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Movie Review: Pihu

Banners: RSVP, Roy Kapur Films

Producers: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Shilpa Jindal

Director: Vinod Kapri

Cast: Myra Vishwakarma, Prerna Sharma

Writer: Vinod Kapri

Music: Vishal Khurana

Home alone seems like such a fun idea, especially for children. But what happens when the child is a two-year-old? Pihu is about a two-year-old girl, who wakes up the morning after what seems to have been her birthday party. Lying next to her is Puja, her mother, who appears to be dead.

Unaware of this, Pihu tries to talk to her and wake her up. As time goes by, she navigates the house, trying to find food, playing, watching TV, doing what any child would do when left alone. At the same time, she faces many life-threatening situations although Pihu has no knowledge of these narrow escapes. The film takes us on a roller coaster ride, constantly making you wonder whether Pihu survives her home alone experience.

Writer-director Vinod Kapri has set the entire story around just one character, two-year-old Pihu, played by Myra Vishwakarma. Rather than the story dictating the proceedings on screen, it seems like it is Pihu’s behaviour and reactions that have set the tone of the narrative. The music of the film stands out as well, for not being a jarring, over-the-top score, but a subtle yet effective addition to the screenplay.   

The film hooks you from the get-go. There are many jump-scare moments in the film, like the iron that has been left on, the running water in the kitchen, when Pihu turns on the gas stove, and when she leans over the railing of her balcony. For each of these scary moments, there are some really heart-wrenching ones as well, like when the child tries to feed her mother, or applies cream to her face, assuming she has hurt herself, or when she just lies on her. The film oscillates between scary and hopeful and through it all, you pray that Pihu stays safe.

Full marks to Vinod Kapri for making this experimental film. It must have been a challenge working with a two-year-old. What works in favour of the film is how the tension is maintained throughout, and at no point does it feel staged or fake. But then there are no perfect films and Pihu too has its flaws. The phone conversations interspersed in the film seem forced and sometimes a little over-the-top. Also, the climax is very sudden and a little abrupt.

Verdict: An experience for sure, must watch!

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