Posts Tagged ‘ Taapsee Pannu ’

Pink

pink-poster

Now only if there was a picture of the women being more prominently featured.

Pink
Release date: September 16, 2016
Directed by: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi, Raashul Tandon, Tushar Pandey, Vijay Verma, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Piyush Mishra

The year is 2016 AD, humans have existed for over 200,000 years and the concept of civilization is already 6,000 years old. Or at least, that’s what my Google query springs up as an answer from Universe Today to “how long have humans existed”. And yet, it’s no short of a travesty, that the concept of a woman’s consent is still difficult to digest for many men and the society alike.

If the entire world is still trying to grasp this, then how will the prudish uncles in your Delhi neighbourhood get with the program so fast? And how will the entitled princes of pricey cars and extremely fair complexions have an iota of respect for women and their choices?

In a moment, much towards the final third of the film, Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) says, “Maybe we have been doing it all wrong. Maybe it’s the boys who need to be saved. Only when they are saved, will the girls feel safer.” Maybe he’s not too far off from the truth.

Pink starts off with two different sets of friends rushing to places. An all male group, rushing to the ER with Rajveer (Angad Bedi) and his bleeding head, and the other, the trio of Falak (Kirti Kulhari), Andrea (Andrea Tariang) and Meenal (Taapsee Pannu) asking the cab driver to take them home quickly. Meenal is mentally traumatized, Rajveer has severe head trauma.

The cause of these events is kept undisclosed, and remains self-descriptive, as the film builds as a courtroom drama in the post-intermission half. Rajveer is an influential politico’s son, and naturally dabbles in intimidating people beneath him, first with consequences, and then by getting the dirty job done by his lackeys. The women face the wrath of these men and Deepak is almost a lone witness to the entire ordeal.

When Meenal walks in to a police station to complain about the harassment that she’s facing, the cop at the desk gently shames her into withdrawing her requests for any action to be taken by them. “Anyone can make threats, let barking dogs lie.” or much like, “you could be equally blamed for this.” Falak wants peace and approaches the only calm-headed member of the men’s group to resolve the issues between them. Things come to a head when Rajveer enrages her so much so that she calls off the whole truce pact.

Here starts an all guns blaring campaign by Rich Boys & Daddy to frame the women as perpetrators of physical violence, soliciting and much more. Deepak is an influential figure himself, which is evident in an earlier scene. He vows to come out of his retirement to fight their case and grapple with his “manic depression”.

The court proceedings make up for the rest of the film. The prosecutor (Piyush Mishra) makes arguments that may well remind you of a particular Advocate Chaddha of lore (from Damini), he’s even as ruthless as him, but this isn’t the year 1993, where one of the counsel members tries to beat up the other. They shake hands after the verdict is announced. Minor details of the court are overlooked, possibly to include more of Deepak’s private life, and his ailing wife (?)

Technicalities of the judiciary aren’t the film’s best selling points, but the arguments raised definitely are. All four of the film’s protagonists, i.e. Pannu, Kulhari, Tariang, and Bachchan, present compelling performances. The ladies are strong, yet vulnerable in the face of allegations, and mud-slinging. All three of them have different coping mechanisms, Pannu’s character goes in a shell, with a trembling voice; Andrea rebukes the lies and the accusations vehemently, Kirti agitates at the consistent name-calling and the finger-pointing and ends up debunking the opposition’s argument entirely. Bachchan imbibes the mumbling genius persona of his character and underplays his rage at being a first-hand witness to the abuse that the women face, and still makes for a believable underdog.

There are gentle beings too, like the women’s flat owner in Delhi, the non-supportive Rich Boy friend, but they are only a few and subdued for the most part of the film. Much like the real world, the fair and just voices get outnumbered and perhaps numbed by their surroundings. Pink reins in the exacting issues of the rights of women making decisions for themselves and our reactions to them. Be it moving out of their familial setups, choosing to have a drink with someone that they like, or even just flashing a smile to a member of the opposite sex without meaning anything else.

Pink doesn’t make any new discoveries or present any new insights on the patriarchal regression and domination, yet, it depicts important observations on our times. Labeling, patronization, character assassinations, abuse, molestation and rape are a chain of events that women tread closely with every day, every moment of their lives, and  the film is more than a finely-executed and well-made outing for the debutant director. It’s a compelling commentary that makes for compulsory watching.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Chashme Baddoor

Chashme_Baddoor_(2013_film)_Poster
Chashme Baddoor
Release date: April 5, 2013
Directed by: David Dhawan
Cast: Ali Zafar, Divyendu Sharma, Siddharth Narayan, Taapsee Pannu, Anupam Kher, Bharti Achrekar, Rishi Kapoor, Lilette Dubey

Falling on the mighty back of the 1981 original, the remake borrows heavily from it. Every major plot device is the same, only tweaked in the smallest possible way.

The basic plot remains the same, and the makers go out on a limb to incorporate every major situation/scene from the classic. I’m making an attempt at how the writers were asked to come up with the screenplay. Probably handed over a checklist with the following bullets.

  • Chamko detergent segment.
  • Make Siddharth the good guy. (We don’t care if you can’t show it by his mannerisms and other nuances, just make some of the ensemble cast say it loud for the audience.)
  • The boys must have an outstanding debt.
  • Make Jai and Omi escape through the window and stand on the building ledge, when Seema (not Neha) comes to see Jai.
  • Use the same dated kidnapping shtick to make the protagonist win over the girl at the end.

There’s the usual, “deliver a pseudo-funny line at every juncture, the circumstances of the story should have absolutely no effect on the viewer and keep them laughing” forced humor. (WHY!?)

Out of the two new sub-plots, one is in which Rishi Kapoor substitutes Saeed Jaffrey’s Lallan Miyaan and add a romantic interest for him, i.e. landlord Lilette Dubey. And the second features Anupam Kher in a pointless double role as Seema’s (Taapsee Pannu) father and uncle. Both of the above have absolutely zero impact and add very less to the narrative. Out of all the performances, Divyendu’s jokes do less, and his delivery along with his expressions in rest of his scenes somewhat elevates the film.

The songs try too hard to be witty by making the lyrics, uh, whatever they are. The speed and the loudness of the thick beats does little to help them either. Also, there’s poor dubbing or as though it seems. There are awkward cuts and therefor there are obvious issues with this remake in every department. The laughs come in throughout, but new material is far and few between.

Chashme Buddoor‘s original flavor has a lot to keep you entertained, but yet this Chashme BADdoor failed to keep this viewer amused. Perhaps, it was their way of warning us how the remake is going to be different from the original by putting a ‘BAD’ right there in Buddoor.

My rating: ** (Two stars out of five)

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