gave the character a natural innocence and purity that we couldn’t miss even when Piku is somewhat stubborn. But we can’t blame her.
Piku’s relationship with Rana, the taxi driver portrayed by Irrfan, was different from all the ones she had in the past. The soft, sweet and never too obvious romance blossoming between the two through the course of the film subtly showed Piku’s vulnerable side and through her relationship with Rana, we see another side of her. And we are treated to yet another side of this woman, because women are never just unidimensional.
Deepika’s Piku will always remain a special character who we all can relate to in urban India. Because unlike the tropes that shows, movies, and even web series end up falling for, Piku was not a character you could box into a type. Much like the women of today – she was flawed, independent, loving, and honest.
All images are from YouTube.