Often times, those who are nominated to positions of power and influence, bear a false sense of privilege that is misused and goes unchecked. In a city that is known exactly for a large number of such men, women tend to become the victims of misogyny and indignity. 'Pink' is a reflection of this deeply flawed society that even in today's times, instinctively falls back on stereotyping that is baseless. Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's social drama truly becomes a thriller of sorts in its second half when the trial exposes not just the victims and perpetrators but also the society which plays a huge role in determining who the guilty are.
When a casual night out after a rock concert ends up with a bottle smashed into the face of a minister's nephew, the girls who were simply defending themselves from physical molesters have drawn curtains on a wild party life. Constantly in a state of nervous silence and anxious worry, their daily routines soon get affected by threats from the men who seek vengeance for the grave injury to their beloved friend. Minal Arora (Tapsee Pannu), in an impulsive act of rage and self-defense, smashed a bottle onto Rajveer Singh (Angad Bedi) who crossed the lines of decency when they were at a party. Unfortunately for Minal and her friends, Falak (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang), Rajveer happens to be the nephew of a powerful South Delhi politician. A series of harassment attempts affect their landlord, their workplace and even their casual coffee outings. Thus, even the FIR complaint against the harassment by Rajveer and his accomplices falls on deaf ears at the Police station and soon enough, a counter complaint gets Minal arrested for attempted murder.
These proceedings are keenly observed by one of the neighbors where the girls live and seeing the injustice, offers to take their case even though he had retired as a renowned lawyer due to his mental illness. Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) maybe old and weak but he knows the law better than most and with his more measured approach, he combats Prashant Mehra (Piyush Mishra), the prosecutor whose loud and boisterous accusations reflect the society's flawed mentality and baseless stereotyping. Mehra represents the bigotry of the orthodox Indian society that downplays the role of women and their rightful positions while questioning every action with a perverse and sick assumption. His loud and overpowering arguments are the embarrassing reality of the way many men think of women even in these times in an evolving society.
In stark contrast, Deepak Sehgal tries to evaluate how low the society has fallen to mistreat and misjudge 3 innocent women who were victims of the power-hungry perpetrators. Can he help deliver unbiased justice to the girls while challenging the irregularities of society's stigma and prejudices? Pink hits the value system hard and the director keeps the viewer engaged with twists and revelations that keep the verdict hanging till the very end.
Tapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari deliver riveting performances as they struggle through their altered realities. Tapsee mumbles her responses as a witness in the box but she portrays her shaken self quite convincingly. Falak is targeted by Mehra's accusations of prostitution and eventually, deviates from the planned defensive lines. Kirti's performance here is gut wrenching and her plight is understandable. Prashant Mehra's aggressive prosecution allows Piyush Mishra to thrive on his excellent dialogue delivery. He matches up to Amitabh Bachchan's commanding presence with his performance, thus charging the scene up for audiences to enjoy. As an aging Deepak Sehgal, Bachchan's portrayal of an acclaimed lawyer is powerful not only with his sheer presence and calculated dialogue delivery, but also the conviction with which he fervently supports the girls. The closing statement by Amitabh Bachchan is among his finest performances in recent times that also highlights the film's underlying theme. It's effect is moving and necessary to shake up the hypocrisy in a flawed society.
However, while Mr. Sehgal's decision to fight for the girls comes as celebratory news in the plotline, there's hardly any communication among them in preparation for each hearing. That's precisely where we would've had a better understanding of why they behaved as they did in court. It still provides for riveting courtroom drama but for the kind of overall realism depicted by Chowdhury, this seems like a fundamental interaction that's almost omitted.
Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury keeps the accusations louder than the defense and with good reason. The hypocrisy and outdated mentality resonate through the general population and in some cases, out of guilt of being a part of it. Pink is a very important film for today's times and as an influence for the future generations. It depicts the darker reality that we live with but choose to ignore it as it may not affect us directly. It demands a change in the way we think of women, a basic change in mentality that is needed to raise society as a whole and treat each other with respect and draw strict lines when it comes to individuality.
- 8.955 on a scale of 1-10.