There are many things that make Irrfan Khan starrer Piku an enjoyable watch. Its relatable characters, wonderful actors, and the fact that it is a road trip movie. And people love road trip movies, and you only score brownie points when you make one with an intelligent, telling script.
As mentioned before, the movie has several things going for it. But one of the things that makes it extremely entertaining and credible is the fact that it boasts of an impressive cast. Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and of course the inimitable Irrfan.
While all the three characters have a definite arc, it is the appeal of Irrfan’s character Rana Chaudhary that lasts longer. While we don’t get to see Irrfan’s Rana as often as the other two characters, but the charisma and skill of the actor is such that he just pulls you to him. Rana is not meant to be likeable. He’s a practical person, and he puts up with some mess thrown by his clients and his family members with what seems like considerable ease. However, that doesn’t help him win friends. Not many, anyway.
Rana runs a taxi business and he often finds himself in a soup thanks to one particular client, Piku, played by Deepika. In his first scene itself where Rana is seen arguing with another driver, Irrfan shows Rana as a person who knows what he is talking about, a businessman shrewd and smooth enough to talk his way out of things. And in that first scene itself, he helps Piku by asking his employee to not take her name in front of the traffic policeman and the driver he’s seen arguing with.
In another sequence that soon follows Rana’s introduction in the film, he is seen conversing with Piku about how owing to her urgency every morning, drivers end up getting involved in accidents and needless arguments with other drivers. But he does so in a restrained fashion. Rana doesn’t yell at Piku, and even ends the discussion on a mischievous note, saying how Piku will never need an auto as long as he runs a taxi service. And it is in that moment that he charms both Piku and the audience.
In what is one of the most important scenes of the film, Rana endears himself to the viewers when he takes Piku’s side during an argument between the father-daughter, saying that Piku clearly cares for Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), had it not been the case, she would not have undertaken the journey all the way from Delhi to Kolkata.
When it comes to emoting silently, there is just no one quite like Irrfan. The incredulity on his face after he sees how Bhaskor takes care of his ‘business’ to expressing the sheer ridiculousness of a request that Bhaskor’s doctor early on makes in the film after making Rana’s acquaintance, Irrfan shows us who Rana is – playful, thoughtful, smart and humane.
Then there is the matter of chemistry, the relationship of Rana and Piku. It was an unconventional thing to pair Irrfan with Deepika, but it worked. Of course, Deepika played her role more than ably, but Irrfan, as always, lit up the screen.
And looking at the trailer of Karwaan, the actor is all set to work his magic once again.