By Akshay SINGH


Social issues - Completed 2016

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Social issues, Black comedy, Drama
    • Countries
    • INDIA
    • Languages
    • HINDI
    • Duration
    • 129 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Akshay SINGH
    • Writer(s)
    • Akshay SINGH
    • Producer(s)
    • Bahnishikha DAS
    • Synopsis
    • In India, unfortunately prejudice has taken deep roots in the form of an obsession with fair skin, especially with regards to women. This phenomenon is witnessed across the length and the breadth of this vast country. Women with fair skin are coveted, envied and considered beautiful and the darker-skinned ones are often shunned, mocked, shamed or considered inferior to their fairer skinned sisters.
      ‘Pinky Beauty Parlour’ is an engaging, entertaining, simple, poignant and ultimately tragic tale of the repercussions this obsession for fairer skin has on a human mind, families and society in general. The film takes us on a touching journey of two sisters’ lives, Pinky and Bulbul, who run a beauty parlor in one of the by-lanes of Banaras, the holiest of cities in India.
      Bulbul, the elder of the two sisters, who runs the small, quaint, but popular Pinky Beauty Parlour, is the sole guardian and kin to her younger sibling Pinky, since the death of their parents. Since early childhood Bulbul has been constantly reminded of her ‘handicap’, being born with a darker skin, compared to her younger sister, Pinky. Naturally in a society where fair skin equates to beauty and darker skin to ugliness, Pinky was the apple of their parents’ eyes and the recipient of a major share of their love. Bulbul has been conscious of this disparity since childhood and has learnt to live with it, albeit with a resigned belief of being considered inferior. This sword of disparity hangs over her head every breathing moment and is further emphasized whenever her sister is around, as the inevitable comparison is a constant reminder.
      The story starts one morning as Bulbul’s assistant, walks into the beauty parlor and discovers the body of Bulbul hanging from the ceiling fan in the anteroom. Police Inspector Jata Shankar starts his investigation into the matter, with the help of his somewhat slow, but trusted assistant, Constable Sami Akhtar.
      As the film progresses we peak into Pinky and Bulbul’s life and come across a retinue of interesting, unique characters, anyone of whom could have been responsible for Bulbul’s death. From the simple-minded, dimwit, handyman, Dulaal to the horny and lecherous helper, Khanna to a mysterious and enigmatic, paralyzed from the waist down, landlord Saahab Singh, to Sumit, a narrow-minded, insecure, goon of a boyfriend of Rupa, a girl working at the beauty parlor, who had threatened Bulbul in a fit of rage. The list also includes a rich, unsatisfied, uncouth, angry client of the parlor, Mrs. Lata Srivatsav, who has filed a court case against the parlor and Bulbul, for false promises of transforming her into a beautiful woman. And even the younger sister Pinky is not off the list. As the investigation progresses, we enter a unique colorful world of the beauty parlor, and are drawn into a complex and engaging story of inter-mingled loyalties and insecurities. Also leaving a timely message for the audience to chew on.
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