Shah Rukh Khan
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Pink marks the Hindi film debut of director Annirudha Roy Chowdhury, a man who has earlier made some remarkable Bengali films. And, oh what a debut this is! Pink is a film that scores on almost every aspect of filmmaking. And if there are some aspects that it may not have aced, you could still overlook them. Because Pink is an important film. Why so? Because it deals with a subject that many filmmakers have tried, and seldom nailed so effectively. It deals with the way we as a country look at the urban, liberal women.
Pink is exactly what the trailer promised. It’s a gritty courtroom drama. And it has an element of suspense played incredibly well.
This is a story of three working girls who stay in rented flat. They get into a tussle with a group of boys one night where one of the guys almost get injured seriously. A drama plays out, detailing the helplessness of the girls and the menace of the boys on the lookout for revenge. When things get nasty, a creepy neighbour decides to help the girl. The neighbour, played by Amitabh Bachchan, turns out to be a hot-shot lawyer who had given up practice. Here on it is about proving the girls’ innocence.
Director Annirudha Roy Chowdhury, backed by Shoojit Sircar, treats the matter with deftness. He treads on various ideas without quite getting preachy. In the grit he weaves in some satirical lighter moments, bringing in a rule book for girls – one that will make you think. Also commendable is how he subtly brings in the north-east reference.
Of course, there are shortcomings. Big B’s character Deepak Sehgal is showing ripping apart his opponent’s arguments at the court with unquestionable proofs, but he is never shown actually working on his case. The director chooses to keep the duration shorter, and the screenplay centered around the court rather than showing the legwork that’s needed to fight a case. There are moments he digresses from the topic but gets to it back soon.
What he does not fail in is capturing emotions the best possible way. Performances are unquestionably brilliant. But it Annirudha never falls short of utilizing every possible moment that can add to the character. For example, a scene where Taapsee Pannu’s character breaks down sitting beside her lawyer Deepak Sehgal. She clutches on to his sleeves and mumbles a ‘thank you’. The moment steals your heart. And there are plenty such moments.
Amitabh Bachchan is flawless. Every time you think he could not get better he surprises you. He is restrained for most part of the first half, as he plays a weird neighbour. And then he explodes on to the screen in the second half, in a manner that leaves you amazed. Taapsee Pannu proves yet again that she is one of the most exciting recent additions to Bollywood. She effortlessly shifts from playing a strong girl to someone extremely vulnerable. Kirti Kulhari has her scenes when she steals the show completely. Andrea Tariang is a new talent to look forward to and Angad Bedi is efficient. If there is one actor you wished did something different, it is Piyush Mishra. He never tends to sounds any different from what he did in his last role.
Full marks also go to the dialogue writer Ritesh Shah, who has earlier written for films like Madaari Airlift and Kahaani nails it. He gives Amitabh Bachchan some of the best lines the actor has delivered in quite some time. The music is beautifully done and the cinematography adds to the film’s feel.
As the film draws to an end, the brilliant Amitabh Bachchan surmises the case saying, “A ‘No’ means a ‘No’, and when a woman says ‘no’, you stop.” Let’s end this review by saying, “A ‘yes’ means a ‘yes’, and when we say ‘yes’, you buy the ticket.”
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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