Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Piyush Mishra, Angad Bedi.
Direction: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Duration: 2 hours 16 minutes
After 'Vicky Donor', I've been a fan of anything that is creatively touched by Shoojit Sircar. When I saw the first promo of this movie, the fact that it had Amitabh Bachchan in a female oriented movie made me want to watch it. When I learnt that it was being produced by Shoojit Sircar, I had mentally booked the tickets already. My husband and I watched this movie yesterday and it still continues to play in my mind.
To be very honest, very few bollywood movies have stayed with me long after I've finished watching them. 'Taare Zameen Par', 'Ek Hasina Thi', 'Kahaani', 'PK', happen to be some of the few. While each of these movies have a own set of audience for themselves, PINK is something that everyone should watch. At least once in their life time. And probably once every week to be reminded of the message it unapologetically conveys. This movie is not about women empowerment. It is not a feminist take on something. It is about character assassination that is a reserved topic for women alone. Have you ever heard if a man's character being questioned? This movie talks only about this in a realistic and non preachy way.
The story is fairly simple. Three women (Tapasee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang) meet four men at a rock concert and go out for dinner with them at a resort. One man tries to molest one girl and she hits him on the forehead with a bottle as self defense. The man (Angad Bedi) being very well politically connected seeks revenge and files a case against these three women accusing them of prostitution. Our country and its people as wonderful as they are, are quick to point fingers at the women and start talking about their character. "Ladkiyan akeli rahengi toh aisa hi hoga" (when girls stay alone, this is bound to happen), their neighbor openly says. Their other neighbor (Amitabh Bachchan, baritone and all), an old retired lawyer who witnesses the kidnap of one of the women decides to fight their case for them. But it is anything but an easy journey.
The opposition lawyer (a brilliant Piyush Mehra) sticks on to just one point. These women are prostitutes and accompanied the boys to the resort just to extort money from them in exchange of sexual favors. Why else would women accompany men they barely know to a resort and then drink together? This seemed to be the question on every body's mind in the courtroom. How does Amitabh deal with such accusations of his client? How do the women answer uncomfortable questions thrown at them? How does the case end? The film is tied together beautifully conveying a very relevant message.
There is a scene in the movie where the man who is being accused of molestation and dressed in his finest tells the defense lawyer that "Achche ghar ki ladkiyan drink nahi karte!" (girls from good families don't drink). This man is supposed to be educated from London. When the defense shows him a picture of his sister drinking, he loses it and goes on to talk about the power he has up his sleeve. Amitabh Bachchan then introduces the concept he calls the safety rule book for women. Rule number one is that when a woman talks freely to a guy and laughs, that means that she is giving a hint to the guy saying that she's available for sex. She should not do that. During the course of the courtroom drama, he comes up with many such rules but sticks to two main points. Consent and safety. Consent - No matter who the woman is, if she says "No", it means no. She can be a sex worker or a wife. Safety - If women are being accused of temping men to molest them, then it is the men who are not safe. We need to keep our men safe, safety of women would automatically follow then. The ending although predictable is applause worthy due to the sheer brilliance in the writing, dialogues and the well placed punch lines.
Every woman plays her part with gusto and stands out on her own. Special mention to Falak played by Kirti Kulhari who emotes beautifully with her eyes. Tapasee and Andrea perform very well too but the movie clearly belongs to Amitabh Bachchan and the questions he raises without flinching. Asking a woman about her virginity and to whom she lost it at what age is not easy, but the way he makes the woman's answers relevant to the case in hand is outstanding. He emotes with his eyes, his hands and with his silence when he is not talking. He raises a lot of questions, not only to the courtroom but to the audience in general and proceeds to answer them himself. The actual truth of what happened between the men and the women is shown in the end credits in stop motion, that will tug your heart even if you are made of stone.
Such movies need to be made. Such movies need to be watched by people of all ages. Such movies need to be watched again and again as a example and as a learning. This movie is not about women fighting for equal rights. This movie is not about putting men down. This movie is about accepting the fact that a woman is also human and her habits, actions and lifestyle should not decide her character. And yes, about consent. I know I'm saying this for the second time in this post, but yes, when a woman says "No", it means no. This should be the loud and clear takeaway from the movie.
Verdict: Take as many people as you can with you and watch this movie. Young, old and gender alike. It needs to be seen by every individual on the planet.
Rating: 5 out of 5.