Shooting right at the burning issues of today, Pink is a refreshing new title in the growing list of mature movies from this side of B-Town.
The movie focusses on a multitude of topics such feminism, government corruption, regionalism, etc. Third-wave Feminism is the most recent iteration of the socio-political movements of today and is the central theme in Pink. And this is something that the movie manages to pull off. And with the clever casting of a Khasi character in the mix (a rare in Indian cinema), the movie manages to be more inclusive of today’s cosmopolitan society while also dealing with issues regarding regionalism, especially for people from the North East.
Screenplay & Writing
But the problem is that Pink is a drama film that tries too hard to be an essay on today’s society. The movie sheds light on a variety of topics and as a result, the overall impact felt somewhat dimmed. Most of the movie takes place in the courtroom and that is where you find most of the faults with the writing. The hearing process is plagued with unnecessary dialogues better suited for cliché films. Pink had a strong opening and the courtroom hearing was supposed to be the highlight of the movie but instead of being a heated debate of logic and reason under the veil of the various technicalities of the judiciary system, the movie adopts the more common Bollywood way of doing things, devolving the debate to a brawl between the right and the wrong.
In addition, there are some subplots and other things that felt entirely unnecessary in the movie:
- Deepak Sehgal and his relation with his wife. Their relations and her subsequent death during the course of the movie had nothing to do with the larger plot or even the fortitude of the widower.
- The mental status of Deepak Sehgal. This was something that was worth dealing with. The movie tries to make a feeble attempt only once or twice, without ever making it central to the story.
- I still don’t understand why the filmmakers decided to Hannibal Lecter Deepak Sehgal for the first half of the movie.
- The credits scene was completely unnecessary and served no role in furthering the plot.
- The title and the graphics didn’t really have much significance of any kind in the movie.
The ending scene in the courtroom seemed to remind me of the last moments of End of Days (1999). The moment felt somewhat unnecessary in this case. Many movies inevitably lean toward hero worship and the movie ends up being more about the lawyer than the case itself.
Most of the fallacies in Pink fall on the writing, screenplay, and the direction. Put an outstanding level of acting up-front, and most of these problems get smudged off behind the scenes.
Most actors gave a superlative performance. Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, and Andrea Tariang were at the top of their game. Kirti was the clearly the best among the three, but the other two actresses also gave superior performances. Amitabh Bachchan was exceptional as always. Despite superior performances by so many actors in the movie, Amitabh Bachchan managed to outshine every single one of them. There is some seriously good acting here, and this is something you would not want to miss.
Still, there were some pretty less-than-average performances as well. Piyush Mishra, who blatantly overacted the role of the defense lawyer comes at the top spot. It was dissapointing to see him falter like this after the incredible Gangs of Wasseypur movies. It seems that Bollywood movies have a habit of making the negative characters look sinister from the start. A good movie will depend on good acting and screenplay to establish the role of a character and not have a big name plate labeled as ‘Bad Guy’. This is where the movie suffers in the overall casting and in the sound direction.
Music is one of the most misused tool in filmmaking in Bollywood. It is almost impossible to find a moment of silence in Pink. A background musical always looms behind like tinnitus in the ear. One good thing is that movies are slowly shying away from the trademark songs that break the flow in Bollywood. And the one song, Kaari Kaari that does play in the background is spot-on.
The story and the overall plot are quite interesting and well put together. There was always something going on and this kind of storytelling is pretty rare in B-town. The courtroom drama and the setting of the film reminded me in many ways of No One Killed Jessica. Fortunately the movie fares far better than the former in this regard.
India and its people are in the process of shedding its old skin for the coming of a more modern and inclusive society, and in the process, there are countless barriers that need to be broken. Pink aims to do that, but barely manages to scratch the surface. Regardless, the movie manages to strike a chord in every string that it tries to pull. And that’s the beauty of Pink.