PINK: Challenging the accepted
The bold statement made by producer Shoojit Sircar through Pink resonates loud and clear – “No means No”. What is most appealing about this movie is not just its compelling storyline but also the way the screenplay has been executed with sheer simplicity and the commendable acting performances by its cast. Essentially a courtroom drama, Pink tells the gripping story of a girl who has to battle the prejudices of the society when one night, a man forces himself on her. The movie challenges the sexual innuendos of the society and raises questions on the society's unfair judging standards.
One scene in the film particularly, stands out. It is the scene where Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu are walking in a park when a bystander points at her. As Tapsee she pulls her hood on and tries to hide her face, Amitabh Bachchan yanks the hood off.
Talking about the scene, Bachchan said, “That was just an instinctive reaction. The idea was that the girl had already been maligned, she's out on bail but people still continue to look at her disdainfully. I think she is shy of that and that is why she wants to hide her face. The gesture of removing the hood from her face was saying that she didn't need to be shy of anything. What she had done was right and within her rights.”
When asked what made him say yes to doing Pink, Bachchan said, “Shoojit came to me with the concept of this film and gave me the gist of it. I immediately agreed to do this film. I didn't know what my
role was going to be. Neither did I know what the script was going to be like, nor did I know who the
other stars were. The idea behind the film was what attracted me. It was only later that Shoojit designed the film with a lot of research. He went to many legal bodies, lawyers, justices, went to different court houses in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, went through several real life cases and then, got together
whatever he felt was the essence of the film. That's how the screen play was designed. It has been a great moment for all of us to be involved in this film because I feel that somewhere, all of us truly believe in what the essence of the film was. I can very proudly say that every dialogue that I have spoken in
the film, if I was asked to do that off the camera, I would have said the same words.”
Talking about the chemistry between her, Kirti and Andrea in the movie, Tapsee said that the three girls lived like an entity while shooting for the film. “Each one of us got affected by what happened to
the other. Together we could have a larger impact on the audience. We lived like an entity in Delhi. We used to eat together, be together for twelve hours every day and I guess, that came across in the movie. Who says actress can't be friends?” said Tapsee.
“We had a lot of work-shops to begin with. That always helps. I feel that your chemistry off screen is not a big deal. Even if you hate each other, if you are a good actor, you have to be amazing on screen. By the end of the workshops, Shoojit came to us and said Baaki sab theek hain, but please don't forget that if you three girls do not work as a unit, if people can't see your bonding, friendship and love on screen, this film will not work.' I think, that stayed with us and from our first day in Delhi, we were really at it”, said Kriti.
“I'm so glad to have met everyone in the entire team of Pink”, said Andrea. “I am super honoured to have worked with them. I think we're all going to stay friends for a very long time.”
Speaking in favour of universal sisterhood, Shoojit said, “If women stand by each other, they will be invincible. The moment they don't, men would take advantage of them. Women need to stick together.” Angad Bedi, who plays the character of Rajveer in Pink further added, “Men should not forget where they came from. They came from women. It is said that women have a very high emotional quotient, but let's also remember that they have the power to bear a child, which men do not. And as Mr Bachchan said in the movie, no means no. It's the writing on the wall.”
Pink has received rave reviews from one and all and is doing extremely well at the box office. Sircar admitted that despite the phenomenal acting performances in the movie, he never imagined that Pink would incite such an enthusiastic response from the audiences. “It is incredible. The reactions are unanimous”, he said.
Talking about how he developed the plot of the movie, Sircar said, “This movie is inspired from everyday
life and experiences. It challenges the stereotypes of our society. If a girl returns home late at night after
partying, her motives are suspected. Why? For a long time, I wanted to make a movie on this topic. Pink has been made keeping in mind, the point of view of all girls, including Tapsee, Andrea and Kriti. Mr Bachchan's inputs helped immensely while outlining the plot. We used to have open discussions where we would disagree often but in the end we were all united in our efforts to work for the movie. Even the movie's producer Rony, worked with us creatively.”
The question however, remains: While the ideas behind movies like Pink are being supported hugely by
the masses, can this bring about a change in the perceptions of the society? How soon will the stereotypes be altered? Speaking on the topic Bachchan said, “People have started coming out openly about such things. The message relayed by Pink has reached the ears of many. Accepting the new ideas and acting on them, is upto the society and its individuals. Movies like Pink are made because we believe that people are capable of changing.” Bachchan who plays the role of a lawyer in the movie, said that
he had no difficulty dealing with legal language that was demanded of him by the script. “It was a strong script”, he said. “The writers wrote everything after research. Even while we were filming, we had a lawyer on the set so that we didn't end up shooting a scene or saying some-thing which was legally incorrect.” Bachchan jokingly added, “Never forfeit the friendships offered by a doctor, lawyer and a priest.”
Women can now file FIRs at any police station at any time, any day, Sircar informed. “It was daunting working with such a great cast”, said Angad. “I was extremely nervous while shooting the courtroom scene with Mr Bachchan. After Mr Bachchan, the girls had taken it to another level. I had to match that.”
Talking about her character Minal in the movie, Tapsee said, “I have tried my best to do justice to the character I'm portraying. The movie is an account the things that happen after my character undergoes the mishap. So everyday before shooting, I had to prepare myself to get into that mindset. Even, after completing the shoot, it took me a week's time to get out of this mindset of the character. I had frequent nervous break downs during that period.”
Kirti plays the character of Falak in the movie, who is in a relationship with a man older than herself. “The society puts impositions on anything and everything it can”, said Kirti. “I don't think love should have any age limits. If the basis of a relationship is strong and both the individuals benefit from it, then I don't see anything wrong with it. In any case, who am I to judge?”