Michael Ferreira was the President of our professional cycling association, taking over from Vijay Merchant. His words rang true last night at the Eros theatre in Mumbai where we saw the excellent movie, "PINK'. "We Indians are the biggest hypocrites in the world".
First, a word about the ambience. There is still an old world charm to theatres like The Eros, The Regal and even fire traps like Central Plaza and Roxy. One longs for the days when 'Sunday 6:30' was a magic word. Permanent Seats! Dress codes. Wafers and Duke's Lemonade. Tickets for One Rupee, five annas. The Two-ten was too steep. And NO CLAPPING or WHISTLING. All gone with the wind.
Clark Gable has been replaced by Amitabh Bachchan. Thank God for small mercies. There is a saying that one must never do a movie with a child or an animal, show-stealers both. Ditto with Amitabh. He grows with age, in stature, in style, in delivery. Gone are the days of caricature roles; even Sholay was comic. Moreover, in Pink, there is, mercifully, no oafish character like Paresh Raval in 'Cheeni Kum'. The Bachchan effect rubs off on the others. One wishes that the pseudo-surreal photography inkling takes a break. It downplays the emotional views of the players.
There is a lesson for all. Above all, it lands a left jab to the solar plexus and an uppercut to the jaw of that filthy-minded, hypocritical Indian animal, the Shri Bhagwan-ka-Aadmi. The choice of locale could not be better. Delhi, now better known as the rape capital of the world.
Surprisingly, the film has little of violence footage, acknowledging the fact that rape scenes do not a movie make. Intriguing plot, sharp script, only two songs (as almost background music), low budget aka no song-and-dance nor glamourous sets, are all that are needed for a riveted-to-the-seat experience.
*A widow is an easy catch.
*A divorcee is dying for it.
*The servant girl has a special duty to perform.
*All models are easy game.
*A girl in the gent's compartment is on the lookout.
*Only women of the night wait at bus stops after dark.
*When a girl says "No", she means "Yes".
Many more sick-male, stereotyped thoughts abound amongst the men in our midst. Pink has the courage to take those thugs head-on. Yet, there is a lesson for girls too. 'Being Mod' is risky business. Flirty behaviour one day can mess up their lives forever. There is no such thing as 'Just fun'. Danger, serious trouble lurks around every corner. The standard suggestion, at every police station, then is, "You came, You saw, You were conquered". Your bloody fault. See the cynicism plastered all over the movie.
This movie must be shown in all the girls' schools. It is a MUST. The boys must understand that there is nothing macho in vulgar behaviour. It is criminal and will land you in jail.
The movie is, more-or-less, a standard courtroom thriller. Of course, there is the inevitable scene of the witness losing his, or her, cool under cross-examination; standard good lawyers' trick. It also saves the screenplay writer from thinking up intricate questioning; standard scripters' trick. Anger betrays guilt, as all lawyers will tell you. Be ready for the shouting matches that happen only in movies. Our courts are more sedate in reality.
Special mention for the judge. Diction better than the aging Amitabh's. The Police Inspector, whose face, under cross-examination, tells a thousand words. The touching moments of the final handshakes. The first scenes shown the last, (do not rush to the exit), all make for an entertaining evening. To reveal the ending, we can definitely tell you that the butler did not do it.
Why PINK? There is nothing blood red guilty nor innocent white driven snow. The truth always lies somewhere in between. Pink.