Pink ****Dir: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. With: Tapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Amitabh Bachchan. 136 mins. Cert: 15
Another notable stride forwards for Hindi cinema: a naturalistic drama that forms a serious attempt to grapple with India’s emergent rape culture. An arresting first half subverts Bollywood’s beloved battle-of-the-sexes trope via the slow ratcheting up of a shaming campaign against three young Delhi women, after one among them has to violently repel a well-connected male contemporary. If the subsequent courtroom drama initially feels conventional, it leans closer to March’s critical Court than recent melodrama Rustom, finding sophisticated dramatic means to interrogate the double standards at play within Indian society. Among an electric ensemble, Tapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang give unwavering voice to the girls’ struggles; beside them, Amitabh Bachchan brings his unmatched moral authority to bear as their sole legal ally. Trigger warnings may be obligatory, but that’s testimony to how close the film gets to some uncomfortable truths – and how well those have been shaped into this progressive, provocative, legitimately powerful statement.
Pink is now showing in selected cinemas.