Language : Hindi
Director : Dibakar Banerjee
Writers : Dibakar Banerjee, Varun Grover
Cast : Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat
Genre : Thriller
Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Dibakar Banerjee is one director who tries to address various societal issues through his films. While it may not be the core plot, he masterfully infuses those elements into the narrative and makes his characters face predicaments arising from those issues. In Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, he sticks to this successful trope of his to give us an engaging survival thriller which also works as a social commentary on misuse of power and patriarchy.
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is about two strangers, Sandy (Sandeep) and Satyendra Dahia (Pinky) played by Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor respectively, who are on the run for their lives from the cops and an evil corporate. The film starts off with an impressive single shot sequence that sets up the mood of the film beautifully and you are instantly sucked into the world that Dibakar has created. Once the primary conflict is introduced, the film goes through multiple tonal shifts much in sync with the mental state of the protagonists. The first half moves at a good pace with both Sandeep and Pinky being confused about what’s happening around them and how to deal with it. Dibakar introduces the gender dynamics early into the narrative between the leads and the fact that both of them are strangers to each other, make those moments efficient and impactful. There is a sense of calmness to the mid portions as both of them are trying to figure out a way to get out of the mess along with trying to understand each other better. The final act is the typical showdown you would expect in a thriller and the film picks up pace once again to give us a climax that has cinematic liberties yet feels genuine and possible.
For most part of its runtime, the focus is on Sandeep who is the primary target here and Dibakar uses this to his advantage in order to portray the exploitations against women prevalent in our society. Right from Pinky in the beginning portions to the manager in the second half, everyone tries to ill-treat her irrespective of her societal status. This is a subtle take on how our society is not interested to look beyond the existing gender biases. The characters Aunty and Uncle played by the talented combo of Raghubir Yadav and Neena Gupta gives us another look into the patriarchal norms present in our households where even respecting one’s spouse is out of the question. It is the genuine addition of such events into the main narrative that makes Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, an enjoyable experience.
Parineeti Chopra is a talented actress and here she gets to portray a myriad of emotions as her character is thrown challenges one after the other. The confusions, emotional breakdowns and ego of the character are brilliantly portrayed by her. Arjun Kapoor has faced a lot of criticism with regards to his acting right from the time of his debut. I always believed that in the hands of good directors he often tries to bring out his best in whatever way he can and this film is a testament to it. Pinky’s journey from a complicated rough character to an empathetic and more evolved individual was naturally and convincingly presented by the actor. Jaideep Ahlawat is fun to watch as the senior officer Tyagi who is just a puppet in the hands of the system and the way Jaideep has played the role makes it hard for you to hate the character irrespective of his intentions. Raghubir Yadav and Neena Gupta sort of play an extension of their characters from Panchayat and give adequate performances.
The sound design needs to be given a special mention as Dibakar effectively uses it to make the film raw and authentic. The intro shot and a dance sequence involving Pinky in the second half will give you an idea of how well he has used sounds in this film. The screenplay by both Dibakar Banerjee and Varun Grover is the soul of the film and the organic addition of pertinent issues in the society makes Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar an important and relevant film of our times. This needs to be watched.
Verdict – 5/7 stars
The film was slated to release in August (2018) but was then postponed to March (2019).
This is the third time Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra teamed in this movie. [ After Ishaqzaade (2012) and Namaste England (2018) ]
Part of the movie shooting is at Mini Kashmir Pithoragarh of Indo-Nepal border.
Sandeep is the name of Parineeti’s character and Pinky is the name of Arjun’s character.