September 19, 2016

Review: Pink gives a solid hit on the feudal assumptions....

Bollywood has always taken us to a fantasy-land with pretty girls, handsome boys, picturesque places, emotional love stories and more. However, today Bollywood showed us a slice of reality where society’s assumptions decide other’s character especially when it is a character of the woman.

Shoojit Sirkar’s Pink tells a gritty story of our sleazy patriarchy that restraints woman in stereotypes. Three single, working women in New Delhi, 21st-century India, is one line enough to establish a fear on one’s mind. Where, a character is determined by the clothes you wear, what time you come home, how much you smile at men, whether you drink and, of course, your sexual history. Pink gives a solid hit on these feudal assumptions.

Three men and three women meet at a rock concert in the outskirts of New Delhi. Amid the partying, something happens, which is not initially revealed – we just see the girls seem to be shaken while returning to their house, and the men rushed to the hospital with one of them profusely bleeding.

The injured Rajveer Singh is the nephew of an influential politician and his assailant, Meenal, is an ordinary working woman who turned down his sexual proposal, resulted into crushing a bottle on Rajveer’s head. The incident soon twists into a nightmare — for the women, of course.

Meenal’s roommate Falak loses her job as her morphed photos went viral on the internet. Meenal herself was kidnaped and terrorised. Further, the boys followed another girl Andrea and did best to break all three women into submission. Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) a retired lawyer suffering from bipolar disorder, often watched the girls from his house or during the morning walk.  He decided to defend the girls, after seeing their helplessness and terrorizing incidents.

The film is extremely well cast. Taapsee Pannu as Meenal the one who seems to have hot-headedly caused it all, Kirti Kulhari as Falak, the reasonable, mature one who wants to avoid trouble at all cost. Andrea Tariang is Andrea, who frequently been described as a girl from the 'North-East,' as if that is all that counts.

I walked out of Pink speechless not because it has shown something new. But the film narrates it in a way that your skin started crawling. It’s the detailing: the prying neighbors, the giggling co-workers, the indifferent cops or when the boys kidnapped Tapsee as they want to show her ‘aukad’. Against all odds, Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and creative producer Shoojit Sircar powerfully established that none of it matters — when a woman says no, it means only NO to all forceful botherations and perceptions.

There are all kinds of characters in the film: from the loving, caring landlord who won’t evict the girls despite threats; an estranged boyfriend of Andrea who says he can either be truthful or liberal, but never helpful, a cop who discourages from filing a complaint, an accusing lawyer who goes to any extent to save his clients. Even the biased Haryanvi woman cop is like a toy in the hands of the powerful men.

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury keeps the scenes tight and tense. The writing, by Ritesh Shah, is terrific. So are the performances. The women — Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang — don’t seem like they’re acting. You and I might know these women, strong and vulnerable, confused and angry. Courtroom scenes are excellent and a special salute to Mr. Bachchan, who infuses his character with a tragic dignity. His impassioned defence for these brave women is both heartbreaking and inspiring.  Piyush Mishra, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Angad Bedi, all have given a commendable performance.

Overall, Pink is powerful and a must watch film.

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