The Babri Masjid incident and Bombay blasts are two unforgettable incidents in the lives and memories of any Indian. We all know what happened. But only few of us vaguely know how it happened. I do remember where I was and what I was doing when these two incidents happened. But the impact it made on us who were not there in that place is not severe. ‘Black Friday’ is a compact effort from Anurag Kashyap to give us a balanced and true account of real moments that lead to the black Friday and the incident that followed aftermath.
Narrating such real stories needs lot of dexterity in building drama around the incidents and making the audience get involved in the scenes. Anurag Kashyap scores really well in sustaining the interest of the viewers in this 17 reel (almost 2.50 hrs) film.
The plus points of the film are -
a. Direction: Anurag Kashyap excels as a director. His brilliance can be seen in the following scenes -
1. The first scene of the film in which a suspect reveals that they are going to blast BSE and Mantralay away.
2. The way he shot the Bombay Stock Exchange Blast.
3. The way an old man keeps repeating how he suspected the scooter.
4. Interrogation of Manager of Tiger Memon (especially tea-drinking episode).
5. The hilarious chase scene of red-shirted suspect.
6. The reaction of Badsha when he is told that his passport is burnt by Tiger.
7. The verbal jugglery between Badsha and the cop’s head in interval episode.
8. The smuggler meeting Dawood Ibrahim.
9. Tiger Memon’s reasoning why Mumbai blasts would upset the entire India and safeguard muslims of India.
10. Dawood Ibrahim getting a parcel of broken bangles from Bombay.
11. The Pakistan training episodes and how the trainees are brainwashed.
b. Narration and screenplay: Narration of the film is very interesting. Anurag Kashyap gave chapter wise narration to this film ala Kill Bill. And the screenplay of the film is excellent. The story deals with innumerable characters and it needs deft screenplay to tell the story without confusing viewers. Anurag Kashyap succeeded in it. He also juggled in between different timelines.
c. Casting and performances: The casting of the film is perfect. Performances are great. Key Key Menon is exemplary as the head of investigating team. Pawan Malhotra is good as the Tiger Memon. Aditya Srivastav is excellent as Badsha.
d. Technical excellence: Apart from direction and screenplay, the other departments that stand out are cinematography and music. Cinematographer Subramanyam is excellent and realistic. The director used different color schemes to differentiate between the timelines as well as places (using red color for interrogation scenes). Background music and rerecording of the film is extraordinary.
A Final note:
‘Black Friday’ is a kind of ‘semi-documentary’ that is handled very sensitively. It is an intense as well as interesting film. I found myself more educated and enlightened about Bombay Blasts after watching this film. ‘Black Friday’ gives the true picture of Bombay blasts in 3 hours. Just go and watch it!!
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