Sunday, 2 October 2016

Pink (2016)

Three boys and three girls meet each other through a common friend at a rock show in Delhi. The girls are then persuaded by the guys to join them at a resort for dinner. Even these basic facts trickle into audience knowledge over a series of tense, gripping scenes. The film opens with one of the guys profusely bleeding with a deep cut in the skull, even as his panicky friends rush him to hospital. Meanwhile, the girls return to their rented apartment, stunned and disturbed. 

Deft Screenplay 
Pink kept me riveted thanks to a killer screenplay (Ritesh Shah) that tersely, harrowing reveals the details of 'the incident' in bits and pieces. A visual depiction of what actually happened unveils only at the end credits. By then, you are knocked out cold and numb, by the horror, starkness, and fierceness of it all.

Truth & Dare
The brutal truth of how women are perceived in Indian society at large, how stereotypes and the idea of male domination persist, down to an animalist level, is expressed in balanced, original and searing storytelling. The emotionally draining experience of defending one's case in an Indian court is effectively depicted. Insensitivity and police indifference is craftily rendered into proceedings.  

Amitabh Bachchan's characterization as a retired lawyer begins in a mitigating, all-knowing Hindi film hero mold. This despite the bipolar disorder background and a bed-ridden wife. The court proceedings redeem Bachchan the actor to a great extent though.

Tapasee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, and Andrea Tairang are the showstoppers here. Tapasee, her character the eye of the storm and story, deserves special mention. Piyush Mishra comes across as the stereotypical prosecution lawyer. Angad Bedi makes a believable, ominous antagonist. Dhritiman Chatterjee adds nuances to an otherwise mundane role of a judge, adding to his reputation as a legendary Bengali actor. 

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's calculated, sensible direction and co-writers Ritesh Shah and Shoojit Sircar make Pink a triumph. A subject that could so easily be judgmental and dipped in rhetoric, escapes most overdone film-making pitfalls.  

Despite A Few Good Men (1992) inspired witness-provoking climax, leading to a propped-up and unconvincing happy ending, Pink is a story that is rarely told in a largely dream-selling Hindi film world and seldom, very seldom, told so well. Don't miss it on the big screen.  

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