*ing - Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi, Piyush Mishra, Dhritiman Chatterjee
It's been a long time since a mainstream Hindi movie was made that shakes you to the core. There is nothing new in the plot of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's Pink. The crux of the movie can be found in the news every single day without fail - victim blaming. Whenever there is a crime against women, the girl is blamed for the dress, work, ethnicity etc etc. There are even some lawmakers who consider rape as one of the trivial things happening in the country. Take a bow Aniruddha for delivering that much needed tight slap on the feudal and archaic mindset of majority of India.
Three working, independent girls - Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea Tariang (Andrea Tariang) - stay together in a residential community in South Delhi. Their lives take a turn for the worse when they accept a dinner invitation from an acquaintance Rajveer Singh (Angad Bedi) they met at a rock show through a common friend. Rajveer, nephew of a powerful politician, along with two of his friends takes the girls to a nearby resort where he molests Minal and in self-defence Minal hits him with a bottle and badly injures him. When Minal complains to the police about the threats she is receiving as a result, the tables are turned as Minal is arrested for attempting to murder Rajveer and engaging in prostitution and the girls are named co-accused. Retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) who also lives in the same community and is suffering from bi-polar disorder, takes the case for the girls. Whether Deepak Sehgal succeeds in defending the girls or not forms the rest of the movie.
*Spoiler Alert Ends*
The director needs to be applauded not just for taking on this much needed subject but also for the way in which he has executed it. Everything seemed to fall in place. The casting of actors is the best part. When you see the three girls you just dont see the actors, you see the regular working girls who you see in the every day wake of life. Also, the pace is kept consistent through out. The first half is a taut thriller and the second half is an equally engaging court room drama. The director has also been intricate in the small details (well not so small) like the ethnic difference of the three girls, one of the girls losing the job and having to face the murmurs of co-workers etc. Another note-worthy thing is that the director goes ballistic on the biased soceity in a subtle way without using any obscene language or scenes. If I have to split hairs and nit pick on the flaws, the Sara Sehgal (Mamata Shankar) episode seemed a bit redundant.
Amitabh Bachchan delivering a top notch performance is business-as-usual, with a couple of highlighting solid scenes during the court room battle like where he objects because the witness is over-acting. Taapsee Pannu gives an extra-ordinary performance during the court room scenes. Andrea Tariang also gives a noteworthy performance. But the best performance of all comes from Kirti Kulhari. She emotes the dilemma of a modern girl beautifully and throws the kitchen sink to give an exemplary performance. Dhritiman Chatterjee fits the role of the judge to T. So did Angad Bedi as the baddie. Piyush Mishra as the prosecutor gives a sub-par performance but nothing to complain about. Rest of the cast including Vinod Nagpal as the girls' landlord, Mamta Malik as the corrupt investigating officer all give very good performances.
The writer Ritesh Shah should be lauded for handling the screenplay deftly and writing in such a way that the audience are very clear. There is no beating around the bush, it is point blank with a hint of subtlety. Three time national award winning cinematographer Abhik Mukhopadhyay handles the camera as is required. In any case, do not walk out as soon as the movie is over, especially girls DO NOT MISS Tanvir Ghazi's poem during the end credits "Tu khud ki khoj me nikhal...". The end credits roll off with a bang "agar teri chunar giri tho ek bhukambh aayega".
Verdict: A definite watch. Don't just go alone, gather everyone around you and go.