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The mediocrity of ‘Pink’

I watched Pink a few weeks after its release.

The dark, deep pink had faded to a weak, thin pink. A night show with families who brought their 2 year old kids along.

I usually stay away from films that are highly praised. For example, critics went raving mad about the film Fan, but it made me look for a rope. I don’t mean to sound like an elitist, pipe-smoking intellectual, but when the biggest films are shitfests, the bar is very low. It is so low that it is an underground bar with only Haywards 5000 and Knock Out available.

But I did go to watch Pink.

I dislike late night shows as I tend to fall asleep. The silence, darkness and joints earlier mix together in a heady, drowsy concoction. Thankfully, Pink is short, so 10 points to Gryffindor there!

If you compare the reviews of Pink, I find that most of them harp on the message of the movie. On how important the message is, and why it is absolutely relevant to the times we live in. None of them linger too much on the actual film.

Probably because Pink takes its message seriously. So seriously in fact, that it doesn’t bother with basics like fleshing out characters. We know nothing about the protagonists – the three girls are Hindu, Muslim and Christian, and we are supposed to go along with the Amira Akbari Antoinette palette. Nothing is known of the antagonist, except that he’s a rich spoilt brat. There’s no explanation for Amitabh Bachchan taking up the girls’ case. Pink is so hell-bent on hammering home the point that it the message seemed to loom over the film like a gigantic Dementor.

The second aspect where it fails is in the genre of courtroom drama.

At the very outset, it is important to mention that courtroom dramas are not really Hindi cinema’s strong suit. We have been churning out hammy, illogical courtroom drama for decades now. Our courtroom dramas are deeply emotional, loud, and dramatic – every court scene is elevated to the heightened drama of a Draupadi Vastraharan scene.

From the dramatic Damini to the snoozefest Veer Zara. I’ve even watched a film where Anil Kapoor drinks poison to win the case, only to vomit and take antidotes when the case is adjourned. The only exceptions I can think of are Court and Shahid.

Which is why I wasn’t biting my nails waiting for the courtroom scene. And the film proved me right. The court scenes pack neither tension nor provoke thought. Amitabh Bachchan’s points don’t really make any sense, except to highlight drama. Showing the accused a Facebook picture of his sister in a bar to prove that girls from ‘good’ families also drink, sounds laughably lame. The wonderful Piyush Mishra’s character is only a caricature, and the villains are constantly glaring, threatening and intimidating.

As I expected, the courtroom scene ended with Mr. Bachchan delivering a speech. The only difference here was that it wasn’t loud and punctuated with words like M’Lord, Kanoon, and andhaa.

Pink did nothing for me.

It didn’t seem inspirational, because I had no personal connection with any character, they’re not living, fleshed out characters but names with faces. Pink ends up as a two hour Public Service Announcement.

It delivers a very important message, yes. But does little else in the process.

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14 thoughts on “The mediocrity of ‘Pink’

  1. Shravya

    Could it be, that you felt no personal connection with any of the characters because you never really were on that side of the picture. I don’t think you ever were in a situation similar to the protagonists’. Terrified and helpless and not being able to talk about something without people judging you. I think the film was made to drive a message home. The courtroom scenes were not realistic i agree and neither were Amitabh Bachchans arguments at court. But the point of the film was how the society says its the girls fault devoid of the situation. It’s true and no one really talks about it. But i think they’ve managed to make this point through the film and though its not a solution to anything, at-least its a first and according to me it should be appreciated for that. The characters and their history is irrelevant, its a story of a girl in the Indian society.

    Reply
  2. Prachi Sawant

    Oh God!!! Thanks a lot… I mean its an amazing movie and a women I connected to it instantly but as a lawyer I found it Appalling.. i am sorry. people went crazy praising the Court room drama but it was the same old bollywood “Tariq pe Tariq ” shit all over again. an actual court is much more boring noisy and no judge entertains a para full of dialogue.
    but i guess you are right the message in the movie was so string that people actually overlooked the fact that the movie had many questions that never had answers and characters that were not required.
    Pink is short, so 10 points to Gryffindor there! was so apt…
    PS: you are awesome.

    Reply
  3. Suchanda Chowdhury

    Hriday, man, you are my soulmate. Dude… I think exactly the same way about Pink… While with few really good actors, good build up… The plot was just not that great. I loved how they depicted fear just by showing the city… But the the plot just didn’t carry. BTW… I really mean you are my soulmate. You really are. I would never say this if I was sober. But you are. “10 points to Gryffindor there!” – You really are!!

    PS: I am really happy about the message of the movie, though, and how people are reacting to it.
    For that alone the movie is good for me. Not how the movie fares as being a movie but about how people are reacting to it and hopefully act on it (I don’t mean on FB)
    PPS: “…punctuated with words like M’Lord, Kanoon, and andhaa.” – You missed ‘Tareekh’ 🙁
    PPPS?: You really are my soulmate!?

    Reply
  4. Sagar

    Bhai agar characters khhechte toh tum pakka so jate night show mein. Fir yahan gariyate ki movie itni badi thi ki so gaya blah blah et al. Critics kabhi santusht nahi ho sakte…yahi satya hai.
    The plot was expertly built, acting was over par and the message was driven home convincingly. Itne paise mein itna mil gaya humme khushi hai.
    Dhanyawaad.

    Reply
    1. Hriday Ranjan Post author

      Hahaha. You have a point. But Yeh bhi ho sakta hai, ki kum dialogues or scenes mein bhi character dikh jaaye. Zaroori nahi hai ki Tapsee camera ko delhke bole, ‘Hi, mera naam Tapsee hai. Main 24 saal ki hoon’.

      Reply
      1. Kamal Krishna Patnaik

        (slowly clapping)
        That’s what I thought, after watching the movie. The whole movie could have been reduced to(‘to’, not ‘by’) mere 30 minutes, if it had been made with expertise.

        Reply
  5. Kamal Krishna Patnaik

    I appreciate the fact that you judged the movie in an unbiased way. I’m glad that there are people like you, who think that the movie is overrated. Critics, in general, are like cycles parked in a school. Kick one and you’d see them all falling. Btw, why do you think that Fan was so bad?

    Reply
    1. Hriday Ranjan Post author

      It wasn’t terrible or anything. But the hype behind the film didn’t match up to the actual film.

      Reply
      1. Kamal Krishna Patnaik

        Oh… The direction sucked. Shahrukh’s acting didn’t, however. It was definitely one of the good movies released this year. At least, SRK didn’t ham all the way through. Could you please write an article on Bhatts and Emraan Hashmi? It makes me sad how they kick-started his career but still they seem hell bent on ending the same.

        Reply
  6. Tanay Gurjar

    Your words exactly echo my thoughts…the message was all cute n sweet, but the way they showed courtroom with all heavy preachy dialogues and Amitabh using his baritone to ask questions like ‘are you a virgin?’ intended to make the audinece go-“Hawww ye kya puch liya”….BC even this message is outdated now to be honest.

    Watching a ultra realist movie like Court did the damage to me, cannot tolerate dramatic courtroom scenes now.

    Reply

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