Amitabh Bachchan and Taapse Pannu star in this week’s Bollywood release, Pink, a social thriller directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. Here’s our Pink movie review.Pink, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu in the lead roles, addresses the issue of patriarchal, condescending attitude towards independent women and stigmatising them in 21st century India. Here’s our Pink movie review.Pink, the new Amitabh Bachchan film, is a lot like Deepak Sehgal, Amitabh Bachchan’s character in the film. Mr Sehgal, a lawyer, inside the courtroom, is all theatrics and showmanship – growling one minute, silent and mumbling the next. Mr Sehgal knows that Indians, particularly, the Indian man, has a hard time understanding Indian women the moment the latter do not fit into the feudal expectations set upon them. Screenwriter Ritesh Shah and director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury know that as well. Hence, they have made a film which drives home the point with OTT sound and fury, just the way Mr Sehgal likes to conduct business; break open the Indian skull with a sledgehammer and drill into it basic concepts of human dignity, respect and honour because achchhe din is a long time coming for women in India. And while doing such social service, Pink, like Mr Sehgal, is never for a second, boring.The story revolves around Minal (Taapsee Pannu), Falak (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) – three young working women based in Delhi. A bad twist of events involving a few young men with powerful political ties has them caught in a web of social stigma, law-and-order problem leading to an arrest and finally a showdown in the courtroom.
Pink, like Madaari, also written by Ritesh Shah, is a film that has the trappings of a thriller to keep the audience guessing about the outcome every minute, while simultaneously engaging them in a conversation about contemporary society. Pink is about the patriarchal mindset which looks at independent women capable of making the same choices as independent, enfranchised men, as ‘loose’ or ‘characterless’.As for the performances, Mr Sehgal’s role is a cakewalk for Amitabh Bachchan. Piyush Mishra’s acting has become very predictable and his turn as the slimy lawyer here too delivers no surprises. Taapsee Pannu is excellent, but more so is Kirti Kulhari. It is refreshing to see her in a strong, demanding role after a promising performance in 2011’s Shaitaan. And last but not the least, Angad Bedi. Bedi, as the spoiled son of a politician, rages and froths with hyper-virile masculinity and institutional entitlement. He is a treat to watch.
However, as much as Pink pushes the envelope in Indian films in regard to discussion around morality, women’s freedom of choice, etc., one can see Amitabh, the grand old patriarch of Hindi cinema, playing the sole voice of women’s rights as regressive. But if not Amitabh, then who? Can one think of a more commanding voice and a more assertive personality than Amitabh Bachchan in Hindi cinema today, regardless of how many ‘women-centric’ films Kangana Ranaut has done? Pink is a giant leap, sure, but it can only leap so far. Keeping Pink as a starting point, future writer-directors should build on the foundation established by it to make more brave, more daring films on women’s issues, where one day, not Amitabh Bachchan, but a woman can stand up and speak for herself and everyone will listen.