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There's a shade of 'Pink' in 'Anaarkali of Arrah'
Stuffiness grew inside the theatre hall as Anaarkali made kinky moves with much ease on erotic numbers while raw and rugged men drooled over her. As the narrative progressed, there was an epiphany that there was more to Anaarkali of Arrah than just Bhojpuri-Bihari songs full of innuendos, cleavage showing blingy outfits and raunchy dance steps.

Though, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury directed Pink is far from related to Avinash Das's Anaarkali of Arrah in terms of setting, lingo and situation, however what binds the two flicks is the message which the audience takes away home and that is 'no means no'. A woman's universal and inalienable right over her body is what both the films and their respective protagonists fight for.

Swara Bhaskar plays Anaarkali, an erotic singer of Arrah town in Bihar and holds some reputation at that. Men of all ages from the town and far off places more than admire her beauty and performances. Anaarkali takes pride in the her large fan following and that pride is trampled over and her dignity as a woman is torn apart when the vice chancellor of a local university, played by actor Sanjay Mishra, sexually harasses her on stage in full public glare. What follows is revenge by a scornful Anaarkali in a dramatic and effective climax.

The message is clear as Anaarkali states, "Whether it is your wife, a prostitute or 'less than that', do not dare to touch without her consent."

Swara Bhaskar as Anaarkali has probably delivered her best performance so far. Gradually, one starts getting involved with her character, sharing her love for singing in the garb of erotic entertainment, which makes her feel alive. Deceptively seeming simple, the film unfolds many perspectives such as of migration, friendship, true love, strong determination, courage to fight back and most importantly, not compromising one's dignity as a woman, whichever class, age or profession she might represent.

Sanjay Mishra as the pervert vice chancellor and Pankaj Tripathi as Anaarkali's 'manager' have infused life into their respective characters. What can be described as another relevant character of the film is its music, which progresses with the narrative and has an earthy, raw and rustic flavour to it. Making his debut as a director, Avinash Das has given a fresh take on women and sexuality.

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