PIA, directed by Tanuj Chopra, is another love story in the Futurestates series. However, PIA takes a drastically different approach to the genre. Chopra’s tale is set in 2063, with the introduction of some new technology; nearly-human drones are being produced using the remains of fallen human beings. This is another issue we have seen brought up countless times both inside and outside of film, the feared mechanical takeover of the job world. The PIA bots do diminish work for the humans of the time, however, that is not where this story is truly centered.
Syama and Rakesh Raval are our main characters in this story, and as it begins, they live happily together. Without much time for dramatics, Rakesh dies suddenly due to heart failure. This was a major issue that I took with this film. The death of Rakesh comes very suddenly, in a confusing moment in the film. I would have liked a more legitimate death for a major character in the film, to me, this diminished the plausibility of the film itself.
Syama decides to donate her husband’s remains to the PIA project as it is just beginning, with a sense of foreboding. My impression of what was to happen next was drastically different than how the film unravelled. I had been expecting scenes of despair and poverty, with PIA drones taking over the workforce. However, the film focuses, 2 years later, on one specific batch that goes missing.
Rakesh’s remains are now fused with the programming of a PIA, in the batch of missing drones. When his mind begins recalling memories, he instinctively returns to Syama, and explains that he knows how to do things, but not why. This is an interesting commentary on love and unbreakable bonds, playing on the notion that even these ‘dismantled’ humans can hold onto their true lives.
To me, this film didn’t quite fit into the theme of most of the others. This film, while set in the future, doesn’t really focus much on life in the future. This film could have been shot exactly the same with a setting of 2011, simply because the focus is so drawn on two individuals. Many of the other Futurestates films focus more on budding issues of today that have exacerbated into major issues in the future.