I was exhorted by my wife for seeing a Hindi movie, which I do rarely and far between, after hearing out the story or sneaking a unbiased and responsible review.
The movie was ‘Pink,’ produced by Shoojit Sarkar, and directed by Aniruddha Roychoudhury, Amitabh in the pivotal role, with three young women, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang as protagonists, none whom I had seen ever before, as the central characters, and Dhritiman Chattaerjee, in a lead support role. The male youth, Angad Bedi, Raashul Tandon, Vijay Varma, Tushar Pandey were anti heroes.
The depiction of the independence of workingwomen in a metropolis like Delhi, their lives, trauma and cravings, hitherto never shown so bravely were effortlessly laid before the audience.
The girls could have been just the next-door ones, our relatives or daughters. Many crucial issues like their vulnerability, misinterpretation from their attire, late hours from working, eating or drinking in parties, all were place so subtly.
The retired lawyer, Amitabh, suffering from manic depression, often goes into a state of oblivion even as the court proceedings are on, but tears the veil of reservation to let flow smoothly the truth with his blatant and shocking question in the courtroom “Are you a virgin?” to his client Minal, played well by Taapsee. Her two colleagues too have done their respective roles very well, with Andrea portraying the special difficulties faced by any North Eastern girl. Minal (Taapasi) braves to comes out of a shell and stuns by shunning the court’s offer for an ‘in-camera’ proceedings revealing about her loss of virginity in the open court.
Angad Bedi playing Rajveer and his friends are present day spoilt children of rich and the powerful, file a counter FIR against the girls who had braved to file an FIR against the men and the trauma begins. The characteristic callousness as well as complicity of the police with the offenders too is well portrayed.
The way Bachhan lets go without any initial cross examination leaves one puzzled and in the end when he provokes Rajveer to reveal his inner identity to admit of the crime of molestation resulting in the retaliatory attack in self defence by the girl, and his lamenting over the society’s self imposed prescription on women, he raises his own self achieved acting benchmarks.
Dhritiman as the judge is not any ordinary kind who would shout ‘order, order,’ striking his gavel. He was kind, fatherly and perhaps secretly wanted to punish the men, who as we all knew were bad. Their attorney did an excellent job too, depicting the girls as bad and lecherous as the story was scripted.
The movie was a bit long, but in a retrospect, I did not know where it could have been pruned. Bengali director Aniruddha and producer deserve kudos in highlighting the hopelessly patriarchal society and its Khap type discrimination towards women.
I did not know I was going to a heart-rending recitation of a sensuous poem, unable to take my attention off even for a slight moment. Kudos!