Amitabh Bachchan’s Pink: Five ways Bollywood feminism needs to change
From Na Na Karte Pyar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe to Kab Tak Ruthegi Cheekhegi Chillaegi Dil Kehta Hai Ik Din Haseena Maan Jaegi... much before the stalking lover entered Bollywood, it was established in India’s celluloid world that a girl’s ‘no’ does not really mean no. Our society believes a girl never means what she says especially when she says ‘no’ she doesn’t mean it. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary’s Pink is a brave, blunt and brutal canvas that wants to reaffirm the fact that when someone says ‘no’, it means NO.
Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink does what perhaps no Bollywood film has ever done - asserting a woman’s right to her own body and her own sexuality. Hitherto, Bollywood made us believe girls who drink, wear short dresses and party with boys are not the ‘ideal’ ones. In Cocktail, Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) will flirt with Veronica (Deepika Padukone) but falls in love with Meera (Diana Penty), and let’s not even start on the numerous films that teach us that the strength of a woman lies in her ‘sindoor’. And what does Pink do? It does not sermonise. It simply shows us the mirror. The fact that it is blunt, brutal image cannot be blamed on the mirror - the reality is such.
Advocate Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh) builds up a five-point rule book for the safety of women through the movie. Here are five moments from the film that teach us the meaning of feminism:
1. When people start judging Meenal (Taapsee Pannu), she tries to hide her face with a hoodie but Deepak removes it. This is a subtle yet strong statement -- people may blame you, but do not shame yourself.
2. We saw this in the trailer -- Deepak asks Meenal whether she is a ‘virgin’. His tone is neither mocking not judgmental -- while insisting that she must answer loudly, he is trying to tell women that their own sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of.
Watch: The trailer of Pink
3. Without advocating use of alcohol, the film tells us that it is ‘just a health hazard’ for men while it is a yardstick for measuring a woman’s character. We need to give up this dual-faced attitude right now.
4. At a point during the trial, the girls admit to something they did not do, something that is considered a taboo in our society. Instead of shaming them, Deepak says it was very brave of them. A case of assault was being turned into a character assassination campaign. But they simply took on the allegations so the real trial could get back on track.
5. In his closing argument during the trial, Deepak emphasizes that whether it is a friend or a prostitute or a girlfriend or a wife - she means ‘no’ when she says ‘no’ and that there are no hidden meanings attached.
A simple, stark fact we refuse to believe as a society.
Watch: Our FB Live discussion on Pink and Raaz Reboot