U/A; Comedy/Drama
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan
Rating: 3.5 stars

Perhaps the kind of dish that would be just ideal for one of the lead protagonists of the film, 70 year old Bhashkor Bannerjee  (Amitabh Bachchan), who perpetually suffers from constipation issues. Bannerjee (and the script) is obsessed with his blocked tract and insists on chronicling and describing every step of his highly erratic bowel movement.

His daughter Piku's (Deepika Padukone), life willy nilly revolves around her father's toilet rituals, thus affecting her career, her moods, and also thwarting any chances of her meeting a decent man to marry. Piku is a bright professional and a liberated woman who is cool about casual sex with her business partner (Jisshu Sengupta) and openly defends her relationship as nothing but a need with her aged father.

However, the crux of the story is the dichotomy as Piku is also the 'ideal' Indian daughter who in spite of knowing that her father is 'selfishly' thwarting her chances of marriage because of his fear of letting go, doesn't really do much about it. She does vent her frustration by constantly grumbling about the situation to her crazy father or her vibrant maasi (Maushumi Chatterjee). The maasi is the only one who kind of manages to dodge the eccentric Bannerjee's barbs.

Then enters Rana Chaudhury (Irrfan Khan), a failed engineer but an extremely patient man, who's not lost his sense of humour in spite of a not so great life.The smooth flowing (pardon all puns) narration makes it a delight to watch as you get involved with the Bannerjee family from the word go. The narration gets a little flat and underwhelming at some parts, but fortunately gets a boost of energy with Irrfan's entry.

Shoojit Sircar is obviously snug as a bug in a rug with the Bengali 'Kaalture' and that comfort reflects on the screen. Sharp screenplay and charming dialogues by Juhi Chaturvedi compliments the mood as the duo take us through a Basu Chatterjee, Hrishikesh Mukherjee kind of delightful slice of life experience.  However, one wishes that so much 'Bengaliness' was not unnecessarily crammed into certain scenes. Subtle references might have worked better.

Deepika has put in a good effort, in the first half her performance bordered on a bit like play acting but she is excellent in the second half. This was not an easy role to play for the actress who has rather impressively honed her talent.

But undoubtedly the film belongs to the two powerhouses of talent, the two gentlemen, Bachchan and Khan. It is an absolute delight to see the two of them together, making it all seem so easy, effortless and absolutely believable. Irrfan, undoubtedly one of the finest actors we have, gets some of the funniest lines and he does full justice to them.

Do watch this one, more so, if you are a Bengali. I bet you won't stop smiling for most of the two plus hour duration.


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