Prodigies have this knack of keeping the best performance for their mentors, and whenever the mentor presents himself with an opportunity to further hone his talent the prodigy never disappoints. Ones such prodigy is Anil Kapoor who with a restrained performance as an academician in BLACK AND WHITE has reemphasized the fact that he is a director's actor and his enactment of the role of a teacher and an intellectual should be one of the milestones of his career. It is after a long time that the role of the teacher as an intellectual who sets the course of the agenda for the society for its day-to-day governance has been given due respect. Subhash Ghai also needs to be complemented for writing the role of a teacher who is the decider of the destiny of the student and not an element who should be lampooned, as has been the general timber and approach towards the role of a teacher in a Hindi film. Were one to find a comparison for this kind of restrained performance in enacting the role of a teacher, and then KASME VAADE could be a good point of reference.
Anil Kapoor indeed has reserved his best performance for Subhash Ghai and it has to be there as the kinds of roles that Subhash Ghai has provided to Anil Kapoor in his career have turned out to be watershed in terms of his growth as an actor. This association had its baptisation in KARMA, which revealed a loud side of Anil Kapoor with a flair for comedy that was the comedy of the common man, street smart and reacting to the situations in his own humorous manner. KARMA was followed by RAM LAKHAN, which further evolved Anil Kapoor as an actor with a pithy flair for humor, which Anil Kapoor capitalized on till TAAL came along his way. With TAAL Anil Kapoor again demonstrated that he is as musical as anybody else and set the tone of nation on fire with energetic western dance. He was among one of the few actors in his generation who to add seriousness to the role displayed a goatee on his face, as he did in TAAL and made it a fashion statement among the youth of the times. It was his display of goatee that prompted quite a lot number of youth to adapt it as a facial display. Post TAAL Anil Kapoor entered into a phase in his life, where he emerged as a powerful character actor. Now with BLACK AND WHITE Anil Kapoor enters a phase where his acting is marked by restrained performance and it is now the challenge for the directors to take up this challenge and present Anil Kapoor in a totally different manner to the audience. Subhash Ghai has already shown him the way, it is for others to follow suit.