Monday, September 26, 2016
Why am I uncomfortable with the way people are responding to Pink?
I watched the 'must watch film' Pink yesterday. I had gone with a lot of expectations of getting new perspective to what females go through in their day to day life in India. And while the movie did show what 'modern girls' or 'girls with liberal thoughts' face with their 'broad mentality' and 'forward attitude', it didn't give me any new perspective to the already existing situation.
The film is about 3 independent girls living away from their parents, working in Delhi. They go to a rock show, where they meet friends of a friend with whom they go for dinner to a resort after the show. They have a drink or two, eat and enjoy the time which is mis-understood by the new friends as a ‘hint’ to the girls agreeing to sleep with them. The guys try to get intimate with the girls, for which one of the girls hits one of the guys with a bottle on his head and then run off scared. This is followed by threats and a legal case between the two parties, where Amitabh Bachhan uses sarcasm as a tool to mock the Indian society and their bias towards females by saying things like 'Rule book for Indian females'. The film ends with a fair judgement.
Now where am I not comfortable? I have no complaints with the movie. It's a well-made film with no melodrama. Where my discomfort lies is in the way people are responding to the film. No, it's all positive. Everyone has only good things to say about it. Everyone is like 'It's a thought provoking film.' 'Something everyone should see and follow' 'We should have more films like this' etc. What surprised me is 'why'? Why are people saying it's a thought provoking film? Nothing in the film is new. I along with almost all my female friends have been raising the same questions, arguing over same things for last so many years. First with our parents, boyfriends and now with our husbands and other males (and even females) in our lives. It's very surprising to see that this is thought provoking for most people. What is thought provoking? What is new? That girls are judged based on their clothes, or their drinking habits, or their time of returning home, or their decision of going for dinner with newly made friends? What is new in that? Hasn’t this been going on forever? I, being a girl having done & been judged on most of the above listed things, found nothing that was ‘soul stirring’ in the movie. All I could feel was relate to what Minal or Falak were going through. The frustration & helplessness to deal with the situation in their life where they couldn’t even figure out what they did wrong at first, followed by anger and fire to fight with the society’s perception of ‘inke jaisi ladkiyan’ (girls like them). I could relate with it because I go through it every single day of my life. How could I find it soul stirring when I face almost the same situation everyday?
What is disheartening is that people are looking at it as a ‘new perspective’. What it means is that these ‘thoughts which are now provoked’ have never even occurred to them earlier? I don’t know how to react to this type of response to the film. Maybe, it was in my head that girls are reaching the liberated stage faster than they actually are. A movie can do only so much. These thoughts are now provoked but will settle down in sometime. Will we be back to accepting the stereotype again once the storm pacifies? That’s a question, which has stirred my soul more than the movie itself.
The one thing that the movie bought out clearly is the message that ‘When a girl says no, she means no.’ Weather she is a stranger, your friend, a prostitute or your own wife. ‘No’ is not a word, it’s a complete statement. I loved the movie, but I would have been happier if people would have perceived it as a medium of addressing the elephant in the room rather than it being looked at as giving it a ‘new perspective’.