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"Pink" Movie Review: Say 'NO' to the stereotype Indian conception that 'aisi ladkiyon ke saath aisa hi hota hai'

September 19, 2016



Pink is the colour of sweetness, sensitivity and romance. It shows empathy, love and compassion. Pink is a combination of White and Red colours. White is the colour of purity & peace and Red is the colour of passion & power. Pink truly represents the femininity of women and that perhaps inspired team "Pink" to pick such a title. On the backdrop of recent unfortunate incidents of molesting and raping women across India and specially in Delhi after the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape case in which the perpetrators raped and brutally killed Nirbhaya (Jyoti Singh), "Pink" seems to be the most relevant movie everyone should watch and take lesson from.

"Pink" is a riveting story of three normal working women Minal Arora (played by Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (played by Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (plyed by Andrea Tariang) who are staying in Delhi as PG. They stay together, hang out or attend parties together in the evening and on one such evening, they went to a rock concert. There they were introduced with Rajveer Singh (played by Angad Bedi) and his friends by a common friend. Rajveer invited them for a dinner. Rajveer and his friends seemed friendly, polite and gentle. There was nothing suspicious and therefore Minal and her friends accepted the offer. They went to a resort in Surajkund. But things turned ugly. They were little drunk and Rajveer and Dumpy (played by Raashul Tandon) forcefully tried to make physical contact with the girls. But Minal and Andrea were in no such mood and refused to engage in sex. Despite saying 'No' to Rajveer, he didn't stop molesting her. Then Minal hit him with a glass bottle on his face for self defense and that injured him pretty badly. The girls also escaped quickly from that resort. Pursuing a vendetta against Minal, Rajveer and his friends started to threaten her over phone. They even tried to convince the landlord to throw the girls out from the flat. The girls had no option but to seek help from the police. But the officer-in-charge of the local police station proved to be unhelpful and gave a sluggish and cold reply 'If we take action against him, then you will face charges as well. After all, you assaulted him, madam'. Police was reluctant to take action against Rajveer because he is the relative of a powerful political leader. Rajveer and his friends then intensified giving threatening calls to Minal and eventually molested and assaulted her in a car. But instead of taking action against Rajveer and his friends, police arrested Minal under section 307, 'Attempt to Murder' charge. Mr. Deepak Sehgal (played  by Amitabh Bachchan) who is their neighbour and also a reputed retired lawyer, decides to defend the girls in court.

In one scene of the court room proceedings, the lawyer Mr. Sehgal asks Minal 'are you a virgin, Miss Arora? Please answer in yes or no. Don't shake your head'. Minal at first hesitated and mumbled. It is not that easy for an unmarried young woman to declare in public whether she is virgin or not but she boldly said 'No'. She then answered the subsequent questions of Mr. Sehgal and said that she lost her virginity to her friend at age 19 but that physical intercourse happened with the consent of each other. There was no other interest like exchange of money or any business purpose. Mr. Sehgal further questioned Minal 'what actually happened between you and Rajveer that night? What clear indication did you give at that time that right now I am not interested in sex?' and Minal answered him that she refused Rajveer for sex and she clearly said 'NO' to Rajveer. She said 'I was being held against my will.' She even said 'who likes to be touched in this manner, sir? Forcibly!' and explained under what circumstances and how she was compelled to hit Rajveer for self defense. In another court room scene, the opponent lawyer Mr. Prashant Mehra (played by Piyush Mishra) asked Andrea 'how long have you been soliciting?' and she replied 'I do nothing of this sort'. Mr. Sehgal presented his arguments before the court quite clearly that if a man and a woman want to make physical contact, that has to be done with each other's consent no matter if it happens between a boyfriend and his girlfriend, a husband and his wife or even a sex worker and her client. If a woman says 'No', that means 'NO' and that is the red line nobody should cross.

Indians are very obsessed with Bollywood movies specially romantic movies. Those so called romantic movies have been showing us a false formula that if the hero likes a girl, expresses his emotions to her, proposes her but if the girl says 'No', the hero doesn't take that 'No' seriously and thinks that she also likes him and if he continues to tease her, she will eventually have feelings for him and ultimately he will get the girl (ladki pat jayegi). A cinema not only tells a story and gives you entertainment, but it also acts like a mirror of our society. If the cinema itself gives you the wrong impression about the seriousness of 'No' said by a woman, you can understand how Indians have been raised by our society in independent India. Even after 69 years of our independence, we still couldn't get out of our cocoon made of social barriers and prejudices. We have made rules only for women, how they should behave, what they should wear, what they should and shouldn't do. If a boy molests a girl, so called guardians of our society tries to malign the character of that girl, sticks a character certificate on her back and get into simple conclusion that the girl must have done something wrong which led the boy to get provoked for committing such a crime. Rajveer is just a movie character but I am afraid he is not the only man but many people of our real society think that 'aisi ladkiyon ke saath aisa hi hota hai'. Not just in Delhi, we have seen how Suzette Jordan was treated and victimised by our society in Kolkata after she was gang raped in 2013 (Park Street Rape Incident). This movie "Pink" hits a tight slap on the face of these Indians and so called self proclaimed guardians of our Indian society. This movie tells us to get rid of those outdated prejudices and give proper respect to women what they really deserve.

I must talk about two scenes in "Pink" which seemed little awkward to me. Mr. Deepak Sehgal is a retired lawyer and lives in the same neighbourhood where these girls are staying as a PG. Mr. Sehgal goes to a nearby park for morning walk. Minal also goes to that same park for jogging. On the next morning of that Sirajkund episode, Minal goes to that park for her usual jogging but this time she discovers that a pair of open eyes is constantly staring at her. Those eyes belong to Mr. Sehgal. When I saw this scene, I was wondering why Mr. Sehgal was staring at her with that cold and blunt look. At first I thought he must have witnessed or knows something about that Surajkund episode. But that was not the case in this story. Since both Mr. Sehgal and Minal are neighbours, he might have heard something that these girls are involved in some unsocial activities and that could have made him curious. Mr. Sehgal is also going through a crisis of his life as his wife is living her last days on hospital bed. Mr. Sehgal has no children and is suffering from bipolar disorder. But everything couldn't completely explain the reason and the relevance of his constant staring at Minal. She was wearing a jogging suit, seemed tired after long jogging and then if she sees that an old unknown man is constantly staring at her, what do you think she might have thought about him, an old pervert man! I wonder what the Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury was thinking and trying to prove when he decided to show this scene in this movie. Mr. Bachchan has said so many times in his interviews that he is the Director's man. I was also watching a televised interview of team "Pink" on last Thursday before the release of this movie in India. But when the Producer Shoojit Sircar who has also worked with Mr. Bachchan as a Director in "Piku", told the reporter that the actor should always trust the Director, Mr. Bachchan coughed a little and seemed to be slightly disagreed with him. May be Mr. Bachchan also couldn't accept this staring scene in this movie. The second scene which I was talking about, is that when Falak couldn't deal with the bombardment of uneasy questions thrown by the opponent lawyer Mr. Mehra and accepted that the girls actually took money. This confession could have become the turning point in the case and might led to a victory for Rajveer but that didn't happen thanks to the court arguments of Mr. Sehgal and the fare judgement of the judge (played by Dhritiman Chatterjee). I can understand why the Director has shown this confession and I appreciate that but that confession is also degrading the dignity of these three girls in the society. I believe, like me, many people also think that the intended social message could have been passed even without showing Falak's confession scene.

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury is a well-known and prominent Director in Bengali cinema industry and he has shown his class once again. He even addressed and touched the burning issue of the students and the people of North-East in Delhi how the are facing discrimination and racial abuse day by day by the people of the rest of India. Taking care of detailing, keeping the suspense till the end and following a tight script, all deserve to be acknowledged by the audience. Mr. Bachchan is awesome but I must give special credit to the acting of all three women specially Taapsee Pannu. Their acting was so realistic. I think the mainstream Bollywood Directors should use the acting of Dhritiman Chatterjee even more. He deserves that recognition.

Wonderful poem recited by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan in "Pink":

"Tu Khud Ki Khoj Mein Nikal
Tu Kis Liye Hatash Hai
Tu Chal, Tere Wajood Ki Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai
Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai

Jo Tuzsay Lipti Bediya Samaz Na Inko Vastr Tu
Jo Tuzsay Lipti Bediya Samaz Na Inko Vastr Tu
Yeh Bediya Beghal Ke Banale Inko Shastr Tu, Banale Inko Shastr Tu

Tu Khud Ki Khoj Mein Nikal
Tu Kis Liye Hatash Hai
Tu Chal, Tere Wajood Ki Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai
Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai

Charitra Jab Pavitra Hai Toh Kyno Hai Dasha Yeh Teri
Charitra Jab Pavitra Hai Toh Kyno Hai Dasha Yeh Teri
Yeh Papiyon Ko Haq Nahi Ke Le Ke Pariksha Teri
Ke Le Ke Pariksha Teri

Tu Khud Ki Khoj Mein Nikal
Tu Kis Liye Hatash Hai
Tu Chal, Tere Wajood Ki Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai
Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai

Jala Ke Bhasm Kar Use Jo Krurtaka Jaal Hai
Jala Ke Bhasm Kar Use Jo Krurtaka Jaal Hai
Tu Aarati Ki Lou Nahi
Tu Krodh Ki Mashal Hai
Tu Krodh Ki Mashal Hai

Tu Khud Ki Khoj Mein Nikal
Tu Kis Liye Hatash Hai
Tu Chal, Tere Wajood Ki Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai
Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai

Chunar Uda Ke Dhwaj Bana
Gagan Bhi Kapkapayega
Chunar Uda Ke Dhwaj Bana
Gagan Bhi Kapkapayega
Agar Teri Chunar Giri Toh Ek Bhookamp Aayega
Ek Bhookamp Aayega

Tu Khud Ki Khoj Mein Nikal
Tu Kis Liye Hatash Hai
Tu Chal, Tere Wajood Ki Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai
Samay Ko Bhi Talash Hai"

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