Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar
Might contain spoilers.
Parts of this film are absolutely masterful. The first act (particularly the opening sequence) is brilliant: interesting writing with naturalistic dialogue, taut direction, superb performances, thrilling tone, and strong musical motifs repeated at thoughtful intervals. It gets a little lost afterwards and never quite returns to the same quality; part of that is the difficulty of believably imperiling Pinky and Sandeep without having them either die immediately or escape without any suspense. It’s also hampered by the label of ‘black comedy’—this is not a comedy of any sort, despite certain comedic moments. Still, it’s extremely good overall, and unique as well.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen Arjun Kapoor act, and it’s quite a revelation. Parineeti Chopra, in contrast, isn’t bad; she just isn’t an actor who can ever lose herself in a character. Jaideep Ahlawat is excellent and bloodcurdlingly coldhearted as Tyagi. Rahul Kumar is strikingly good as Munna the would-be Pinky.
I enjoyed how the story unfurls at a deliberate, unhurried pace, and how Sejal is introduced to Sandeep and learns the truth with the viewer, eventually compelling her to allow Sandeep to slip past the encircling net. This is also one of the few Bollywood movies I’ve seen to have characters who talk like real people.
The way Pinky gets past Tyagi is a tad ridiculous in concept, but the execution is convincing. The abrupt transition from his moment of truth to Sandeep in (what turns out to be) a women’s prison is quite disorienting, though. Her happy demeanour makes no sense. It’s a bit of an obtuse decision.
The fellow at the bank slowly working his way up to sexually assaulting Pinky is insidious yet believable. The consequent miscarriage left me speechless.
Apparently, Parineeti Chopra didn’t know she was about to be strangled. That sounds criminal. I don’t understand how production wasn’t immediately shut down for good. No one has the right to assault or harm another person just for the sake of a film, however good it might be.
- Far better than a non-actor like Priyanka Chopra, of course.↩