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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Black Friday: Movie Review

Be warned, Black Friday is not your regular Friday bollywood release with all those mandatory stars and song sequences. It is a gripping account of a city and its people wreaking havoc on themselves in the name of religion.

The 1993 Bombay blasts brought terrorism into Indian lives much before the western countries had to face this problem after 9/11 and the London blasts. Black Friday relased after 2 years of “postponement” by the Government, brings alive the conspiracy and events, of that story. The film, based on Journalist S.Hussain Zaidi’s book by the same name, brings alive a Bombay, where a Maruthi 1000 cc was the major symbol of affluence. Despite the long delay, the technical values are quite good. The band “Indian Ocean” which scored the music for their first full length feature film does a wonderful job with the background guitar music. The background song “Bharam Bhaap Ke” which depicts the plight of a fleeing Badshah Khan stays in the mind, long after the film.

Director Anurag Kashyap exhibits a wonderful command over the cinematic medium and fine balance in treating such a sensitive issue. The story unfolds in a series of chapters, in which the Director weaves a tapestry by skillfully integrating all the plot threads. Though most of the actors turn out good performances, Kay Kay Memon and Pavan Malhotra stand out in their roles as the cop Rakesh Maria and Tiger Memon. Made in a documentary format, this film never goes overboard with violence or rheotoric, but successfully depicts human fallibilities in its many dimesions

The film begins with a police interrogation, where Gul Mohammed tries in vain, to inform the police about the impending tragedy. The first half of the film focuses on the blasts and the systematic police investigation which unravels the conspiracy and the people involved. The lengthy chase sequence where one of the suspects, keeps trying to escape getting caught, is both realistic and funny. In the pre-interval scene, the cop Rakesh Maria’s dialogues bring out the helplessness of a police force, trying to enforce the rule of law in an imperfect democracy. The post-interval portion focuses on the motives and events that culminated in the tragedy and places the issue within the larger context of cross border terrorism, hindu bigotry and muslim alienation.

By striking at the heart of India’s financial capital, Tiger Memon tell his co-conspirators, he will evoke fear and respect for Indian muslims in hindu minds. Since then, Gujarat riots, the 2nd Bombay blasts and so on, only reinforce the film’s central message that wanton killing of innocent civilians will evoke nothing but revulsion and hatred, and result in a vicious cycle of violence. This is a must watch for all those who like good cinema.

6 comments:

  1. Masud from Dubai, maa chod dawoobhai zindabad

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  2. Agree with u!!!! A must watch movie!!! but point though... u mentioned that it is shot in documentary format. But it is not. Yeah.. some real footage has been shown but it does not make it documentary....

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  3. @Viswas Sharma--I ony meant it was pictured in a documentary format. I know its a Commercial movie. Good to know you liked it too!

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  4. Gr8 review .... Its good to see that there are enuf ppl who could understand the real motive of the movie.

    Many blogs around this movie simply put it on the same footing as other anti-hindu / anti-muslim movies ... tsk ... thanks to few like u the anti-violence aspect gets promoted.

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