In an age where sensationalism and mushy romance still very much dominate the Indian cinema, it is heartening to note that movies are still being made around law and matters of truth. Movies that side with honour and justice, highlighting the latter as 'need of the hour' as opposed to an emotional unruly vehemence that deny it, there are important movies that have not just highlighted the plight of the common man but evaded the escape of truth that trickles away often at the hands of a flawed justice system.
Which are these movies and how have they impacted the Indian psyche?
The Amitabh Bachchan starrer is an intense and emotionally riveting legal drama based about gender violence being faced by three girls, played magnificently by - Kirti Kulhari, Taapsee Pannu and Andrea Tariang. The movie whilst highlighting the enervating grasp of 'judgment' that India holds of its women tries to fight the bias and misinformed views. Critics and even stars Preity Zinta, Diya Mirza and Kangana are of the view that the film will be a game changer in the way Indian society views its own women.
12 jurors, 1 crime, 1 supposedly who has done it and then all of a sudden 11 similar beliefs being questioned, doubted, re-doubted and finally analyzed before the verdict is passed! The movie brought to life the all important fact that even on the basis of 1 juror who has a polarized view opposed to 11 who hold the same can go a long distance to change the destiny of a case. This was a path-breaking movie that was as insightful as informing of the importance that 'truth' holds over innuendos. India owes it big to Pankaj Kapoor.
All those silly, jocular, overtly mimicked Sunny Deol diatribes kept aside, the film was a remarkable fight against India's own often flawed, often one-sided justice system that turns a surprising blind eye toward the innocent. India received the movie with an overwhelmingly warm reception and one could feel a sense of sensitization about the female gender and its everyday woes in the society.
All about the redemption and the last hurrah of the poor man, one who is pitifully marginalized in an India where the elite often 'pockets' law owing to deep connections and towering bank accounts. Arshad Warsi did to a poor roadside dweller what Sunny Deol did in helping Meenakshi in Damini. That the justice isn't blind to matters of truth and finally delivers and hails nothing but the truth, even if it takes a while, was the perennial essence of this epic movie.
A case that marred the Indian society, questioned its ability to deliver justice and made us all rethink about how at the times of delivering all important breakthroughs, one where truth is just about to reach the finishing line, it is jaded when witnesses turn hostile. Remember that Vidya Balan laughter? The movie scarred the psyche of an audience that had perhaps gotten used to seeing the rich and powerful elope despite having committed heinous wrong doings.
It is time we stood up for that all-important value we see being painted red, black and blue in the national press: gender equality and justice. It is time that we realized that the plight of women is as serious a matter in the world's largest democracy as climate change, inflation and those who sully below poverty lines. Pink will attempt to address the sensitivities of those in whose hands lies the power to liberate women in India.
Truth be told, its own cast was so emotionally stirred and moved in the film-making process that on the last day of the shoot- it broke down in front of the man of the hour, the hero- Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. This itself conveys that justice, when it is delivered can be a life changing event of those who have suffered apart from being quite a thrill, when that happens. Time may just be ripe for India to take facts out of fiction on the big-screen.
With movies like Pink, India is set to welcome an unprecedented change in the way women centric movies are made, where they are not only the central plot but the hero in the end, as they should be.
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