Amitabh Bachchan says that holds true for his upcoming film’s character as well as in real life.
Amitabh Bachchan has played a lawyer before. But never quite as impactful as we might see him in Shoojit Sircar’s Pink, if the film’s trailer is anything to go by. In Mahaan, he was a lawyer on the run, hence was never seen in court. His home production Zamaanat, had him playing a blind advocate with lengthy courtroom scenes, but the film was never released. And while one can argue that he wore a lawyer’s robes in Shootout At Lokhandwala, he barely had any scenes there.
By that measure, Pink becomes the first movie in his several decades-long career, that sees Big B in a full-fledged well-researched role as a lawyer. This one subjects the film’s female ‘accused’ to questions that could make one squirm. But while he admits that the language might seem aggressive, it falls in line with the story of the film. Here, he defends the film’s content, his rather unconventional (he hates the word, though) role and tells us why the film resonates with him on a personal level...
How was it working with Shoojit Sircar after Piku?
Shoojit is a thought-provoking maker. His choice of subjects and stories reflect that sentiment in all his films. Quite obviously, it is a great joy to be working with him, and I do look forward eagerly to work with him again.
Pink brings you face to face with some remarkable young actors.
I have said this many times publicly and I shall say it again. In Pink, you shall only notice the ‘remarkable young actors’ and no one else. They are all fresh, accomplished and stunning. Their performances carry the film. Their flair in incorporating their respective roles, the efficiency with which they have presented it and the absolute genuineness in enacting their complicated characters was a learning process for me.
The trailer of the film shows you in a role, unlike one you’ve ever played before. What was it like to stand there in the courtroom and subject the young protagonists to sexually forthright questions?
Yes, courtrooms have eluded me, thankfully. But this film has been designed to keep it as real as possible and the legalese has been written after extensive research with lawyers of great eminence and experience from several quarters and courts. My participation therefore in this film as a lawyer, was, apart from being a first, quite unique as well.
You’re shown asking Taapsee Pannu’s character if she is a virgin...
The language is aggressive and maybe strong, but that is the construct of the screenplay, or shall we say, the construct of the arguments the defence employs to defeat an argument or claim of the prosecution. It falls in line with the story of the film. And maybe they are expressions or words never spoken or heard before in a film’s courtroom sequence. But they have been whetted and approved by, as I said, several luminaries of the legal profession!
Tell us more about the legal world seen in the film.
The circumstances in Pink are perhaps novel to not just court procedures, but also for the performers who have been asked to perform them. I found myself a part of not just the performers, but also the correctness of what I stand for in the story. That is the difference. If after seeing the film, people find it unconventional, that would be an opinion to consider. I do feel, though, that after the reasons are explained in the story and its presentation, whether people would want to label it as unconventional. For me, as the character in the film, that assessment would annoy and anger me. Because what I stand for, not just in the film, but in my life too, is not unconventional. My belief defies and denies that.
Pink addresses itself to the question of female sexuality and its violation by patriarchal forces. As someone who champions the cause of the girl child in real life, how deeply were you affected by the film’s theme?
Deeply, because the words that I speak in the film, would have been no different from what I would say even if I was not acting in the film.
This year, you’ve already played two dark, grieving characters in Wazir and Te3n. Is Pink another grim character? Are you not overwhelmed by melancholic roles this year?
It’s true, I have. So? What is wrong with that? Life is grim, also...
You are now doing a film for Yash Raj with Aamir Khan for the first time. What can we expect to see in this film?
I do not have the permission to talk about that.
Isn’t it strange that you and Aamir have never worked together before?
Yes, it is strange, but then I haven’t worked with Brando either, or many other such greats!
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