Directed by: Vinod Kapri
Starring: Myra Vishwakarma, Prerna Sharma
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Release date: 16 November 2018
Running Time: 122 Minutes
The social thriller starring the two year baby girl. She is living in a home where the adults are going through a complicated phase. Being a toddler, she is occasionally trapped in the accidental situations.
Pihu is an upcoming 2018 Indian drama thriller film written and directed by Vinod Kapri and Jointly produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Shilpa Jindal. It stars Myra, a two year old girl in the title role who gets trapped inside her house with no escape. Pihu was premiered at the 2017 International Film Festival of India in the Panorama section and was screened at the Fajr International Film Festival. It won the Grand Prize for Best Feature Film in the International Competition category and the People’s Choice award for Best Film at the 14th Trans-Saharan International Film Festival. The film’s official trailer was released on 24 October, 2018 and will release theatrically on 16 November, 2018.
National Award winning director Vinod Kapri said that the idea behind making the film was with the question of “what does a toddler do when she is left alone at home?” He also based it on a real life incident that he read in 2014 in a national daily about a four-year-old girl who was left alone at home. He decide to have minimal dialogues in the film and depended on “how the girl behaves” and felt that “every shooting schedule [was] unpredictable.” He also mentioned that the film explores the issue faced by a married couple, compulsions about the concept of family and children. Kapri also spent four months with the kid getting to know her and familiarise her with the other crew members.
The girl has never acted before and Kapri is close friends with her parents, so they agreed for her to act on this project. The film was shot for two hours a day with three cameras placed on the set since Kapri felt “you can’t ask a two-year-old to give another take.” Kapri made some changes in the script based on Myra’s behavioral patterns. Myra moved to the flat for two months that was rented for shoot. Kapri had to wait for six months after he had finalised Myra for the film due to production issues. Later, his friend Kishen Kumar came on board as a producer. With a budget of ₹45 lakh (US$63,000), they started shooting the film but Kumar got a cardiac arrest later and Kapri had to again seek help for the film’s post-production budget.
Pihu Movie Trailer:
Pihu Movie Review:
Myra Vishwakarma’s precarious adventures as Pihu lend a spark to an otherwise exhausting watch
As the toddler in this film blows on the carbonised chapatti placed over the stove set on full flame, it’s natural for your heart to sink. But this is precisely the appeal here — furnishing a Final Destination-like series of events that border on possible calamity. The logic being, keeping one on the edge could possibly render an edgy film. And this retelling of a gruesome true story had the material for a chilling thriller. A two-year-old is trapped in an apartment without parental supervision — her mother ODs on sleeping pills precisely when her father is out of town on a business trip. Potentially, this has the recipe for an urban disaster. A house packed with appliances and sockets, a steam iron left switched on, a constant stream of water pouring over the sink — only a few feet away from where tea lights are left to flicker away. Throw in an enthusiastic toddler who wants to explore this world of grownups and the chances of an imminent catastrophe multiply.
When the film’s two-year-old lead Pihu (Myra Vishwakarma), wakes up next to her mother (Prerna Vishwakarma) the morning after her birthday, she’s puzzled to find her mum splayed motionless over her bed. When nudges and cries fail to create a stir, the scheme of events seem obvious. But for aspiring sleuths in the audiences hoping to string the clues together, a box of pills drops out of the mother’s frozen grip and wounds around her hands and face reveal signs of a struggle. When the husband calls to apologise and Pihu puts him on speaker, we’re brought up to speed on the events preceding this tragedy. How this folds up may not keep you glued to the screen, but Pihu’s precarious adventures as she navigates across what is essentially a minefield for disaster lends the proceedings some spark. But the excessive and repetitive use of tropes makes this an exhausting and eventually, a boring watch.
When real life offers such a compelling subject, the job of the filmmaker is to merely execute the story as astutely and meticulously as possible. But this is where Vinod Kapri’s Pihu drops the ball. Trigger sounds such as electrical sparks, balloon bursts and other explosions are suitably amplified to add drama. But little thought is allotted to minor yet significant props. For instance, to wordlessly convey that Pihu’s father is an engineer, the camera pans across a case where we see him in a framed photograph, lifting a trophy at an event called the “Best Engineer Award”. Also, since the film has minimal dialogue, every spoken word is unmissable. In such a scenario, when the husband articulates his grouse against womankind by yelling out, “You females are the worst thing in the world,” something is amiss.
Pihu hopes to give you a taste of how it would be if your minor was left at home alone without adult supervision for an entire day. But given the low voltage jolts in this one, your chances of suddenly dropping dead in a screen near you are less likely.