PINK Movie Review: Anecdotal cinema of crude brazen Bollywood sloganeering

1.5/5

This film is symptomatic of intellectual and artistic bankruptcy of Bollywood & its boorish crookery. It reduces the art and craft of filmmaking to cheap roadside peddling of Chinese fakes, ‘teen patti’ con jobs, and vacuous sloganeering and ‘bhonpubaazi’ of scumbag scoundrels like Kejariwal. Motivated by power and pelf, our filmmakers fail to develop true artistic sensibilities and convictions to deal with important subjects.

It’s true that artistes are inherently immoral and enjoy the right to bullshit and earn their livelihood. But that’s the rock-bottom state. You can choose to stay there or set higher benchmarks for yourself and constantly strive for important breakthroughs in your chosen profession. After all, the Hindu belief system and philosophical traditions suggest that all pursuits of life must lead to ‘Moksha’. That’s what energized and invigorated our ancestors who never stopped discovering new ideas and approaches in various walks of life. 

Obviously inspired by Jodie Foster’s 1988 film THE ACCUSED, the film caricatures a courtroom drama to send the message that once a girl or woman says no to a man’s sexual advances, he has to respect that irrespective of her social status & moral position following the laws of the land. Now, the whole world knows it. Yet horrible things have been happening. If there was anything worth exploration here it was how and why, in spite of thousands of laws and millions of pages of judgments delivered, we still have men hacking women to death or burning them with acid or raping them brutally for refusing their advances. The film hardly makes cinematic, dramatic, or thematic explorations. It indulges in stereotypical and anecdotal, almost idiotic, fake Bollywoodised sloganeering.

Three girls Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu),  Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari), and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) meet three boys Rajveer (Angad Bedi),  Dumpy (Raashul Tandon), and Vishwa (Tushar Pandey) at a rock concert in Sooraj Kund. They go for dinner later to a hotel, and to the rooms of the boys, and have drinks, and next we know is that Minal hits Rajveer on his head with a bottle and injures him badly. He almost loses one of his eyes. He has strong political connections and now, egged on by his friends, is bent upon avenging his humiliation. The gang harasses the girls. Minal files a police complaint in spite of objections by Falak, and Andrea who will like to hush up the matter. Rajveer files a counter complaint and has the girl arrested using his political connections. The matter goes to the court. A RETIRED lawyer Deepak Sehgall (Amitabh Bachchan) who lives in the same building where the girls have rented a flat, helps the girls. In the courtroom drama, the public prosecutor (Piyush Mishra) raises the issue of the questionable moral character and conduct of girls and accuses them of leading the boys and soliciting. Both sides deliver dramatic grandiloquent courtroom speeches and exhibit their hysterical histrionic and hamming prowess while using usual arguments and screenplay tricks to keep the audience engaged. Finally, and predictably, the boys are proven to be hypocritical MCP’s, and the girls emerge as epitomes of modern, emancipated, and sexually and morally liberated womanhood deserving of salute and celebration.

It’s more like a juvenile rabble-rousing college debate with a predictable outcome than a credible, and tense courtroom drama around a serious subject. We are subjected to maha-dramatic mindless speeches of two hamming specialists and incarnations of Parsi theatre actors pretending to be damn serious lawyers - Piyush Mishra and Amitabh Bachchan. They cannot speak straight. They must ham, probably following the Brechtian technique of ‘alienation’, to give the audience a sense of the unreal rather than real to let it see through the dramatic subterfuges and get to the bone of the socio-legal-cultural issue. The opposite happens as Herr Brecht turns in his grave, cursing himself for not realizing that his psychoanalytical theatre technique was doomed to gross misinterpretation by famed Indian actors and film directors who will take stagey drama to be existential reality.

The contrived and shoddily developed anecdotal screenplay with meaningless plots, and total absence of cinematic substance make it a mediocre artistic effort.A whole lot of possibilities inherent in the subject remain unexplored.    

Here are a few words to the sundry self-satisfied film reviewers who have been showering praise in chorus over this kind of inconsequential cinema. You have good command over the language but it’s time to work on yourself if you really wish to serve the cause of cinema and develop into worthy film students and reviewers.       

Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Produced by Rashmi Sharma, Shoojit Sircar, Screenplay & Story by Ritesh Shah, Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Piyush Mishra, Music by Shantanu Moitra, Faiza Mujahid, Anupam Roy, Cinematography by Abhik Mukhopadhyay, Edited by Bodhaditya Banerjee, Production company - Rashmi Sharma Telefilms Limited, Distributed by NH STUDIOZ

Rajesh Kumar Singh

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