Theme: The Way I See It
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: PINK
You have to be cynical, cold and possibly living in denial if you are not deeply affected by Pink. All those associated to the movie deserve a hearty applause; finally, FINALLY, a brave venture which focuses on real women living ordinary lives, facing issues that are encountered by females every day and to which most of the subcontinent can relate to. Pink is no ordinary, mindless rom-com that Bollywood is so famous (infamous?) for.
Rather, it is a youth-centric movie emanating a powerful message: a woman is free to own her sexuality. When she says no, it means exactly that. A resounding no. Irrespective of her dressing, her drinking or smoking habits, whether she was flirting with a man earlier and her sexual experiences, a no means no.
It gives major food-for-thought to our patriarchal society, which judges girls and boys with different moral yardsticks. Condemning the existing feudal mentality, Pink brings to limelight an extraordinary truth through the most ordinary of issues. An issue so ordinary several girls have already been through it while the others missed it by a scary whisker: Prejudice against women and sexual harassment.
Brilliantly written by Ritesh Shah and consistently well executed by the cast, director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and producer Shoohit Sircar have ensured that this movie keeps you riveted throughout.
Three young women, visibly rattled, in one car and three young men in another, infuriated, with one of them bleeding profusely, heading in opposite directions, is how the movie starts.
Minal (Taapsi Pannu), Andrea (Andrea Tariang) and Falak (Kirti Kulhari) are three ordinary, middle-class girls living in a posh, South Delhi locality. They are what the society describes as “modern and independent” type, which we know is a euphemism for educated, working women who likes wearing short dresses, enjoy smoking and drinking at times and hang out with male friends. The fact that they are immediately perceived as promiscuous, hence responsible for provoking aggressive, sexual behavior in men, is one of the many bitter realities that Pink confronts head on.
Vengeful and politically well-connected, Rajveer (Angad Bedi), along with his other friends uses his power to file a wrong FIR against the girls, labeling them as sex workers.
The movie takes a dramatic dive when the retired, bipolar lawyer, Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan), agrees to represent the girls. The rest of the movie mainly constitutes of courtroom theatrics; from the scathing questions thrown at Minal, inquiring her morality, to Rajveer’s angry outburst, Falak’s breakdown and Mr.Sehgal’s dramatic ‘Manual for girl’s safety’, Pink gets you hooked from the first scene.
Interestingly, we never actually see the incident that triggers the events in Pink; we must rely on the snippets of conversations, confessions and accusations during the course of the film to put the jigsaw puzzle together.
Needless to say, the actors in the movie were spot on. Their effortlessly natural acting enhances the realism of Pink. Angad Bedi is suitably menacing, the girl trio befittingly strong but emotionally vulnerable. And is there even a role Big B cannot play well?! Despite his limitations (bipolar disorder, an ailing wife and an anti-pollution mask), he crafts a fully flesh and blood character you cannot help but cheer for in the end.
Devoid of typical Bollywood masala, Kaari Kaari, the only song IN the movie, sung by the Pakistani sensation, Qurat Ul Ain Baloch, is enough to give you goose bumps.
Pink is a stinging portrayal of the deeply embedded prejudices, unmistakable misogyny, misplaced male entitlement and downright injustice that women across the subcontinent must come across every day, especially when protesting against unwanted sexual attention.
What makes the movie so powerful is that most of us can conveniently relate to it. There is at least one character you can see your reflection in; whether it is the defiant and courageous Minal or the opinionated and orthodox Rajeev, the concerned land lord or the helpless father who finds himself acutely tongue-tied when the world points towards his daughter, Pink is a movie about us, for us.
As for the title, the feminine color Pink is often associated with weakness, but the movie is anything but. It is a severe sucker punch to the society, making a lasting statement.
Pink is not an easy viewing; it will make you uncomfortable and is a stark reminder that this can happen to any one of us. It is a very important movie and hands down the best produced by Bollywood this year so far. Please do not let it go to waste. Watch it, feel it and strive for a change!