Review: Pink, a film that must be championed – Rediff.com movies
“this is a strong, concise film that highlights its views on mainstream fashion with a lack of proper subtlety.” /strong>
An old man stares ferociously at a girl in the park.
The girl, white apple headphones on, running, sweaty and out of breath as she stretches, stares back at him, unblinking. she seems suspicious of the look on her face, but she is not afraid of him.
it’s an awkward moment with the observer making a hole with his eyes and the girl confidently facing him with hers and since it comes pretty early in pink I started wondering about a possible connection, a relationship, an estrangement is because the girl seems to know the look very well.
As the movie progressed and it became clear that there was no connection between the two at the time, I realized that the reason she knew she was being watched was because all the girls know her.
all girls. Pink, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, is not about heroines, crusaders or activist girls who know how to create a buzz on social media. is, simply and effectively, a film about girls and the brush with which they are usually painted in this country.
Three girls go to a rock concert on the outskirts of delhi, the de facto badlands in Hindi cinema today, and find themselves in a situation with three guys. we are not shown what happened. the film deftly begins on a black screen with the voices of a pleasant situation in the background: a male voice protests the very idea of one last drink, and so on, before things go wrong.
We see the girls running home and the boys running to the hospital. one of them has been hit and could lose an eye. the girls are nervous, skittish, fearing for their lives, and revealingly apologize for the incident. the fear is real on both sides.
flatmates staying in a quieter suburb of delhi, the girls close the blinds and the conversation between them is very forced, until the three of them declare that it is time to smile and try to tickle each other to get back to normal. but normality, as we see, is not so easily amused.
The film is very well acted. taapsee pannu is meenal, the one who seems to have caused everything impulsively and keeps crying in regret. Kirti Kulhari is Falak, the reasonable and mature one who wants to avoid trouble at all costs. Andrea Tarang is Andrea, a sweet little girl often and realistically described as “north-eastern”, as if that’s all she counts.
There is nothing unusual or exaggerated about these girls or the bond they share, and while the other side’s lawyer (played by an archi piyush mishra) continues to label them “women of low character”, you watch them fall apart, no stand up. it’s devastating.
The reason it hits so hard is because the movie is done fairly sparingly, and every detail seems gimmick-free. the old man goes to his morning constitutional at pranayama sharp, a persecuted prisoner crouches behind a policeman’s desk as a personal stress toy, an academic admits he “can be candid or liberal,” and politically powerful men sit in they judge and complain helplessly instead of showing their weight cinematically.
The first half of the film, steadfast in its refusal to show the incident or even let us hear a story, is built on silences, on not meeting glances, on leaving everything between the lines.
pink puts the girls – and, by extension, the audience – through the wringer. There’s nothing pretty about the way we see them ripped apart by the patriarchy, threatened by a lout who wasn’t even at the rock show, but who, desperate to prove his bravery, wants to take it upon himself to terrorize and punish the women. girls. how dare you.
This is where the old man steps forward. Amitabh Bachchan, a retired lawyer who suffers from bipolar disorder, takes up clubs on behalf of the girls, beating them around the courtroom with pugilistic grace.
as we know from prakash mehra movies, some bachchan must fall into every life. the girls cling to him in disbelieving desperation, and he fights for them with everything he has. in a menal moment hangs on bachchan’s elbow, completely unnecessary words.
bachchan soars through the pink – the way he yells “etc” is the only thing worth having the heavy hitter in play, but there are softer moments like one where he appears to have fallen asleep on court , or where he lays his head next to his ailing wife’s bed and needs to have his hair mussed and his conviction validated.
It’s a role that goes from saying nothing to talking too much, and that change of gear is impressively handled by the actor, though the film conveniently discards his mental condition as it goes along.
Other mishaps include Pannu’s freshly painted clavicle tattoo that gleams wetly throughout the proceedings, even as the boy’s wounds wear off, and Bachchan’s law library made up of books with comically unlabeled spines, but these, like the poorly chosen name of the film, they are nothing more than criticism.
This is a solid, concise film that gets its point across in conventional style with a lack of appropriate subtlety. pink is a big hit, and it doesn’t mince words.
The three girls, as has been said, are excellent. pannu has the movie on her shoulders and is consistent and impressively believable, kulhari is wonderful, especially when, belatedly exploding, she shockingly changes the ‘what if’ question to a ‘what if’ argument, and tarang misses the point. fake. she notes and grounds the film in both reality and vulnerability.
angad bedi hits the nail on the head as the entitled and wounded scoundrel, and vijay varma is brilliant and steals the scene in expressing the casually misogynistic cruelty that we now tragically but inevitably associate with the delhi mentality. Vinod Nagpal is, as always, excellent as a shaky but brave owner, and Sudhanva Deshpande makes his Haryanvi Police memorable.
It’s hard to forget the whole movie, and chowdhury should be applauded for his creative choices. At one point an objection is made and Bachchan, like many of us, accepts it by saying “Fair enough”, instead of taking it head-on.
When was the last time you saw a reasonable attorney? but after scaring the hell out of us, even mentally, who doesn’t realize or remember how far he should be from repenting, the film abandons realism and looks for hope.
pink finally transitions from a nightmare to a wish fulfillment movie, because not only do we have bachchan as a staggeringly eloquent orator who scolds witnesses with panache: “i object… to this awkward performance. he’s overreacting ” – but we have dhritiman chatterjee playing a judge who understands rhetoric.
If all the courtroom drama feels too good to be true, that’s because, soberingly enough, it is. amitabh bachchan is not here to support our women. we should be.