Rating : 4.5/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2016
Running time : 2 hours 16 minutes
Director : Aniruddha Roy Chaudhary
Cast : Kirti Kulhari, Taapsee Pannu, Andrea Tariang, Amitabh Bachchan, Piyush Mishra, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Angad Bedi
Kid rating: PG 13
Minal Arora (Pannu), Falak Ali (Kulhari) and Andrea (Tariang) are flatmates living and working in Delhi. On an evening out, the three meet a few friends for dinner and drinks. The evening ends in a violent altercation, and the three rush home in panic. Each day after that day is leaden, and clouded with fearful repercussions from that unpleasant evening. Things come to a head when Minal is arrested. Falak and Andrea at their wits end, sans family and support, seek help from a neighborhood lawyer.
The film starts off with the three girls rushing home from an incident. We, the viewers, have no knowledge of the event that has caused the stir, we only hear references to it. Then we witness the threats and the intimidation the girls face. The film, post-intermission, becomes a courtroom drama as the lawyers from both parties (Bachchan as the girls’ lawyer) battle it out.
Pink is a film that tells it like it is. And this telling has long been overdue. It questions society’s hypocritical morality and double standards, the “boys-will-be-boys” notion that makes Delhi (and India) so unsafe for women. It exposes the blood-curling hypocrisy that resides behind suave, moneyed exteriors. They might talk nice, but scratch the surface and a regressive patriarchal mindset comes oozing out. Pink underscores a woman’s right to her own sexuality, her right to say no and have everyone respect it, regardless of what she is wearing/drinking, or where she is. This goes hand-in-hand with the need for empowerment, the need for law and order and uniform justice for all, unimpeded by the police-politics nexus.
Pink makes all these points well, and movingly. Great acting helps. Versatile actress Kirti Kulhari (you might remember her from Anurag Kashyap’s Shaitaan) is fantastic as Falak, the lovely Pannu veers away from masala films here and does well as the brave and outspoken Minal, and Tariang depicts a Meghalayan bearing the brunt of the “loose, North-Eastern” girl stereotype. Each of them elicit, from us, sympathy for their characters, as they bravely stand their ground inspite of character-besmirching campaigns and threats. Bachchan turns in a decent performance; he is a fine orator and makes his (and Pink’s) point in his booming voice.
The film is well-directed, and keeps up the momentum, sans fripperies. There are 4 songs, and all aptly fit the film in mood and lyrics. I loved the poem in Bachchan’s voice, which is heard as the credits roll (here is a translation).
I highly recommend Pink – this is the must-see Hindi film of 2016.
Kidwise: There is some language here. Violence is referenced and implied but not shown front and center. Courtroom dialog features words like virginity, sex, rape, molestation etc.