Pink Movie Review.
STORY: Three Delhi girls – Minal (Taapsee), Falak (Kirti) and Andrea (Andrea) – are on the run after one of them escapes a molestation attempt by a pig-headed, powerful guy, Rajveer (Angad). Minal attacks Rajveer with a bottle injuring him grievously. This is just the beginning of their nightmare!
REVIEW: Pink is a powerful statement on the existing feudal mindset of a majority of India, where men and women are judged by a different yardstick. And if the man happens to be from a powerful family, then the fight for justice is even more skewed.
Being a single woman in Delhi makes for fragile existence. Constantly scoped by the prying eyes of neighbours who deduce her character based on when she returns home and the guests she entertains, it is an unsettling world. This is the backdrop of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Pink, which effectively transfers the fears and frustrations of its characters onto the audience. The most pertinent point this film underlines is the feudal mindset of the milieu, amplified by the sense of male entitlement that eliminates consent.
Sharing an apartment in a plush South Delhi neighbourhood, Meenal (Taapsee Pannu), Falak (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) collectively afford a decent living. Their life is altered following an event (visually detailed in the closing credits in stopmotion style) that leaves Rajveer (Angad Bedi), an influential political heir and acquaintance of the trio, bleeding from his forehead. What transpired at the resort in the Delhi suburb of Surajkund, where the incident took place, becomes secondary to Rajveer’s mangled ego and his cronies engage every effort to wreck havoc in the lives of the three women — one of whom is responsible for his bandaged head. When the women seek legal recourse, the perpetrators turn victims and malign the complainants by accusing them of being sex workers. To assist the trio rise from their predicament, retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) returns to his crisp black suit and bills himself as their defence attorney. “‘No’ is not a word but an entire sentence,” he says in a shattered tone, as part of his closing argument, speaking of ‘consent’ — something most take for granted in relationships. Sehgal’s commitment to the case is casually portrayed as a means of feeding his otherwise dull existence and, more pointedly, as an extension of his upstanding nature.
Apart from narrating a story that tells a lot more than it says, this one also includes deliciously-written and meticulously-casted characters. For one, the female cop’s sheepish smile, when her supposed presence at a police station is negated by a photograph that attests her being at a wedding the very same time, is priceless.
This is the third renaissance in Amitabh Bachchan’s career. After masterfully playing a concerned grandpa harbouring a secret in Ribhu Dasgupta’s Te3n, he returns with this megawatt performance where he packs in his quiet reserve and explosive outbursts with equal flourish. While his death stare is sufficient to do the job, when he drops the bass and picks it up again in his dialogues, we’re assured the baritone is trademark. Taapsee Pannu distinctly stands out from the female cast and lends her Meenal Arora a feisty edge of a determined woman. Kirti Kulhari’s Falak is portrayed throughout the film as the most collected of the three but when her character is thrown from the pan to fire, even she cracks. Daughter of Shillong-based musician Rudy Wallang and guitarist of Lavender Groove, Andrea Tariang may be an accidental actor but going by the Andrea she essays on the big screen, we’d surely like to see more of this petite wonder. Veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee’s voice may have turned a bit quivery with age, but he draws much attention through his dramatic pauses and his almost-clinical dialogue delivery.
Making his Hindi film debut, director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who helmed Bengali films like Anuranan and Antaheen, manages the proceedings here efficiently and cinematically. To what heft creative producer Shoojit Sircar lent to the project is only too obvious. Carefully positioned momentary distractions like Sehgal’s sudden preoccupation with a cockroach in the courtroom or his occasional jibes or even the side track about his ailing wife, suitably serve as a breather from the intense scenes. From the soundtrack, Pakistani singer Qurat-Ul-Ain Balouch’s “Kaari Kaari” establishes the tone and conveys well the cultural malaise that the lead characters are plagued by.
Many argue that Delhi is wrongly dubbed the ‘rape capital of the country’, as supposedly more cases are reported there than anywhere else. But poor safety for women isn’t the only issue our rajdhani is dented by. This film makes one think of the benefits the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat campaign could derive if a small part of it were assigned to the cleansing of our minds.