My review of Pink got a good response. It was the first time I had promoted a movie review on Twitter. I did it because I wanted to know what the world thinks about the movie. The world of Twitter is all gung-ho about the movie. 99.9999% (terming it the way we Indians love to..) of Twitterati are praising the movie for its bold take on Indian society and its approach towards sex as well as gender equality. Some are terming it feminism. I called it humanism. What -ism it is, is a matter of perspective and what ideologies we identify ourselves with.
It’s a brilliant movie. No second thoughts. Dialogues are great, performances are top-notch.. I’ve said it all in my review. I watched the movie on Sunday. It resulted in a hangover. It was all there in my brain. My brain has been working overtime ever since I came out of the movie hall. When I reached home, I puked all the words that came to my mouth and drafted a review of the movie. The words were heartfelt and everything I said there makes complete sense. But, what I wrote there was reaction. What I’m writing now is not only an afterthought but also a well conducted post-mortem of thoughts and feelings on why the movie worked so well for me.
- When the first scene appears after the title credits, my expectation was that they’re going to show a gruesome crime – a rape scene in particular. Luckily, that’s not what they showed. The screenplay has been well thought-out. So, it’s possible to engage your audience well and keep them glued to their seats without showing a rape/molestation scene on the screen! After watching sh**loads of sh**y movies from the 80s, your brain gets trained. It starts stitching scenes all by itself. If you’re a movie buff, your brain has the capacity to start guessing the dialogues, the subsequent scenes too. Surprise, Pink didn’t do that. Kept you waiting till the final credits.. Kudos!
- Pink is not your typical mainstream movie to take decades to introduce its characters and to build the plot. It doesn’t have sub-plots either (let’s neglect Big B’s wife and the untold story.. Untold… isn’t that the beauty again?). It’s a courtroom drama that has a linear plot-line. Or so it seems. No it’s not. There are twists. The twists are not the “suspense” twists of yore. The twists are not brought to you by a bribed-at-first-but-now-seeking-redemption eyewitnesses. The twists are not served by key evidences found by a detective. The twists are delivered to you by the key characters by exhibiting a change in their own behavior. Be it the spoiled economics student losing his temper after spending 80% of his screen-time silent or the gem of a friend named Falak. Falak takes you by surprise when she reveals she did demand money and surprises you once again when she blurts out why she made such a statement in the court.
- Falak’s surprise works not just because it’s a turning point in the story but also because your brain was trained till then to think that these girls are innocent. I am not a judgmental person per se. I don’t exhibit such condescending behavior in real-life. Yet, a culturally, traditionally and genetically trained part of the sub-conscious brain woke up to judge Falak and her two friends when she revealed that they did take money. For a moment there, somewhere deep inside, a voice inside every Indian would have said “There you go, you reap what you sow!” I was ashamed of myself for a second there but it’s not a bad thing. The mindset is prevalent in our society and it is not going to go away so soon. The different kinds of people that we have around us instill different types of thoughts in your brain. What’s important is how well we learn and stop ourselves from repeating those mistakes in our lives – at home and workplace. And that’s how the screenplay, the script and the director slap you in one go by revealing that Falak had no option but to accept it if the case had to move forward.
- Pink doesn’t rely on melodrama. Emotions are crisp and not overflowing. When Deepak Sehgal pulls down Minal’s hood, you’d have smiled. It’s a subtle gesture that assures the girl that she doesn’t have to hide. It’s a beautiful scene. When Minal comes back to their apartment and slaps Falak, no words are said. They don’t cry for a whole week. Minal’s father doesn’t give a “kalmuhi” and “sanskriti” gyaan to his daughter. He just walks out of the courtroom when he gets uncomfortable. The four A-holes don’t shout “main tumhe barbaad kar dunga” in the court. So on…
- It’s teachy but not preachy. Bad phrase, I know. What I’m trying to say is that the people behind Pink were smart enough to teach us by holding a mirror to each one of us. They didn’t preach. Many have done that in the past. The days of long bhaashans during the climax are gone. The dialogues don’t sound like speeches. As simple as “When a girl says no, it means NO”
- Finally, the act of crime. When protagonists win, movies end. People walk out knowing in their minds that justice was served and our ladies lived happily ever after. It’s like having a fine dessert after a crappy meal. You forgive the chef because you liked the dessert. Pink, probably for the first time in Indian cinema, has placed the scene depicting the actual crime in its final credits. The scene itself has been built as a series of snapshots and not as a video clip. The screams and “chod de mujhe kameene” dialogues are absent. So there’s not a single chance that a remotely misogynist feels remotely masculine about the act. It hits you so hard that you go home with a headache (exaggerating here, but you surely won’t be feeling good for a few hours). It’s an effective scene that could keep 99.9999% (at it again!) of the audience glued to their seats. And, that’s why it worked for me that way it worked for me!