Shoojit Sircar, the director of Piku, says that megastar Amitabh Bachchan is so “meticulous” about his work that he begins rehearsing with a spotboy if there is no co-star to give cues on the set. Interacting with film enthusiasts over tea at Poetic License’ latest workshop which was held at the Irani Cafe, Excelsior here on Friday, Sircar spoke candidly on the making of Piku, which features Big B with Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan in key roles.
“Mr. Bachchan starts rehearsing with a spotboy if his co-actors are not there to give cues. Irrfan won’t do rehearsals, but he puts the things in his head. The script is in his blood and veins. Deepika is spontaneous. She doesn’t do many rehearsals. She feels she will lose her spontaneity,” Sircar said on the acting styles of the actors. The film on the father-daughter bond has been received well at the box office. It is a simple tale, told in an endearing manner, which people of all age groups can relate to. Sircar says his “theatre techniques and discipline” helped him a lot in making Piku.”I shot the film in a theatrical way. We did many rehearsals and the final take was done in 10 minutes. I had a lot of fun directing the actors,” he added. The session was moderated by The Lunchbox director Ritesh Batra, who has started the initiative to revive Irani cafes. The previous sessions which were held at various iconic Irani cafes across the city, were attended by Farah Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sharat Kataria, Radhika Apte, Atul Mongia and Seher Latif. Sircar always had Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan in mind for the film, while Deepika Padukone popped up in his mind once he finished the script.”We had already decided on Irrfan and Amitabh while writing the script. Their characters were written keeping them in mind. Deepika (Padukone) happened post the script was written,” said Sircar.
Sircar went on to add that “Deepika got the character bang on. I had asked her to watch Konkona Sen Sharma’s films”. Piku paints a father-daughter relationship via a journey from Delhi to Kolkata in a car through the scenic and holy city of Varanasi. There is humour, drama and love interwoven in endearing and relatable tale.
The things that clicked with the audience are Amitabh and Deepika’s cute arguments filled with love and care; and Deepika’s subdued and subtle camaraderie with Irrfan. Deepika’s character in particular was applauded by the public so muc, that people wanted to adopt her. “I think we had all thought that it’s a sweet film and that people will connect with it, but none of us had expected it to become this big. It’s gone beyond our own control. The biggest compliment for me has been… I know it may sound funny, but a lot of people want to adopt me,” she had said in an earlier interview.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2015.