Pink Review - A Film that Disturbs for all the Right Reasons
It’s the first hearing of a case in court and the advocate on behalf of the complainant is going great guns, presenting the case in style. Many witnesses are called and questioned, but when it’s the turn of the lawyer representing the defendant to cross examine the witnesses, he chooses not to do so. The defendants are 3 young women, friends who are facing serious charges, including attempt to murder. They are shocked to see their legal counsel choosing to remain silent; little do they know that it’s just the lull before the storm hits the court room. With a topic that is probably extremely topical albeit controversial, it is not surprising that we finally have a film on the same. It is also important to note that it’s also a subject that can lead to sensationalism either knowingly or unknowingly. That’s why Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Pink which is now playing in a theatre/multiplex near you is quite a film to be discussed about, watched and debated.
With National award winning films like Anuranan and Antaheen in his filmography it was not a surprise to see Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury finally enter Hindi films. Also Shoojit Sircar and Ronnie Lahiri (who are among the producers of Pink) are people who have already a backed a film of his in the past, the Bengali film Aparajita Tumi. The promos of Pink showed exactly what the film had for us in store, they promised a film that would perhaps be to the point and address a socially relevant topic. The team of Pink has obviously been quite upbeat about the film, no wonder they have had quite a few preview shows and press screenings well in advance of the release. Seeing the admiration openly pouring in on social media it wasn’t of course surprising to feel a little unsure of the film with the thought if it really deserved all the praise and love. But now that I’ve seen the film I can tell you that the apprehension wasn’t really required at all.
Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) are three working women and friends, living together as tenants in a nice South Delhi neighbourhood. Their life goes for a toss all thanks to one fateful night when they spend some time with Rajveer (Angad Bedi) and his friends at a resort after a rock concert. In a state of drunken euphoria the guys try to molest the women and Minal ends up seriously injuring Rajveer as she tries to fend off his advances. With Rajveer and his friends constantly harassing the girls in various ways, Minal is left with no other option but to file an FIR against Rajveer and his friends. But being influential they file an FIR in return, with Minal getting charged for attempt to murder and soliciting. It is now left to Deepak Sehgal (Amitab Bachchan), a popular lawyer but now retired due to his ill health (he suffers from bipolar disorder) to come to the support of the girls. How does Deepak go on to fight the case and ensure justice is delivered for the right people is what we see from the rest of the film.
Ritesh Shah’s screenplay makes for an extremely tight first half where you are kept engaged all the way. There is no attempt to showcase what really happened that night, instead we are shown how vulnerable the 3 women are and how people like Rajveer and his friends can really be a menace to society. Of course one can definitely argue by saying that there is some kind of stereotyping shown, but even if so then it is only with a reason, a need to focus on the larger topic. Yes the courtroom proceedings in the second half do at times appear to border on the sensational, Piyush Mishra’s over aggression, Amitabh’s attempt to shift gears and a few other elements might not really sound convincing. Having said that it does show justice to the theme of women’s safety and how they continue to suffer from constant harassment in many forms. Abhik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography brings out the various shades of Delhi quite well on screen.
The film’s music (by Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy and Faiza Mujahid) works very well with the mood and tempo of the film. The “Kaari Kaari” track (vocals by Qurat Ul Ain Balouch) is impressive and adds to the sombre tone of the film. Angad Bedi does well as the brash yet stereotypical Rajveer while Dhritiman Chatterjee brings in an air of reassurance as the judge. Mamta Shankar is seen in a cameo and some of the smaller characters like the lady SHO of Surajkund police station also make an impact. Andrea Taring is quite earnest and Taapsee does extremely well as Minal, playing a bold yet vulnerable lady. Kirti Kulhari is a revelation and she carries off the emotionally charged character of Falak Ali quite convincingly. Though Amitabh Bachchan’s initial scenes (where he almost appears to be a stalker of sorts, strangely) do not really impress, he goes on to soon win our hearts, conveying a lot with his moments of silence. Also it was a nice gesture on behalf of Amitabh and the team of Pink to let the three women get the top billing in the opening credits ahead of Amitabh himself, an act that goes well with the theme as well.
Don’t go in expecting a revolutionary film as probably that might lead to disappointment. But viewed as Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s entry into Hindi cinema and with a really serious topic to handle I must say that Pink comes off as a pretty good attempt. It is a film where the positives far easily outweigh the negatives. Go watch it as the film deserves to be seen and later debated.