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Pink: Old wine with a new treatment

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MUMBAI: Three independent young girls, night out, boys, molestation and Delhi as the location. The leader of the molesting boys is from a political family with whom the cops don’t wish to mess. Put these factors together and you have a story to tell and the result is Pink.

There may be comparisons with No One Killed Jessica and many such stories from real life cases based TV programmes on Crime Patrol and Savdhaan India.

So, what is new about Pink? Nothing much really except that it stars Amitabh Bachchan and that it has been vigorously promoted.

TaapseePannu from Delhi, KIrtiKulhari from Lucknow and Andrea Tariang from Meghalaya share a rented apartment in a typical Delhi raw house colony. They are independence loving working women who, like all other such girls, like a night out on occasions. On one such night out, the girls are enjoying among themselves at a joint at Surajkund (near Delhi in Haryana) when they are invited to join a group of boys because one of them happens to be known to Taapsee since her school days.

The group moneybag is AngadBedi, hailing from a family of a politician and used to getting away with his evil ways. The boys do what Delhi boys are known to do. They invite the girls to rooms where the boys make their move and expect the girls to be chalu and, hence, reciprocate. While Andrea breaks loose and runs away from the room, Angad tries to be more aggressive with Taapsee who breaks a bottle on his head. Angad who is almost blinded in one eye and ends up with stitches on his forehead is livid with one of his sidekicks adding fuel to fire.

The boys have decided to make the girls’ life miserable. The girls start receiving threat calls and their landlord is asked to evict them from the premises.

Amitabh Bachchan is a keen observer of these girls’ movements. A retired lawyer, he occupies a house right opposite theirs. He watches Taapsee on her morning jog in a park he also visits and, otherwise, places himself behind a curtain and watching on girls go about their lives!He notices the sudden change in the girls’ behavior. They look scared. That is when he witnesses a car full of boys come into the colony and kidnap Taapsee.

Bachchan is a renowned lawyer even if retired and he does what he can: call up the police commissioner informing of the kidnap to no avail. Nobody seems interested in the plight of these girls except Bachchan. Next, a Surajkund lady police comes and arrests Taapsee on charges of attempted murder of Angad. That sums up the first half of the film.

Time for retired lawyer Bachchan to step in. He is back to donning his lawyer’s garb and neck piece. The second half is about the court case as Bachchan fights for justice for Taapsee while PiyushMishra, who is a public prosecutor, seems to fight for the boys instead. He is more interested in proving that the girls are professional escorts and of loose character while the case is about establishing the case of attempted murder!

It is a court case like no other as Piyushgoes berserk shouting, stripping the girls of all their dignity, resorts to name-calling and making them look like culprits by design. Bachchan asks equally shaming questions to the girls; his purpose is to prove just that whatever the girls may be doing in their personal life and may have had other boyfriends but, when a girl says NO to a man, it means NO and a man has no right to force himself on her. While Piyush indulges in histrionics, Bachchan is matter of fact.

As for molestation and putting up a fight go, Pink would be compared to No One Killed Jessica (2011) while, as a court drama for a woman’s honour, it would be with Damini (1993), both of which had more powerful content.

The script is simple, tell the story with references to things that appear in news like how girls dress, plight of North Eastern girls in Delhi, reluctant police, et al besides the girls’ safety. It turns out to be a court drama sans drama. Director lets viewer assume a lot of things; like who is the bedridden woman in Bachchan’s life. Why should a public prosecutor behave like a mad man in court? Why Bachhcan who does not react to the prosecutor’s provocation be shouting at his own client. If that is supposed to add excitement to the proceedings, it does not. The judgment delivered also goes beyond the scope of the case! The direction is passable;the incidentthat leads to the case, is finally shown in the end title! Cinematography is fair. Editing is weak. Background score is apt. As for the dialogue, only Bachchan gets some good lines.

As for the performances, TaapseePannu shines with her restrained act. KirtiKulhari uses the dramatic moments given to her ably. Andrea Tarinag has little to do except represent aggrieved North East. Amitabh Bachchan plays the moody lawyer with ease. Piyush Mishra is over the top.AngadBedi suits the role.Dhritiman Chatterjee as the judge lands some credibility to the proceedings.

Pink is a court room drama with which the female audience may identify more and help the film score at select multiplexes, especially during the weekend.However, the range at the box office remains limited as it happens with such films.

Producers: Rashmi Sharma, ShoojitSircar.

Director:Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, TaapseePannu, KirtiKulhari, Andrea Tariang, AngadBedi, Piyush Mishra, Dhritiman Chatterjee.

Raaz: Reboot

Raaz: Reboot is the fourth instalment in the Raaz series from Vishesh Films, the earlier ones being Raaz(2002), Raaz:The Mystery Continues (2009) and Raaz 3D (2012). Raaz: Reboot is directed by Vikram Bhatt, who also directed the first and third instalments (the second one was directed by MohitSuri). Raaz: Reboot, like its predecessors, is also a horror thriller.

KritiKharbanda and Gaurav Arora are married and decide to move to Romania. Gaurav needs better prospects which he seeks in Romania of all places. However, the shift is despite Gaurav’s reluctance who has agreed only on the wishes of Kriti, who thinks his job here was not up to the mark and he deserved better.

Things seem to take a turn for worse once they move to Romania. Kriti feels that the things are not the same between her and Gaurav and no explanation is forthcoming from him. Saddened and disillusioned Kriti has more troubles in store for her; she starts getting that eerie feeling about the house they occupy. Also, Gaurav is no help when she tries to tell him about her discomfiture.

Kriti then comes across Emraan, her ex and a fashion photographer who is also in Romania. Having found an ear to unload her problems, Kriti tells her fears to Emraan who is quite forthcoming unlike Gaurav. He also has some secrets to share with her. What follows is the usual mumbo-jumbo for exorcism while what some of the public may have expected from Raaz franchise, sex, is missing. Of course, Emraan’s forte, kisses, are not compromised.

It has been a long time since Raaz (almost 15 years) and the franchise has only deteriorated in content and treatment. What is more, a lot has been happening in this genre on various television channels and there is no novelty left. Sadly, the film offers nothing better than such television shows.

The script being predictable and routine, director Vikram Bhatt too goes about dealing with it as just another chore. The music, which usually is the scoring point in Bhatt-T Series ventures is not up the mark here. Dialogue is routine, considering that the film aims to find its target audience in masses, the use of English dialogue is a deterrent. The length, at 127 minutes sans substance, needed to be curtailed. The cinematography is good with Romania backdrop coming as a bonus.

Emraan Hashmi sails through in the role he has played often before but the negative trait in his character may not be appreciated. KritiKharbanda passes muster. Gaurav Arora is okay.

Raaz: Reboot has little to expect from multiplexes but will find its audience at single screens, especially away from metros.

Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Vishesh Films.

Director: Vikram Bhatt.

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, KritiKharbanda, Gaurav Arora.

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