By Neel Anil Panicker
It is a great movie. It has stellar performances from the entire ensemble cast including yet another once in a lifetime performance by none other than the superstar of the millennium__the ageless superstar Amitabh Bachhan who like good old vintage wine seems to be getting better and better with age.
Gosh! The man never ceases to surprise us with his talent, energy, enthusiasm and, may I add, sheer histrionic talents.
For short of any good word all I can cry out and say is ‘Outstanding’ with a capital O!
And that goes for the pulsating, roller coaster movie as well. In fact there is any one movie that stands out heads and shoulders above the mindless nonsense that is dished out of late in the name entertainment by that merchant (more peddler!) of dreams__Bollywood, then this is it.
Yes! You might have guessed it by now. I am talking about the movie PINK__ the movie that is running to packed audiences in theatres all over the country; the movie that not only packs a punch in terms of stellar performances and gripping courtroom scenes that come alive with gut wrenching dialogues delivered as if straight from the gut; but the movie that not only takes a hard, unstinting look in the eye at the way a deeply feudal, patriarchal India thinks and believes, lives and conducts itself not just inside its homes but also on its increasingly unsafe streets, pubs and other entertainment hubs, inside grim police stations and lawyer’s chambers, and inside the minds and hearts of a society deeply entrenched in centuries old antediluvian, misogynistic viewpoints.
A society that thinks of its women as no better than a piece of meat, worth only to the point of its being an easily available delicacy spread out on the dinner table.
A society that pigeon holes women into narrow, constricting boxes; straitjacketing them into categories much like chattel that need to tied up and moved around, thrown and abused, beaten and harassed and even molested and raped; and when they as much as raise their voices in protest, to very quickly, shamelessly and quite conveniently brand them as women of loose characters, women who drink and drive and dare and bare and therefore very much deserve what they get.
The movie does an excellent job of exposing the double standards of Indian society vis- a- vis the way we treat our girls and the more importantly goes onto to emphasize, and quite correctly, that the problem lies in the way we have brought up our men.
The movie’s thesis is brought alive through some very thought provoking dialogues. which though no doubt intended for mass appeal, are successful in carrying home the message.
So when Mr Bacchhan speaks out in that haltingly, mesmerizing deep baritone of his “Aaj tak sab log galat direction mein effort karte rahe hain…we should save our boys, not our girls…because if we save our boys then our girls will be safe”, not just do the audiences erupt in loud cheers but also the message of women’s rights and their empowerment is powerfully driven home.
And that brings me to my ultimate point, which is that it is movies like these that show a mirror to society and are the hour of the day.
However, till such time that we imbibe in mind, body and spirit the fact that women__irrespective of who they are or where they come from or what they wear or even who they are with and at what hour of the day or night __must be respected and looked upon as equals, it is better for the ‘better halves’ of society, especially Indian society, to be on the alert around certain men who still somehow don’t get it that when a WOMAN SAYS NO, SHE MEANS NO.

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