Is Pink the feminist film we need and deserve?
Early reviews coming in for the Amitabh Bachchan-Taapsee Pannu starrer certainly seem to suggest so.
The film, director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's Hindi debut,has been almost universally praised in the reviews out so far, after press screenings were held on Wednesday evening.
The early screenings are also a sign of how much confidence the Pink team — headed by creative producer Shoojit Sircar — has in the project; several films of late, mostly the big banner ones, have opted to do away with previews entirely, or hold them on Friday morning, by which time the matinee shows are well under way.
Pink is the story of three single women living together in Delhi (Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang, whose lifestyles are the subject of much scrutiny by close-minded neighbours, a metaphor for society itself. When the girls have a run-in with the son of a politico (Angad Bedi), they find themselves the target of a false legal case.
Amitabh Bachcan plays the lawyer (Deepak Sehgal) who steps in to help the girls navigate the legal morass they find themselves in.
Kunal Guha, in Mumbai Mirror, gives the film a rating of four stars, and writes:
"Being a single woman in Delhi makes for fragile existence. Constantly scoped by the prying eyes of neighbours who deduce her character based on when she returns home and the guests she entertains, it is an unsettling world. This is the backdrop of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's Pink, which effectively transfers the fears and frustrations of its characters onto the audience. The most pertinent point this film underlines is the feudal mindset of the milieu, amplified by the sense of male entitlement that eliminates consent."
Mayank Shekhar, in Mid-Day, offers a four-star rating as well, and says:
"...more significantly, the film, up until the closing credits, does not even visually describe the said incident. It grips you still with a gently piercing background score, moments of silence and dialogue, building up the tension, while the audience wonders what really could have happened one unfortunate night when three girls found themselves in a Surajkund resort with three guys. And one of the boys got seriously injured thereafter."
Reviewers have noted that in terms of the theme it tackles and the setting it uses to expose society's attitude to women, Pink is reminiscent of the Sunny Deol-Meenakshi Sheshadri-Rishi Kapoor film Damini. However, they have added that Pink is perhaps the first film to bring the concept of "consent" into the public space, and highlighting it in a sensitive way.
BollywoodLife's Anusha Iyengar concludes, having given the film another four-star rating:
"The courtroom scenes are cut-to-cut without any unnecessary scenes about interrogations and finding proof, or any songs for that matter. There is not one soul in the movie that disappoint(s) with their acting. The dialogues are to the point and witty... (But) Amitabh Bachchan steals the show in the second half."
With Pink being called Bachchan's "next Renaissance, after Te3n" we'd say the film has earned high praise indeed.