International Business Times, India rating: 5 stars
Consent is a small but a powerful word, yet most people don't seem to understand it. But "Pink" takes it seriously and effortlessly makes a brave and engaging thriller out of it.
Having lived in New Delhi for good number of years, I know where the protagonists of "Pink" are coming from. Girls working graveyard shifts and partying with friends belonging to the opposite gender is often scorned at by the prying neighbours and labelled as not-so achhe gharane ki ladkiyan.
In director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's powerful "Pink," his three female leads — Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea Tariang (Andrea Tariang) — are shown to be attending a music gala with a bunch of male friends, who think a drinking-smoking rock concert attending girl is someone who's asking for it.
Angad Bedi's politically influential Rajveer (one of the friends) gets hit hard by a glass bottle after trying to force himself on Minal. While boys rush to the hospital to get the bad gash fixed, girls flee the scene only to realise next morning that Minal has been slapped with an attempt-to-murder charge. This is where manic depressive Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) steps in.
What follows next is a series of realistically performed courtroom scenes, which don't seem like they are contrived. The terse narrative feels as though the makers are in a rush to drive home a point, but after the loose ends are tied up, all seem to make perfect sense.
The idea of "Pink" is simple: It is to let the stupidly patriarchal society know that a "NO" means "NO" and not "May be". Was a 136-minute-long movie needed to make this point, couldn't a documentary or say a short film have helped?
Majority of Bollywood's consumers are such that unless there's a sparkly mainstream film running at the theatres, they do not pay much heed. Adding the commercial touch to "Pink" is Amitabh, who has given the crime-thriller a massive reach, something a less-established star wouldn't have been able to.
With his intimidating scowl and rich baritone, the senior actor proves that he's still got it. The way he confidently calls out the assaulters in one scene, and grumbles to himself like a shaky school kid in the next, shows the range he's capable of and reaffirms the fact that it's difficult to match up to his acting prowess.
Taapsee, Kirti and Andrea are definite highlights of "Pink". They are a group of determined individuals who do all they can to bring the wrong-doers to justice. Angad too delivers a controlled performance, the kind only experienced actors can do. Through his act, he makes sure the viewers are able to look past his good looks and into his evil insides.
Final verdict: Must-watch is putting it mildly.