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DIRECTOR: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
STARRING: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Piyush Mishra
RATING: 4 stars
Let me start with a confession. I have been staring at my screen for the past half an hour, writing, deleting, writing and deleting again and feeling inadequate to come up with a review that would do justice to this film.
A crime is committed against three independent working women in Delhi but they are accused as the men who committed the crime are from a strong, well-connected political family.
The best thing about the film is its telling, its narrative. The film (right till the end) doesn’t show the actual sexual assault on women yet manages the viewers to empathise with them. The film never titillates, neither does it use disturbing visuals to cajole sympathy out of its viewers and it’s this non manipulative treatment of the film that makes it a class apart.
Little things in the movie stand out like the strong bond the three female protagonists share. There is a quotable quote in their house that reads, ‘What I love the most about this house is who I share it with.’
The first half, though slightly slow, shows the incident as is, without ever taking sides or preaching and creating just the right build-up for the brilliant courtroom drama in the second half.
A film like Pink is so imperative that everyone must watch it. We as a nation keep telling our girls, our daughters and our wives to behave a certain way, to dress a certain way, to even talk a certain way so that they are not misread or misunderstood.
There is such a simple yet effective scene where the lawyer asks Rajbir (Angad Bedi) about the hints that the accused lady (Taapsee) was giving him that made him conclude that she was interested and he says, ‘She was smiling, laughing and touching me casually while talking.’ The lawyer keeps silent. That three-second silence shows the very absurdity of his answer and hypocrisy of our society. As a viewer, we shift our seats, feeling guilty of the regressive mindset that we have.
In fact, the lawyer makes a guide to women’s safety listing out bizarre rules for our women that they must follow to protect themselves. That’s sheer gold.
The film also subtly mentions how we treat Indians from the Northeast as second class citizens.
There are just a few things I couldn’t get in the film. It’s not established who that lady in the hospital is. Also, there is a moment when Amitabh Bachchan calls a lady cop superwoman, a reference I couldn’t understand.
The film packs such powerful performances. Besides the lead cast, Vijay Verma as Rajbir’s friend is deliciously wicked and menacing. A special mention of Angad Bedi who emotes just right to bring out the deep-rooted misogyny of the Indian men.
There is a scene where Kirti Kulhari breaks down in the court. She is so convincing in the scene that I could feel every bit of her frustration.
So let me end on a personal note. I remember as kids we would go to our grandmother’s house during summer holidays. Every evening to beat the heat, all the boys would gather in the backyard, open the tap, fill buckets, use the hosepipe, bathe, shower and create a happy festive ruckus. All my female cousins would stand in corner and just watch, fighting the temptation to join in and have fun.
You know we all live in such confusing times. On one hand, the feminist in me will never want to tell my daughter, my niece how to dress, how to behave. But at the same time, we want to protect them. There is feminism but there is context as well. And in such a dilemma comes a film that talks about how we must train our boys, not girls and ends on such a powerful message that it will leave you musing for hours.
WATCH IT!! NOW!!
THE RATINGS MEAN:
5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!)
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once.
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?