“Woman, whoever it be – your friend, girlfriend, acquaintance, sex worker, even your own wife – when she says NO .. you stop !!”
This one dialogue sums up the entire essence of Pink. From the opening credits with the girls names before Mr. Bachchan to the poem in the end credits, Pink is a very honest film. More than the honesty, it’s by far the most relevant and important film we need now.
Three independent working girls, Minal, Andrea and Falak stay together in an apartment in Delhi. They meet three guys in a rock show who invites them for dinner in the resort nearby. Things go wrong when the guys start crossing the limits and try to sexually assault them. So, in her self defence, Minal (Taapsee) smashes a bottle on Rajveer’s head and the girls run away from there. Few days later, they file a complaint against the guys, but to their surprise, Minal herself gets arrested after few days because of the political background of Rajveer. Deepak Sehgal (Mr. Bachchan), a retired lawyer who stays in the neighbourhood of the girls is the only hope left for them. He takes up the case. The remaining story revolves mostly around the court-room with manipulated evidences, false confessions, slut-shaming, misogyny and the ultimate judgment.
Pink works majorly because of the three girls, terrific writing by Ritesh Shah and of course Mr. Bachchan. The girls are so good that they don’t come across as fictional characters. These are people you might know from your real life. For the court-room drama to feel heart-wrenching and inspiring in the second half, the first half should have a strong connected story and the girls did a brilliant job to get that. Be it the angst of Andrea, a girl from Meghalaya who says that she suffers more harassment than an average Indian girl because of the place she belongs to, the constant grilling of girls’ characters in the court-room, questioning the way they dress, their drinking habits and their virginity, Pink unabashedly shows everything that’s wrong with the stereotypical thinking of the society on women. But it never does that in a preachy mode.
And stands tall behind these girls is Mr. Bachchan. Beyond that baritone and the huge stature, he gives a deeply personal yet effective performance. Towards the end, in the court-room sequences, he’s flat out fabulous. His towering appearance and his voice really helps the character and the film. Just remember the four rules his character sarcastically establishes in court proceedings for women to be safe. They’re like four tight slaps. Special mention to Piyush Mishra as Prosecution Lawyer, Angad Bedi as Rajveer and Dhritiman Chatterjee as the judge.
The director Aniruddha Roy and Shoojit Sircar, who co-wrote the script and produced the film must be appreciated for putting the best of their efforts in every detail. Be it Taapsee’s tattoo and her open admittance of her virginity, they set out to show these characters as realistic as possible without any huge polish.
Pink is not melodramatic. It’s a hard hitting film which slaps you in your face with the harsh reality. It’s easily the best hindi film of the year so far. Don’t miss it.
I think, after watching Pink, at least one problematic man goes back to his house and starts looking at his wife/mother/sister or any other girl differently and treats them with respect.
I’m going with four and half stars.