Director Aniruddha Roy Choudhry’s recently released Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan in the role of a lawyer along with three main actresses in lead roles- Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, and Andrea Tariang is a clarion call to the society to change our mind-set and attitude towards girls and women with immediate effect.
The film tugs at our conscience and makes us see the warped mentality of the society we live in where the rules and diktats to be followed are totally different for women and men. We pass judgements easily on the character of a girl by looking at the length of her dress, who she moves around with or even by something as simple as the time she returns home and also interpret her extroverted friendly nature as ‘asking for trouble’ types!
Why is it perfectly okay for a guy to come late, go to any place he wants, smoke and drink at will, or even flirt around but when girls indulge in the very same things they are labelled as ‘available’ and looked upon as easy prey for these lusty men? Why does their animal instinct and ego make them want to physically overpower a woman when she says ‘NO’? Why are the laws not strict when it comes to punishing the molesters and rapists? Why do powerful people still have a big hand in botching up investigation procedures?
The film addresses many such important aspects of our society by weaving a gripping and thought-provoking court-room drama around a riveting plot. It highlights an incident which happens one night in the life of three ordinary working girls in Delhi who stay together as paying guests. A seemingly harmless night-out at a rock concert turns into a nightmare when things go out of control resulting in an untoward and unexpected accident that turns the lives of the girls into a living hell.
Instead of accepting the complaint registered by the girls, they are shocked to see tides turn against them with the police arresting one of them and cases filed against her under various sections result in her going to jail. Unknown to them, their old neighbour whom they had seen staring at them sometimes had observed many things and seemed to have an idea of the whole situation. He was a lawyer though he had given up practicing some time ago and things pick up when he decides to represent them.
While the first half is like a racy thriller concentrating on the girls and their story, the second half is devoted to heavy-duty court-scenes with Amitabh Bachchan taking over completely. He lends the necessary gravitas required to drive home the relevant points and there could not have been a better choice for the role.
Honestly, his zest to play novel characters never ceases to amaze. After Wazir and Te3n, this is Amitabh’s third film to be released this year and he continues to stride the screen like a modern-day Colossus mesmerizing the audience with one brilliant role after another!
The fact that the film’s main characters are played by relatively unknown faces not only helps to give credibility to the story but also ends up being the biggest plus point of the film. Devoid of designer wear and stylist costumes these young actors and actresses come across as natural flesh and blood characters we can easily identify with in our everyday lives. Such films make it so evident that our industry has so many actors/actresses with so much talent. If only the top production houses could look beyond the usual gang of Deepika, Sonam, Priyanka, etc., and cast such natural actresses also…
Dhritiman Chatterjee as the Judge is top class but Piyush Mishra in the role of the Public Prosecutor is the only minus point of the film. He overacts and his dialogue delivery lacks clarity. To match Amitabh’s towering presence there should have been a better actor as the Prosecutor.
A few thoughts
For too long have women have been subjected to the lecherous male gaze and been victims of their harassment and narrow-mindedness whether at home or in their workplace. Dealing with this every day has robbed them of a sense of freedom thus chaining them to a ‘set’ image with plenty of ‘do’s and don’ts’!
As long as such ‘wild’ men are on the prowl, women must exercise caution while mixing with guys…
As if undergoing the mental and physical torture is not enough, it requires a lot of guts and determination on the part of the girls to put up with the kind of questions they are asked right from the time they go to lodge a police complaint to the browbeating they have to put up with during questioning by the lawyers. The harrowing experience is what perhaps makes many of them back out and give up the fight and the cases are then easily hushed up.
It is easy to identify with the emotions of the protagonists as the situations are very believable and many in the audience might have found themselves in similar situations. It does seem scary! The scene where Taapsee is picked up by the boys to teach her a lesson is quite frightening! Is this what a girl gets for being brave in our society?
Though the film deals with a case in city involving rich people the situation is even worse in rural and backward areas where the status of a woman is even worse with no one ready to fight for them or understand them…
Pink is a timely and thoughtful film and is definitely a must-watch…