Movie review – Pink – A definite watch for women, a must watch for men
By Joginder Tuteja
‘The rules when it comes to women’
Description of this all are some of the most definitive moments of Pink when Amitabh Bachchan, in his thunderous baritone, stuns one and all with the rules that are applicable for women, and not necessarily men. In his arguments at the court of law, he counter-attacks instead of defending his clients [Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang – each of them being the quintessential friendly neighborhood PG girl in apartment near you] while explaining how in the scheme of morality which has its own way of being interpreted in the society, it is almost rudimentary to have different set of rules of men and women.
The biggest win of this argument? It is non-preachy, topical, relevant and so very well conveyed!
Now that’s the biggest win of Shoojit Sircar produced Pink which has been oh-so-brilliantly directed and sensitively handled by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury who is making his debut as a director in Bollywood. Nothing is really out of place, absolutely nothing is frivolous whatsoever and definitely nothing is said without context. Every spoken word, every gesture, every episode in the tale is extremely well connect to the core of the film. So much so that even with a zero smile narrative and a nervous chuckle at a point or two, you don’t mind the grim set up (especially in the first half) since Aniruddha shows the mirror to you.
A mirror, that doesn’t spare anyone. While you are disgusted by the attitude of the English speaking high society youngsters (ably led by Angad Bedi, the man who debuted as a comic actor in Jackky Bhagnani’s F.A.L.T.U., and is suitably menacing in his part here) who first molest the trio of girls and then put a counter case of criminal assault and attempt to murder, you are also made to question a bit of your own thinking towards the fairer sex that has stayed with you in your years of growing up in a world that doesn’t quite revel in equal opportunity for both the sexes.
(Spoilers ahead) No wonder, some of the scenes in the first half of the film, especially when a cop discourages Taapsee to file a report for molestation (as it would only lead to waste of time and further heartburn), are brutally familiar. One hopeless situation leads to another and while you as an audience know that there would be hope in the form of a silent neighbor [Amitabh Bachchan], girls who are growing through the trauma aren’t entirely sure. Especially cringe worthy is the sequence where Taapsee has to go through the trauma all over again, this time even more nerve wrecking, both physically and mentally.
Now this is where true performers in the four key protagonists emerge. Taapsee is a revelation as just when you think that the Meera [Baby] in her would emerge out of somewhere and take things hands on, her journey from being thrown into a lock-up to the loss of dignity that she faces in the court to the questions that lead to further embarrassment bring the true artist out of her. It is wonderful to see her in a part where she is vulnerable yet strong, down but not out and depressed but not hopeless. Her dialogue delivery is further flawless and you want to know more about the actress that she is.
Another actress who yet again establishes that she needs to get her due in Bollywood is Kirti Kulhari. In a part which is equal to that of Taapsee, she is dignity personified and though an element of filminess comes in her initial outburst over the phone, she is just extraordinary in the courtroom scene when she gives it back to Piyush Mishra, the lawyer representing Angad. She is superb in this scene and shows once again that she has it in her to deliver. Andrea is suitably contained though and goes through the motions for what is expected out of her. The debutant has a decent role in the film and she does well.
As for the man who takes Pink to a different level altogether, it is Amitabh Bachchan himself who gives audience what they had been hunting for right through the year. In Wazir as well as TE3N, he played a frail man throughout and stayed like that for most part of the narrative. In case of Pink, he (yet again) starts off as a man who could possibly be defeated easily but then slowly and steadily rises up to a point where the ‘angry old man’ emerges all over again, hence dominating the screen in a way only he can. Watch him when he grills the female cop and then Angad, and you would know why!
What also has to be noted that this could possibly he his only film where his name appears fourth in the credit rolls! That though could just be a professional courtesy as in all true sense, it is Amitabh Bachchan who holds the show together and teaches once again about how a performance can further elevate the prospects of an already brilliant narrative.
Yes, the film does lead to a rather simplistic conclusion after all. However when it comes to the core messaging, the team of Pink says it all perfectly right. As for those who just wish to get the gist of it all, wait till the end credits title roll. A rather long background narration by Amitabh Bachchan further makes the whole experience worthy enough.