Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapseea Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Piyush Mishra, Angad Bedi
Every now and then, just when you are about to lose faith in good cinema in Bollywood, there comes a film that strengthens your belief that ‘Aal izz well’. Pink is one such film.
Produced by Shoojit Sircar, this social thriller-courtroom drama doesn’t just hold you in thrall but it also shakes you to the core with a hard-hitting, no nonsense commentary on the social ills plaguing modern India.
What’s the plot?
It is a story of three single, young working women in Delhi, who share an apartment as paying guests in a posh locality. A late night outing goes horribly wrong for them when their male friends try to act fresh and one of the girls ends up breaking a bottle on the aggressor’s head! The girls manage to escape from the scene but a bigger ordeal is waiting for them. The injured guy is an influential politico’s son. He and his cronies start harassing and intimidating the girls. Approaching the cops is the only option left for the terrified females but that step just further escalates the trouble. The wheels within wheels move and they find themselves in the dock, accused of prostitution and attempted murder! The only one who would stand by their side is an old lawyer fighting his own battle against a psychiatric illness.
It must be evident by now that the story here is not new; we have come across it in one form or the other- in daily news, in TV serials, in movies, in personal lives. But writer-director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary tells it with so much power, precision and purpose that the few loose ends become irrelevant. Right from the chaotic first scene till the rousing climax, the film keeps your eyes glued to the screen. The first half builds up the agonizing ordeal in detail and the second half dissects it piece by piece in the courtroom. The soulful music adds depth to the narrative.
Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang play three representative contemporary urban working women, brilliantly portraying their unique strengths and vulnerabilities. The other cast members, too do a competent job. But it is Amitabh Bachchan, who takes this film to another level with a towering performance. He is the voice and the conscience of this film and he oozes fire and electricity. A packed theatre erupting with claps and whistles for a septuagenarian actor….that should tell you something about the indefatigable man and his magic!
What Pink does is to shake us out of the numb, indifferent attitude towards sexual biases. It makes us look at the changing social scenario and questions the age-old patriarchic prejudices.
Staying away from parents, working late nights, wearing fashionable clothes, having drinks at a party, sharing smiles and jokes with opposite sex, having premarital sexual relations…..the urban Indian youth now takes these things almost for granted but does this newfound ‘freedom’ mean that the gender bias has gone for good?
The answer is an emphatic ‘No’. Still these things are taboos for a girl and okay for a guy. Still these things will invoke leers and jeers for a girl. She will be labelled a ‘s**t’ and what not. Her morality and character will be questioned. Her behavior will be termed provocative and of ‘come hither’ nature.
Pink takes a strong stand against these archaic values and argues for the women to have the same rights and choices as men. But while hammering home this feminist point loud and clear, it also subtly urges caution for understanding its potential risks.
It is doubtless one of the most socially relevant films in Indian cinema; importantly it is also one of the most riveting ones!