Shoojit Sircar, Rashmi Sharma Films and Rising Sun Films’ Pink (UA) is the story of three girls who get into an ugly battle with a group of four boys. A friendly encounter turns ugly when it reaches the court where the very characters of the three girls are under scrutiny.
Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) live as tenants in a house in Delhi. They all are working girls and are leading a normal life. One day, the three room-mates go out with their friend, Vishwa (Tushar Pandey), and his two friends, Dumpy (Raashul Tandon) and Rajvir Singh (Angad Bedi). The boys invite the girls for drinks and dinner and somehow manage to let things come to a stage where Minal is with Rajvir in a hotel room, Andrea is with Dumpy in another room, and Falak is with Vishwa. Rajvir, whose uncle is an influential politician, forces himself upon Minal in the hotel room and does not let go of her despite her pleas to leave her. Finally, when Minal finds herself in a helpless situation, she breaks a bottle on Rajvir’s head. The three girls run away from there while the boys, joined by a fourth friend, Ankit (Vijay Verma), head to a hospital. The injury to Rajvir’s head and eye is serious.
The girls are scared stiff and so are the boys. Both the groups refrain from making police complaints for different reasons. But the boys, out to seek revenge, start harassing the girls and even pick up Minal once and molest her in their car when they learn that she had been to the police station, contemplating filing a complaint. Even as the girls are wondering what they should do, the police land up at their doorstep. The boys have filed a complaint against them, accusing them of soliciting money for offering sexual favours and causing grievous injury to one of them. Minal is arrested and sent to the lock-up.
That’s when an old and retired lawyer, Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan), living in the neighbourhood, decides to step in to help the girls. He dons the lawyer’s robe once again and files a case against the four boys while securing bail for Minal. The court battle is, as expected, very ugly as all types of personal questions are asked to the girls and aspersions are cast on their characters.
What is the final outcome of the court battle?
Shoojit Sircar, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Ritesh Shah have penned a story which has novelty written all over it. Not just novel, it is also extremely bold and it attempts to break stereotypes of society. In that sense, the story is also very thought-provoking because the questions raised by the prosecution lawyer, Deepak Sehgal, make the audience sit up and think. This is because his questions somewhere make the viewers feel guilty of committing a grave mistake while judging people’s characters. This is where the identification comes. No doubt, the social crime thriller, devoid of several ingredients of a usual masala film, is a class-appealing film because it is, in a sense, a very cerebral film and relies heavily on the courtroom arguments, but the issues raised in the drama are so identifiable that it may not be long before the class-appealing film also finds acceptance among the family audiences. Girls and ladies, especially, will love the story because it is completely and totally from their point of view. However, the orthodox audience and viewers outside of the big cities will not empathise with the girls and their plight because their thinking is stereotypical and it can’t be expected to change because of this film.
Ritesh Shah’s screenplay is as good as the story. The screenplay is written in such a way that the audience is never aware of what has actually transpired between the boys and the girls, till quite late in the drama. Things are revealed in bits and pieces and, in the process, the viewers remain attentive from the start till the end. Showing visuals of the complete drama in the hotel room, only in the end rolling titles, is a masterstroke by the writer. Although the film drives home a message, it refrains from getting into the preaching mode, and credit for that should be given to the screenplay writer. The courtroom drama, especially, has been brilliantly written and makes for compelling viewing. There are a couple of places where the courtroom scenes become a bit too heavy, but that’s a minor aberration. The climax (about the word ‘no’) is so brief but so weighty that the audience experiences a feeling of exhilaration while watching it. The courtroom arguments, in general, are so fresh and so unpredictable that the audience enjoys them. There are several clap-trap scenes in the film.
Ritesh Shah’s dialogues are bold and beautiful. He deserves kudos for penning such heavy-duty dialogues which often shake the viewer.
Taapsee Pannu is splendid in the role of Minal Arora. She lives the role of a young, vivacious girl accused of prostitution. Her performance is outstanding. Kirti Kulhari is superb as Falak Ali. Her scenes of outburst, first on the telephone while speaking with Rajvir, and again in the court, are memorable and could evoke claps from the public. Andrea Tariang (as Andrea) is cute and endearing. Her simplicity, innocence and straightforwardness come to the fore so effortlessly that she wins the audience’s sympathy, more so in the courtroom. Amitabh Bachchan shines like few can shine. He plays lawyer Deepak Sehgal with such conviction that one would want to prostrate in front of him. This man is not just a textbook on acting but an entire university of acting. Indeed, an award-winning performance! His gait, his expressions, his body language, his pauses while delivering dialogues, his voice modulation – everything about his acting is to die for. Piyush Mishra is first rate as defence lawyer Prashant Mehra. He evokes instant hatred towards himself, so realistic is his acting. Angad Bedi leaves a mark in the role of Rajvir Singh. Vijay Verma does a very fine job as Ankit. Raashul Tandon (as Dumpy) and Tushar Pandey (as Vishwa) lend lovely support. Dhritiman Chatterjee shines as the judge. His facial expressions are just too good. Mamta Malik is splendid as investigating police officer Sarla. Pawan Mahendru underplays excellently as Minal’s helpless father. Mamata Shankar (as Sara), Vinod Nagpal (as Kasturilal), Jogi (as police inspector Shaukeen), Swaroopa Ghosh (as Uma Di), Sudhanva Deshpande (as Javed), Sushil Dahiya (as Ranjit Sherawat), Arjun Chakraborty (as Ritwik), Savita Sharma (as Falak’s mother), Vinod Rai (as Andrea’s father), S.K. Batra (as neighbour Sinha), Rita Kapoor (as Mrs. Sinha), Alka Chatwal (as the female constable in court), Johar Kango (as neighbour Gupta), Sakshi Mehta (as Suman), Rajeev Pandey (as manager Ramakant Vijay), Amit Basoya (as waiter Mukesh), Ritesh Shah (as Falak’s boss), Arun Poorie (as Andrea’s boss), Radha Khandelwal (as the female constable of Surajkund police station) and the others lend very good support.
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s direction is marvellous. He has handled the subject with the sensitivity it requires. Credit is due to him for making an engrossing and engaging film in spite of it not having all the usual trappings of a masala entertainer. He has brought out the Delhi flavour beautifully through his characters. Music (Shantanu Moitra and Anupam Roy) is effective but not of the hummable variety. Lyrics (Tanveer Qazi and Anupam Roy) are nice. Shantanu Moitra’s background music is terrific. Avik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography is lovely. Production designing (by Meghna Gandhi) is of a good standard. Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, Pink is a very well-written, well-directed, well-enacted film that makes for compelling viewing. It is a fantastic film for the class audience and will also be loved by womenfolk. It may have started slow but collections will grow (in the good multiplexes of the big cities, the growth will be very big) due to positive word of mouth and great press. A profitable fare for sure!