What can you write about Pink that has not been written already?
I must confess that me, like many others had not thought of going to the theatre after seeing the trailer, even when it looked good. The most important thing, which makes this movie great, is its connectivity to the audience. It does connect at many levels. Having Bachchan in the movie makes things easier. I must say at times I get disinterested with a movie just because of him, there is nothing new that I expected from him and in Piku too, he was the third best actor even though he got the national award for it. But he surprised me and perhaps many others.
A question which comes to many minds is that why we had to have a male lawyer and not a female one? The reason is quite apparent, a Shabana Azmi or a Ratna Pathak Shah could have been a great choice, but the message spreads a lot more when someone like Mr. Bachchan says those lines. We cannot ignore the fact that his stature in the industry is probably the hugest. May be in the next one we will see an all women cast defending the case.
The sad part about this thing was that, what if the girls didn’t get a big lawyer like him? That is something to ponder about. One of the major reasons why I liked the movie was that, it was perhaps the first mainstream film which totally destroyed the middle class morality and the 'piousness' connected to a woman in movies, which had become so essential a part of a Hindi movie. Many films like Cocktail (which appeared to be a liberal movie in the beginning) have been guilty of confirming to the whole 'sati-savitri' thing.
This movie was quite clear about how molestation or rape must be defined, which is 'consent'. We are living in a democratic society but there are certain things which have to be non-negotiable. One of which is consent. No, means - No. It is not a beginning of a sentence but a whole sentence, with an exclamation mark. It is a good beginning, but there are certain simplifications as well, like the judge who was level headed and who made his opinion on facts. This is not always true in the real world, where judges too have passed misogynistic rulings. Sometimes they have accused the victims because they do not confirm to the ‘good girl’ criteria, and hence it becomes alright for a man to molest or rape her. Another time they have asked the victim to marry their rapists.( http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/cuddalore-minor-rape-victim-married-to-the-accused-family-anxious-about-her-safety/). The judiciary system on the whole needs to be questioned in a strong way and hope that is done in the next one.
The drama in the court room was great, and the multi camera setting enhanced the breathlessness of the moments. There were long 15 minute shots which created a theatre like environment, which is quite different from a shot where the actor is not having a co-actor in her front. Do not expect a “Court” though, which was probably the only movie which presented courts in the most realist manner.
All the actors did well, especially Tapsi and Kirti. Tapsi surprised me, because I had never seen her perform so well. Kirti was great in Shaitan, but was overshadowed by other actors, this is her great chance. Through Andrea, we also came to one of the most important issue of the country, which is of racism against the north-east Indians, especially the trouble that the women go through. We need an entire movie to showcase that.
Other actors in smaller roles, like Vinod Nagpal who was the girls’ house owner, and Rajvir’s friend who challenged the girls did a great job as well. The only one who looked a little out of place was Piyush Mishra, probably because he thought it is a commercial film, but later he came to his own and finished it well.
The song Kari Kari sung by Quratulain Baloch is haunting and can be heard all the time.
Director Anirudh Roy Chadhury, creative producer, Shoojit Sircar (who was more like a co-director) and writer Ritesh Shah are three men who created something great, they must have taken a lot of insight from the women who suffered.
Watch this movie with your family, especially your young boy or boys. It is in the end a vision of Shoojit Sircar which has created such a gem. Do watch it. It’s only a beginning and hopefully Hindi cinema will dare to go even more radical in the future.
Reviewed by Prabhat Jha
Prabhat Jha is a Research Scholar in Patna University. He often writes poetry, plays and short stories. Apart from English he also writes and translates from Maithili and Hindi. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org