Women fleeing.Women scared.Women winning.Women crying.Women falling apart.Women surviving.
Women as have rarely been seen on screen before.Not weak women,or strong women.Just women,as they are,struggling to live as they please,failing,and winning.
Pink is woman-centric with a vengeance, and yet at its centre is a man.Strikingly enough,a man central to a woman-centric film,in a capacity other than romantic.
At its skeletal,Pink is a film about sexual violence.It is about three women’s quest for justice,and one man’s fight to get them just that.
What Pink becomes,ultimately,is a film that remarkably captures the reality of being female in India.The constant fear that dogs the steps of the three women in the film is symbolic of the larger terror that women,too often,live in the throes of-as an actual reality,or as the possbility of what awaits a woman if they do not tow the line.
In the figure of the senile lawyer Sehgal,played by Amitabh Bachhan, the women’s unlikely ally,one sees the potential that becomes reality when the powerful,the ones within time-honoured institutions,challenge the notions that too many accept as an unquestionable truth.
Pink is wonderfully feminist in its assertions-in the education it has to impart,about morality,about consent,about agency. What it also handles wonderfully is the theme of intersectionality-targeting the regional,racist discrimination of women from,for example,the North-East,and the dehumanisation of sex workers.
Pink is also a film that gloriously captures female solidarity-three women standing up for each other,of women standing against women but ultimately realising their mistakes.Yet it does not tap into the trope of the strong,all powerful,invincible women-too often an erasure of the insurmountable odds the patriarchy presents before women.
Yet the realities which reinforce a gory reality for women do not always look like significant catastrophe.Pink shows the countless microaggressions women encounter on a daily basis,and how these serve to reinforce the reality of oppression.It shows how victim-blaming,slut shaming-all the familiar discourses about how women bring on sexual violence upon themselves,and how these serve to building a fundamentally hostile world for women to inhabit.
Pink is not a film that says what we do not already know.Yet it drives home the precise gravity of the situation,and the need of the hour.In the process of being so,what Pink emerges as is not a film that is easy to watch,but one that demands to be watched.