Hafsa Fathima, II Year M.A. English.
I almost shrugged off the chance to go watch Pink. I didn’t understand Hindi, for starters, and it wasn’t like the movie was going to tell me anything that five years of studying feminism hadn’t. Still, there was a free ticket, and a movie about my favourite activity, putting the patriarchy in place, couldn’t hurt.
I am immensely glad I am a total cheapskate, because, and I downplay this as much as I can, what a beautiful masterpiece of cinematic undertaking.
Set in Delhi, Pink focuses on the lives of three girls, Meenal (Taapsee Pannu), Falak (Kirti Kulhari), Andrea (Andrea Tariang). After attending a concert with Rajiv (Angad Bedi), the girls return to his house with his friends. Much merriment follows; drinking, a badly taken selfie, laughter. Things take a dark turn when Rajiv tries to sexually assault a drunken Meenal, who attacks him with a glass bottle, injuring his eye. The repercussions are swift; Rajiv and his friends follow the girls around, stalking and threatening them. The cops refuse to take the girls’ concerns seriously, and things escalate when Rajiv ends up filing a case against Meenal, accusing her of the intent to murder. The gravity of the situation escalates every day, and the only ally the girls have to turn to is retired, bipolar lawyer, Deepak Seghal (Amitabh Bachchan).
The movie is only part courtroom drama, but it’s the scenes in court that are the most gripping. Bachchan is a subdued, eccentric who slowly rises to the occasion, dismantling his opponents’ arguments eloquently. His restraint is a nice contrast to the fire of the three women; all bring unbridled and passionate performances to their characters. The diversity of their characters is much appreciated; all come from different backgrounds, religions, all dress differently and have different values, and all are proof that sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of their clothing or the way they behave. Andrea’s story is particularly moving, as it sheds light on the real life objectification and demeaning attitude women from the North East have to face.
To the feminist who’s been fighting the fight for a while now, Pink may be textbook stuff, but that doesn’t mean it should be written off as surface level. Bachchan’s stern comments on the sexist double standards are what the masses needed to hear for a long time, and will continue to ring in their ears after the credits role.
[Photograph Source: Wikipedia]