Pink Movie Review: End credits start rolling. Everyone is seated. There are serious faces, thinking bodies, concerned citizens and contemplating minds – a subtle seated standing ovation for the greatness they just witnessed. I am feeling thankful for this ‘Pink’ experience. Once in a decade comes a film that does this, and makes viewers sit up and look within.
Pink Movie Review: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury Hindi debut ‘Pink’ is Bollywood’s redemption film. Pink is that milestone in Hindi cinema that has arrived just when Bollywood is being written off as a mediocre creative and artistic business.
The film starts with two cars and a night – one car with some guys with one gravely hurt on the eye and head, and the other car with 3 girls scared and heading home. This parallel sequence sets the tone for the film, while the disturbing incident unfolds. What happened that night becomes the subject of this thrilling courtroom drama. The girls accuse a rich flamboyant power-driven Rajveer Singh (Angad Bedi) and friends of rape attempt inside his room at a resort, while Rajveer blames the girls for trying to extort money in return of sex despite the guys refusing to do so, and on refusal hitting him with a bottle on the head.
The three girls are regular girls doing regular jobs. The protagonist Minal (Taapsee Pannu) is an events manager, Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) is a corporate employee, and Andrea (Tariang) is a character from ‘North-East’, the geography used well to throw some light on the plight of North Eastern citizens of our country facing discriination day in and day out.
So after a brilliant build up to the courtroom, enters Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan), the big shot and famous lawyer who retired after being disillusioned and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He makes a comeback to defend his neighbors, the 3 girls in court. This is Mr Bachchan’s best performance in a long time, almost decades. Yes I reject Black, Paa and Piku as great performances – at best these were good acting shows by his standards. If you want to see just two Bachchan films in your lifetime – watch Hrishikesh Mukherji’s ‘Bemisal’ and ‘Pink’. No one could have felt or played Deepak Sehgal like him. He is the undisputed boss of Hindi cinema. Taapsee and Kirti steal the show even from Bachchan in some scenes. Piyush Mishra as the prosecutor is impressive, and acts as a representative of whatever is wring with our society’s men when it comes to perceiving and branding women.
The courtroom sessions are used well to convey strong messages about the way our feudal and patriarchal society views women, making them the torchbearers of morality and sanctity. So if she is drinking, being friendly with guys – it simply means she is ready to sleep with the guy. Sehgal using his social sarcasm, shares some rules the social system has imposed on women through the case, like women who go to rock concerts (in this case with respect to the film) are more open to sleeping with strangers than someone in an art museum or a theatre. How do you shut a down courageous young woman who chooses to seek answers? Label her cheap, uncultured, whore, and or what Rajveer uses, and many other guys do in casual conversations – ‘rxxx’.
The film ends on a NO. The closing arguments of the case may very well be added to our school syllabus to teach our men what a NO coming from a girl or a woman means. When she says no, it means just that NO – No forcing, No sex, No touching – whether it comes from a wife, girlfriend, sex worker – any woman. When she says No it means NO.
The background score by Shantanu Moitra, complemented by tight editing makes ‘Pink’ one of the most meticulously planned and executed films. ‘Pink’ is an institution in film making from the recent lot – you will learn more about scripting, dialogues, frame compositions, background score, editing and direction more than a film school.
The roots of good, great and successful Hindi cinema were nurtured by the geniuses of Bengal – Shashadhar Mukherji, Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukherji Shakti Samanta and so many more. And today when Bollywood is going through an identity crisis, producing atrociously painful material, it’s makers like Shoojit Sarkar, Sujoy Ghosh, Dibakar Bannerjee and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury taking charge and showing the right way of creative film making. Not for a second in Pink, you are disinterested or bored, yet you can call this one an unconventional Bollywood social drama. But it works, keeps you hooked onto the screen, with smart direction and top notch casting and acting.
All those who are associated with ‘Pink’, please take a deep bow. Here’s a powerful and courageous Hindi mainstream film, which is real yet entertaining and gripping.