By Ruchika Naidu
I wandered into Pink unwillingly, not wishing to indulge in a tear fest and turn into an uncontrollable, sobbing ball of mush. However, the riveting trailer and positive reviews were far too powerful to give this movie a miss, and I’m glad I did not. Although my apprehensions prevailed, the journey was far more cathartic than I had expected.
The courtroom drama shows us a mirror and asks each to question the ingrained, deeply-rooted patriarchy and anarchic system that still surrounds us. Three girls- Minal (Taapsee Pannu), Falak (Kriti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) are ordinary working women, together living their independent “normal” lives until one night after a rock concert, things go haywire, ending with a serious head-injury to Rajveer (Angad Bedi), the nephew of a powerful politician.
You don’t actually get to see the incident that took place (until the very end that is) and watch the second half of the film as less of an audience member and more of a jury member. You attempt to solve the puzzle, piece by piece; trying to put together what might have happened through snippets of conversations, testimonies and clearly corrupted witnesses, making for a gripping drama that will stay with you long after the film is over.
The acting does not hit a false note. These girls aren’t just characters but individuals you can personally identify with.
The acting does not hit a false note, from the supporting to the main cast. These girls aren’t just characters but individuals you can personally identify with. The boys too deliver terrific performances as characteristically aggressive misogynists reeking of entitlement. The legendary Amitabh Bachchan delivers a poignant, yet restrained performance as Deepak Sehgal , the peculiar neighbour, doubling as a renowned, retired lawyer, helping the girls. Contrivances such as Sehgal’s ailing wife or mental illness don’t add anything to the plot but can easily be overlooked.
The music by Shatanu Moitra and Anupam Roy, especially “Kaari Kaari”, moves you so that you become unknowingly manipulated by the tunes. The writing by Ritesh Shah is so sharp and to the point it is what binds the film together. Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury plays an excellent conductor, steering clear of the easily melodramatic preachy tone.
Amitabh Bachchan delivers a poignant, yet restrained performance as Deepak Sehgal.
It’s the details that make Pink stand out, showing the struggle of sexually-assaulted victims, personally, socially, and professionally. I found myself raging at the court sequences, wondering relevance of the questions these girls are being asked, churning at the familiarity and discomfort. These aren’t problems curbed to a particular region but occur all around the world. Pink also presents a hierarchy in the oppression, with Andrea commonly being referred to as “the one from the North-East”, “as a North-Eastern girl I feel I’m harassed more than the average Indian girl”, she proclaims. It stings, makes you feel uncomfortable and just plain angry at times but is essential viewing and hopefully a catalyst for change.
Lastly, when she says no, she means no! How hard is it to understand guys? If you still don’t get it, please go watch Pink, it’s pretty clear-cut.
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