<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Piyush Mishra, Angad Bedi
Running Time: 2 hours 16 minutes
So are the people who actually molest and rape girls going to watch this film? And if they do, do you think they’d change their ways? Or would it just make girls more cautious and afraid about drinking or laughing with boys they’ve just met?
“Rule number one in the safety guidebook for girls is…” and Amitabh Bachchan’s Deepak Sehgal continues to recite rules about totally normal behaviour exhibited by girls that some guys misinterpret to mean that they are ‘women of easy morals’. The rules continue and the public claps. Because they know all these things and they know that a short skirt doesn’t mean a girl is fine with a guy touching her. They know that ‘No means ‘NO’ in an interaction with a boy and a girl. So of course people will cheer on. But they’re just preaching to the choir here. We all know this, it’s nothing new.
Perhaps the makers thought that if someone with the stature of Ambitabh Bachchan extolled the virtues of ‘saving the boys first instead of talking about saving the girls’ then people would sit up and take notice. But would this poorly executed film change the mindsets of feudal and patriarchal families who’ve been propogating stereotypes for generations? You be the judge.
The film also takes a bit too long to establish the events that are causing the three girls so much angst. Of course we know the guys are up to no good.
There are plenty of lazy moments in the film where we’re shown the way police officers deal with people trying to lodge an FIR. We’ve seen it before. And the politician trying to steer the system in his favour. Done to death. And then the momentum falls flat with the politician disappearing from the scenes as the whole courtroom drama plays out like a college lesson. The frailty and illness that had forced Deepak into retirement vanishes quickly. Of course it’s Bachchan so there’s a lot of gusto and consequence to his dialogue.
The girls are all (Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang) suitably shaken up and Taapsee and Kirti give particularly fiery performances. Angad Bedi manages to make you dislike him as a male chauvenist pig, which is a job well done considering he’s a good looking man.
As a public service message, Pink does a good job. As a film, it fails to deliver anything new or interesting.