Whether wife, girlfriend or sex worker, a woman’s
right to say ‘No’ cannot ever be disputed. That strong message, emphatically
delivered by Amitabh Bachchan as defence lawyer Deepak Sehgal, is enough to
applaud director Aniruddha Roy Choudhury’s courtroom drama.
Deepak Sehgal also makes pithy points about a woman’s
clothes, her independent living, or her sharing a drink or an adult joke being
equated with easy availability. By numbering them as rules in a Girls’ Safety
Manual, the defence lawyer tears into the prosecution’s sleazy interpretation
of what happened between three girls and three boys one sordid night.
These sharp points made by Hindi cinema’s most
powerful baritone elevate Pink to
the level of an important film that’ll make the viewer look anew at gender
The three working girls want to put an unsavoury incident
behind them. But Rajveer who got injured is well-connected and character
assassination of the girls is as easy as a morphed picture uploaded on the net.
Reputations get torn into tinier shreds once the cops and the courts come into
out much-needed messages. The cinematography by Abhik Mukhopadhyay frames Delhi
with beauty and with brutal harshness as required and Shantanu Moitra’s ‘Kaari kaari raina’ makes an impact in
However, the writing by Ritesh Shah needed to be far
neater. There are loose ends. Amitabh Bachchan’s character stares and makes the
three girls uneasy at the beginning. But apart from building up the tension,
there’s no satisfactory explanation for it. There’s also a curious relationship
between Amitabh and a woman in a hospital. And for a film of this genre, it is
far too long at 136 minutes.
The writing falls prey to unnecessarily prosaic characterisations.
By naming them Minal, Andrea from the North-East and Falak whose boyfriend is
Javed, the three girls present a female statement of Amar Akbar Anthony. The public
prosecutor played by Piyush Mishra is reptilian repulsive whereas a suave lawyer
pitted opposite Amitabh Bachchan would have added sparkle to the court
proceedings. Amitabh Bachchan’s character arouses intrigue but is never fully decoded.
For a lawyer who’s on medication and has wound up his career for psychological
problems, he’s suddenly and inexplicably sharp, coherent and full-throated.
But Aniruddha makes up for it with his unrelenting
emphasis on how a normal modern girl’s character is sized up, given a price tag
and torn apart by society. There’s an additional swipe at how easily a girl
from the North-East gets branded. Taapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari turn in
impressive performances as Minal and Falak. But without a doubt it’s Amitabh
Bachchan who gives the required gravitas to the message. And his voice lingers as
he delivers power lines along with the end credits.
For a film that’ll go a long way in questioning
mindsets about today’s young women, producer Shoojit Sircar’s Pink gets a 3.5* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author