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   Movie Review : Black & White

 Black & White
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Subhash Ghai
 Sukhvinder Singh
 Ibraheem Ashk
 Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Habib Tanvir.

By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend

download BLACK & WHITE wallpapers

download BLACK & WHITE wallpapers

A few years ago, during the music launch of  JOGGER'S PARK, the film starring Victor Bannerjee and Perizaad Zorabian, Subhash Ghai had stated that he had always wanted to do offbeat cinema. Nevertheless, the pull of commercial cinema was very strong and he was ‘lured’ towards it. He cheekily admitted that now that he had made money he was going back to his first love; offbeat cinema (read art films).

BLACK & WHITE, is an offshoot of that. Directed by the ‘showman’ himself, this movie is far from the commercial films he’s known for, and it raises many questions and comes with a disturbing message. This movie deals with a Muslim fundamentalist group and a suicide bomber. It goes into his mind. However, the end is rather tame, with Anil Kapoor (Professor Ranjan Mathur) who aids Anurag Sinha’s (Numair Qazi) escape from the Red Fort saying that, “If they (the fundamentalist group) had one mindset about killing, by allowing Numair to escape he had sent them a message of love.” In addition, the letter which comes from the group that always take responsibility for any carnage (according to the dialogue) absolving Professor Mathur of his involvement in the terrorist attack, is a bit hard to digest.

Also hard to digest is the way Numair has to go about getting a pass for the August 15 celebrations at the Red Fort. However, if you are willing to ignore these obvious faux pas, this movie is a decent attempt at highlighting the issue of the ‘Suicide Bomber’, which is now becoming a trend at Film festivals across the world. Just two months ago, at the Shamiana Film Festival in Mumbai, THE WAR WITHIN, starring Nandana Sen was screened for the first time in Asia; a very intense film which leaves you as a viewer asking a lot of questions. Speaking after the movie, Nandana who plays the love interest of the Suicide Bomber, and who dies when he Bombs the railway station, said, “The film does raise many questions, and doesn’t answer them in a pat way - because there are no easy answers. It certainly challenges the preposterous identification of Islam with terrorism. There is a widespread tendency now to reduce a major crisis in world politics, an extremely complicated problem, into a shallow generalization. The film forces the viewer to witness the psychological journey of a suicide bomber in all its intricacies.”

The same cannot be said about BLACK & WHITE, as there are no easy answers, which Ghai tries to give!

view BLACK & WHITE movie stills

view BLACK & WHITE movie stills

Numair Qazi (Anurag Sinha) who introduces himself as a victim of communal riots in Gujarat, in fact is a suicide bomber commissioned by a Muslim fundamentalist group to detonate a bomb. During his fifteen-day roller-coaster journey, when he arrives on August 1 from Afghanistan to Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, Numair befriends Professor Mathur and his wife Roma (Shefali Shah) and takes shelter in their house. While helping Numair get an employment entry pass for 15th August celebrations at Red Fort, Professor Mathur introduces him to the warm and loving people of Chandni Chowk who coexist with fun, music, love and colorful events and festivals irrespective of their religion. However, Numair must keep his mind focused on his task at hand never allowing his mind wander or question his mission.

Anurag Sinha is coldness personified; he emotes well with his eyes and body language. His views that all who do not respect Islam should be eliminated throws light on the thinking of fundamentalists and the way they rear young kids to become suicide bombers. His single minded-focus towards his mission and the way he goes about his task, is chilling to say the least. A good find.

Anil Kapoor has moved beyond the league of good actors, he is in a league of his own. Flashes of the Munna of TEZAAB and the brilliance of EESHWAR can be detected in his performance. The scene where he breaks down after his wife’s murder is powerful. Shefali Shah, has added a charm to her role that is entirely her own. After GANDHI MY FATHER, she seems to be in a different zone. To sum up her performance in one word, ‘brilliant’. Habib Tanvir playing the poet is very endearing. Aditi Shah (Shagufta), who is besotted by the suicide bomber, has not much scope performance-wise, but she has ample scope to display her charm, which is sure to catch the eyes of producers.

TO GO OR NOT: It is a brave attempt by Ghai to deal with a suicide bomber, but like I mentioned earlier, there are never easy answers. It is worth a watch, nevertheless.

Ratings : 2.5 / 5

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