{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Last night, I saw Black. Black may be dark, but it is not at all gloomy. Black is a good movie, one of the best in the recent Indian Cinema. It takes a while to gel with the movie but you gel well. Black interests more because it is unusual Bollywood fare. Bhansali has come a long way from styled grandeur and deep dramas of Devdas and HDDCS. But, Black is a big-small movie. It takes place at a small place but has its largeness intact. Bhansali should be applauded for keeping his affection for songs and dance aside. I cannot remember any other big budget big banner movie without songs. Black may be more sentimental and more verbose at times than you wished it to be but such occasions are not too many to saturate you. The overall film impresses you. If you leave the where-when-in-the-world setting, there is nothing much you can complain about. Rani orchestrated walk at times irritates you but her me-happy dance makes well for it.

Black is a movie about disabilities, conquering them with the right and timely help and being 'independent'. I particularly liked the rather unapologetic approach and handling of emotions with tender touch, not going over the top. There is no cry for sympathy. There are subplots of sibling dispute and attraction towards the teacher, both are handled deftly, although latter gets an edge of better performance over the former.

There are several places in the movie where you feel elated or emotionally charged. But what stands out it the kiss between Rani and Amitabh. This scene is simply fulfilling. Indian film makers should learn how just a touch of lips can spark the screen. Black should be appreciated for that 'forbidden' touch. Black would have lost an extra dimension without it.

If we talk about performances, four performances stand out. Little Michelle, Michelle, Michelle's mother, Michelle's teacher. But the best of the lot is Ayesha Kapoor as Little Michelle McNally. You need to watch this performance to believe it. Amitabh is reliable as always with good support from understated Rani and graceful Shernaz Patel.

After watching this movie, Bhansali looked standing between Ram Gopal Verma and Karan Johar. Before it was more towards the mushy Johars but Black seemed more balanced and therefore more satisfying.

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