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.