NO means NO. Mr. Bachchan is absolutely right when he says in his closing lines in the courtroom that no is not just a word, it is a complete sentence in itself. Any explanation or back story is not required to support it. When someone says NO you have to STOP. It doesn’t matter whether the person saying no is your girlfriend, a sex-worker or your wife. This is very refreshing and I would say a new subject for the Indian film industry and Indian audience. I will talk about the film but first, let me make it clear that this newness assures me that there are people who at least want to make not just different but also good cinema. Whether they succeed or not is altogether a different matter.
PINK starts as an average episode of Savdhan India: India Fights Back (If you do not know what it is you seriously need help!!) and my only concern was whether there will be a fight back or not because more often our filmmakers get carried away in their pursuit to present a realistic story and what we get is a sad ending. So, it starts with three helpless girls who are harassed by a powerful politician’s son and his friends in the outskirts of Delhi and the police are not helping them. The song at the start with the wordings Kaari Kaari Raina and Roshni Ke Paon mein Bediyan sounded clichéd.
The portrayal of police reminded me of the golden 90’s when in every second film Sunil Shetty turns into Punisher and takes the matters into his own hands after getting refused by the corrupt policemen. The only difference is that here policemen are not creepy, ugly-looking guys like Deepak Shirke or Ishrat Ali. The guy who is playing the first policeman is simply superb even the lady SHO is brilliant. The moment I started to get the feeling that this is just another Bollywoodish kind of cinema enters Mr. Bachchan. And after the film ended I could say that it is only Mr. Bachchan who saved it from becoming just a more than two-hour long episode of Savdhan India. An afterthought and I change my mind because surely it was not just the delivery but also the dialogues that make this otherwise average film something different.
Nothing new in the story rather I would say it is one of the most used formulae in cinema. But the treatment is quite different. This is where the writing department scores. Shoojit Sircar as the Creative Producer once again proves that he is a man way ahead of his time. He has given us some of the most brilliantly written cinema in recent years. Ritesh Shah, the writer, has done a great work. It is a shame I do not know him but I am sure he will go very far. During the second half, you would realize how Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury has turned an average story into a compelling piece of work.
Now we come to the performances. It is obvious that the makers have very carefully chosen the cast. Mr. Bachchan is not very vocal except in the courtroom. His style of proving his point with ironical statements is both entertaining and eye-opening. His dialogues are pinching or I would say penetrating. I don’t require praising his acting skills. But one thing I would like to point out that it is only the Bengali directors who realize the usefulness of this old man. Piyush Mishra is chosen wisely to confront Mr. Bachchan and he excels. The three girls are equally good and the rest of the actors are ordinary as they have inconsequential roles.
I loved it when Mr. Bachchan says, “Hamare Yahan Ghadi Ki Sui Character Decide Karti Hai.”
It is excellent that Bengal is back in Mumbai. I hope the glorious days of the 50’s will be back soon.