Pink opens in the aftermath of an “incident” - one involving three girls and three boys, which left one of the boys injured and all three girls traumatized. And from thereon unfolds an emotional, gripping, deeply moving drama about the reality of being a woman in India. Tightly scripted and paced, this movie directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and produced by Rashmi Sharma and Shoojit Sircar will leave you breathless and touched. It is a must-watch not just because of the magnificent performances by Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari among many others, but also because it is a brilliant depiction of the thoughts, fears and lives of every Indian girl.
1. That deep-seated fear we carry in our hearts about people thinking we’re “promiscuous” just because we might smoke or drink or wear clothes that show skin.
Because when Rajveer said, “Girls from good families go to family gatherings, not to parties”, he was merely repeating what so many people we know in our daily lives think anyway.
A guy who drinks is a manly man, while a woman who drinks is “loose” - how many times have we heard this? How many times do even the “leaders” of our nation make public statements to this effect? Too many to count.
2. That people will judge you based on who you hang out with - doesn’t matter that they know nothing about your life.
Minal, Falak, Andrea’s neighbours spread rumours and even testified to them being “prostitutes” based only on the evidence that sometimes they’d seen guys going to their apartment.
Thank god for the Kasturilals of the world - people who trust their knowledge of you and don’t judge you based on “log kya keh rahe hai”.
3. The shame and guilt women are made to feel about being sexually active…
When Minal had to announce to the entire courtroom that she lost her virginity at 19, you could literally feel her humiliation.
You might sleep with someone because you’re in love with him, or you might sleep with someone because you just want to have sex - it shouldn’t be anybody’s business but yours. But that, unfortunately, is not how the world works in reality.
4. That you will pay the price for other people trying to save face...
When “advertisements” for Falak’s alleged “services” popped up on the Internet, it was she who was let go by her office - with no opportunity to even prove her innocence. And what does her boyfriend do? He dumps her.
The reality of people withdrawing from you so that they’re not “tainted” by their association with you is why we even hesitate to register complaints - because instead of being considered victims, we will be treated as outcastes.
5. The horrifying reality that many people actually do believe that if you’ve slept with someone, you’ve lost the right to be respected.
Because society says that if you’ve lost your virginity, you’ve lost your “izzat” - your honour.
And so we continue to keep our private lives as secret as we can from the prying eyes of society.
6. That there are guys in the world who believe that if you smile or laugh, you’re issuing an “invitation”...
Because even if you’re saying no, you’re “asking for it” by virtue of being out in the world, by laughing, talking, drinking.
That. THAT. When Amitabh Bachchan starts talking about the “Girls’ Safety Manual”, one by one he outlines every single thing that is wrong with the way society views women.
7. That people actually believe molestation or rape is a “myth”...
Which is why it’s so easy for Rajveer and his buddies (and his “connected” uncle) and assorted others to turn the case into one about “rate dispute” instead of a clear-cut case of sexual assault.
And that’s the sad, sad reality - that when you try to take to court a case for “outraging a woman’s modesty” (Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code), you will spend more time defending your character because of points 1-6 on this list than anything else.
8. That corruption within the legal system is real…
After all, who hasn’t encountered the Sarla Premchand kind of cop or politicians like Rajveer’s uncle?
Thank god for people like the judge played by Dhritiman Chatterjee.
9. That our parents are going to maybe worry even more about us if we’re going out in the evening…
Because what happened to Minal, Falak, Andrea - it could happen to anyone, really.
And, honestly, we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve turned down evening plans because we didn’t feel confident about being able to get home safe.
10. It was a bittersweet taste, the ending of the movie…
There may be triumph that justice, for once, was served. But there’s also the chilling reality that there are way too many people like Rajveer, Ankit, Dumpy and Vishwas in the world.
Is there a real-life Deepak Sehgal in their lives - someone who will teach them that no matter who a woman is or how she behaves or what she wears, no means NO?
Watch this movie. Watch it right through to the end-credits, which is finally when you get to see what actually happened at the resort in Surajkund. I was moved by Pink - you will be too.
Published on Sep 19, 2016