When the infamous documentary titled “India’s daughter” courted controversy for a number of reasons, one article stood out in its criticism: it accused the documentary of exploring the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim’s past of “good behaviour” to gain unlikely sympathizers. Pink, on the other hand. sets itself a difficult challenge by deliberately making its victims admittedly harder to sympathize with.
Pink revolves around a single incident involving three girls – Meenal, Andrea and Falak – who join three boys to a resort for dinner where things suddenly take a turn for the ugly between them. The movie wheels on the suspense of the events of the night which keeps the viewer engaged throughout. The first half of the movie follows the three girls as they grapple with the life-changing incident while also being harassed by the boys – one of whom was injured by Meenal – for revenge. Suffering harassment and humiliation by the boys and being abandoned by a broken system that favours the influential, the girls end up going to trial with Meenal as the accused and Deepak Sehgal, played by Amitabh Bachchan, representing them.
While the courtroom drama in the second half is engrossing, the writing seems to weaken in some places and the plot dwindles to elicit laughter from an audience which renders certain nuances incoherent. The character of retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal uses rhetoric to attack the hypocrisy and double standards of his opposition’s arguments, the likes of which are poorly based on character assassination, which struck me as unrealistic but effective. A few rounds of arguments later, Pink finally addresses the question of consent which it treats as the only thing that legitimizes a sexual advance. The words, “NO MEANS NO” ring in your ears long after the movie is over.
Na sirf ek shabd nahi … apne aap mein ek poora vakya hai … isse kisi tarakh, spashtikaran, explanation ya vyakhya ki zaroorat nahi hoti … na ka matlab na hi hota hai
Despite its flaws, Pink is set in current times and this relevance begets a unique opportunity for impact that makes any reflection on the movie incomplete without the talking point of the influence it has had on viewers. I believe that Pink has paved a way for more such movies that deal with the undercurrents of an evolving society to the screen. It has managed to leave a mark on viewers, steered discussions which reflects the shift, however small, in society’s views about consent and gender. My personal opinion is that the attempt was largely successful.
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