Pink review: Amitabh Bachchan is still the only boss around
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Amitabh Bachchan, Angad Bedi
Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Two cars are moving in two different directions. Each has three passengers - the first one has girls and the second is being driven by boys. Parallel cutting suggests a connection. One of the boys is bleeding and the girls look tense. A dark and sinister night has engulfed the Delhi-NCR region and everyone’s waiting for the morning light.
This is your story. Our story.
Meenal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea Tariang (Andrea Tariang) are working women living in a posh south Delhi locality. Their daily struggle with neighbours’ questioning eyes has made them brave and ready for tougher challenges. They meet Raajveer Singh (Angad Bedi) and his friends at a rock concert which ends when Raajveer gets hit by a bottle and starts bleeding.
Raajveer is rich, highly educated and well connected. He decides to seek vengeance on the girls. A war between the genders starts and the police, society, parents, judiciary and everyone else become a party.
After delivering acclaimed Bengali dramas like Anuranan, Antahin and Aparajita Tumi, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury forays into Hindi with Pink, and what a debut it is. There aren’t any of the usual jazzy Bollywood criminals here yet you feel terrified. No dramatic sounds to enhance the mood, still you want to hear it. No dim lights, but you want to look away.
The reason is simple: You know this world and its inhabitants.
If Kanu Behl’s Titli brought out the harsh truths of east Delhi’s lower middle class vicinity, Pink sketches a similar picture of a tony south Delhi. Unfortunately, the attitude of people inhabiting these districts is common across the country and could even be universal.
Pretension, ego, sense of male superiority and skewed ideas of perfect womanhood make it complicated, intriguing, disgusting and disturbing. But, we have seen this happening around us in real life.
Watch: Why Amitabh Bachchan is still relevant in Bollywood
So, it doesn’t come as a surprise when the police arrest Meenal under Section 307 IPC, attempt to murder. Who cares if she did it in self-defence! Nobody knows what happened that fateful night. Everyone’s assuming. Because the girls went with the boys and they ate and drank together, moral yardsticks have to be set. A woman investigative officer doesn’t help either. After all, she too is a part of this society.
But, a well-intentioned man is yet to enter the game and could change it for the girls. Once a successful lawyer, Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) had to hang his boots because of a deteriorating mental condition. Sehgal returns to the courtroom for one last time.
This can be surprising for people who want a woman to fight on behalf of others, but then is there really a match for that devastating baritone and intimidating eyes? Bachchan gives it all and drives his points home with such force that you fall in love with him all over again. The master’s complete dominance silences the courtroom and the audience. Don’t be amazed if you start feeling uncomfortable and break into tears and claps.
Watch: Our FB Live discussion on Pink and Raaz Reboot
Every single actor has upped the ante in this 136-minute riveting drama. If Taapsee excels in initial courtroom scenes, Kirti takes it to a whole new level in the finale. The girls have shown a tremendous range and Pink belongs to them. Nobody has overshadowed them, not even Bachchan or a shrewd lawyer Prashant, played by a super intense Piyush Mishra.
Watch: The intriguing Pink trailer
Vijay Verma, who plays Angad Bedi’s friend Ankit in the film, also leaves his mark. He has shown a lot of promise in a cameo.
Attention to detail is visible in the screenplay. Scenes keep changing at a rapid pace without being preachy. Also, it’s a case which is very ordinary in nature. Hundreds of such cases are filed every day. What’s the big deal about this one?
Well, that’s exactly the big deal. It can be your story. It’s about every woman living in this egoistically twisted man’s world. It’s about parents, brothers and husbands worried about their loved ones’ safety.
Pink keeps us gripped from all sides even as a strictly entertainment package. The intricacies of the case unfold like a thriller. You won’t miss the usual Bollywood courtroom theatrics either. Still you will get to know a thing or two about the contemporary feminist debates.
But, this isn’t the real success of Pink.
It comes during end credits when we see what exactly happened that night. But, by then most of us have already taken a decision and know whose side we need to take for a better future.
Pink shows what meticulous planning can do to a film. And, of course, Amitabh Bachchan’s enigmatic persona will guide you through the darkness. Not to be missed at all.
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha