“No means NO…”
Oh My God! I feel it bubbling in my soul, I feel it pushing it’s way through to the surface. I feel the hot tears rolling down my cheeks, of anger, of frustration…each tear a scream for liberation, for justice, as I’m attempting to collect my thoughts and feelings. I feel like I might spontaneously combust any moment now as a result of the intensity of my feelings as evoked by this spectacular piece of film-making titled ‘PINK.’ It’s been almost half an hour since I watched this movie and I can still feel the strength, sting and burn of the fire ignited probably quarter to halfway through the movie.
This is the first time in a very very very long time that a movie has had such a profound impact on me. Watching Pink unfold was an experience in itself. I didn’t feel like I was just the audience, at one point I felt like I was part of the proceedings, part of the plot. I felt like I was there in that courtroom, objecting, raising my voice at the absurdity of accusations being hurled, just like Meenal, Falak & Andrea. In fact, I wanted to go up to the antagonists and slap the living daylights out of them. I guess that’s what good film-making is all about huh? Where you feel less like a spectator & more of a participant.
Pink exposes & unearths all that needs to change within the Indian/South Asian mindset, I can’t speak for all other communities, but I’ve seen & heard almost everything addressed within the Desi community. While India is beautiful & has a rich history & all the other nice, touristy things you read, see & hear about, there are certain grim aspects. No, India isn’t the only country where Rape & Sexual Assault happens, I’d just like to clear that up as well. It’s prevalent every-goddamn-where in the world & you know what else is common? The excuses by perps are always the same…’Oh well maybe she shouldn’t have been drinking’ OR ‘Maybe she shouldn’t have dressed like a slut, you know she was asking for it’ OR ‘Well she shouldn’t have stayed out so late and hung out with all those other guys, she was just looking for trouble.’ Yeah, no assholes, SHE, neither asked for anything, wanted anything or desired anything out of starting a conversation with you, or even smiling your way. Maybe you didn’t see the grimace on her face when you were being ‘extra’ friendly? Did you not hear her say she’s not interested when you tried getting a little extra close & grabby? Why is it such an issue with folks from the South Asian community if a girl drinks or smokes? How the hell does an -OH group & nicotine define a person’s character, especially a girl’s? Why aren’t the same standards used with guys? Why? Because, when guys do so it makes them cooler? Or what, it’s a pathetic excuse about this stuff being part of growing up? Why do you think a woman has to get married in order to live a fulfilled life? What part of the damn life cycle criteria declares this to be a requisite? Why can’t a woman pursue her dreams, or, chase her dream career? Why does the focus always fall on marriage and kids and having to give up dreams & settle & sacrifice those dreams? Why is a woman who is a divorcee seen in a much corrupted light than a man who is a divorcee? You don’t know the full story, so how dare you sit there and judge one harsher than the other? The world isn’t made of angels and demons, but, there’s a little bit of both in all of us. Seriously, toss your stupid thoughts out the window people. Uncle-jis & Aunty-jis, grow up…period. It’s 2017, it’s about high time you chucked out these ridiculous and archaic sentiments. Also Aunty-jis & Uncle-jis, stop judging people based on how they dress, interact & look. If you’re that curious to know them, go say a ‘Namaste’ or ‘Hello.’ You never know it might make a world of a difference to both your lives.
Before you start rolling your eyes and go all, ‘Oh here we go another Ra-Ra Feminist’ post let’s make something exceptionally clear. The term Feminist shouldn’t exist! We as human beings & as a society should be ashamed of ourselves for letting such a term exist. The only reason it exists is because some people forget women are human beings too; Forget & most importantly underestimate them to be docile & cowering non-existent parts of society, when they in fact mould, build, shape & alter entire societies, communities & ultimately History. Movies like Pink are necessary, because they bring out all those ugly facets that we like to ignore, that we pretend don’t exist within us. It brings out that hideous & vicious, often ignored part of us residing deep within that we’re too afraid to face. Movies like Pink are necessary to make us cognizant that maybe it’s time to change our approach towards creating an impact. In this movie’s case, it handled & highlighted the approach to the subject of sexual assault & rape along with victim shaming. Clearly it’s time to stop addressing an issue the one way it’s been dealt with all these decades, because it clearly hasn’t been helping women at all by giving them useless advice on how to dress, act & what & what not to do in order to be seen as moral or immoral women. Basically, women should put themselves in a bubble and roll around town. That seems like an ideal plan, because hey this way nobody can blame their outfits, appearance, associations & activities right? Think about it, what could you possibly do in a bubble? There’s an amazing sentiment conveyed in this movie, and it’s about high time it was put into practice. Why do girls have to be safer & exercise more caution than they already do? Why should parents only teach their girls to be aware & safe of the big bad world out there, especially after dark? Why can’t the emphasis be on boys? Why can’t parents teach their boys to respect women? Why can’t boys be taught that they aren’t any better than girls, that they’re the same? Why can’t boys be taught to become men with morals, integrity & character? Why can’t boys be taught that it’s okay to have girls as friends as much as it is to have guy friends? In fact you learn to be more appreciative & get a refreshing perspective as a human being.
Pink wouldn’t have been possible without the conviction & vision of such a stellar cast & crew. Major major credit goes to Shoojit Sircar for writing (along with Ritesh Shah,) producing & directing something so phenomenal. Hats off to the stalwart Mr. Amitabh Bachchan for setting such acting benchmarks in the Indian Movie Industry, I hope all you artists are taking notes. After Black, this has to be my next fav movie of Mr. Bachchan’s . More than that though, hats off to the terrific trio of girls who totally rocked their characters. I’m sure it must’ve been extremely hard to play these roles, and to share the screen space with someone of Mr. Bachchan’s caliber is no small feat. Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari & Andrea Tariang played their parts as Meenal, Falak & Andrea respectively, with such conviction that you actually forget you’re watching a movie. Angad Bedi makes quite a mark with his character Rajveer, he literally makes you want to scratch his eyes out & wipe that smirk and smug look off his face. Piyush Mehra’s portrayal as the Prosecutor is so damn convincing that you wanna scream ‘Objection’ and strangle him for the way he treats the girls. You know what adds that emotional punch in your gut? That surge in your heart rate? Causes your eyes to brim with tears which then cascade rather rapidly? The end of the movie, while the credits are rolling, and all you hear is Mr. Bachchan’s baritone reciting a poem. The words in that poem are beyond inspirational. They will cause your blood to boil, set your spirit on fire & ignite hope & inspiration in a time & place where there seems to be a severe shortage of it.
A movie like Pink is necessary to break the vicious cycle of preconceived notions & preconceptions. It’s a jarring wake-up call, not just an alarm you have the convenience of turning off or hitting the snooze button on. It’s a long overdue holler that everyone should listen to, because honestly it’s about bloody damn time.