Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Black And White : Movie Review

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What do you remember Subhash ghai for? In case if your answer is for movies like Karma, this one is not for you!!! If your answer is for movies like yaadein, I don’t think any effort to make serious cinema can please you, and if your answer is “who is he?”, well then I think you just need to read the last line of the review and avoid this movie. Well, in all the 3 cases you can opt for the 3rd option. First things first, don’t watch this movie if watching all movies which aren’t very bad is not a motto in your life.

The movie puts all its characters as clichéd as in Black and white movies. If only, Subhash Ghai had tried making a truly realistic film, going away from the coincidences and concepts that we have seen thousand times, this movie had the potential to become a classic. Alas! It never happened.

The story of the movie is simple and interesting.

A terrorist, a human bomb, a fidayeen Numair Qazi(New comer Anurag sinha looks impressive) comes to Delhi as a suicide bomber who needs to blow himself off at Red fort on the Independence Day. The network of terrorism is spread right from the “shana in the muhall” a till the highest level of politicians (Arun Bakshi and Akash Khurana in forgettable roles).

He is on a mission to give a form to his hatred by killing thousands whom he feels is responsible for the bad plight of his race. The only person to stop him is a man of peace. Professor Rajan Mathur (Anil Kapoor) is the one who believes and spreads the message of peace in the society.

Softer part of the entire story, sweetness personified is Professor’s wife Roma (Shefali Chhaya), who wins hearts of people easily by her talks and her charm. Slowly you delve in the mind of the terrorist, and see how he starts seeing the white, the good side of the world while he had always been on the black side. This family, whom initially he considered to be his enemies, transforms his life. They make him a better citizen, purely by the power of love. But he has to do the act he has come out for, will he or won’t he? And more than that why would he or why wouldn’t he? Is what the film is intended to be all about.

The scope was there to make a movie that actually spans at a philosophical level on the idea of the inner turmoil, the idea of good and evil, the idea of Black and white. And at a story telling level it could have been an engrossing account of a human bomb, as he lived his life. But it never touched either of these levels.

A clichéd, if I may use the word, Pathetic characterization, a terrible screenplay (Sachin Bhowmik, aakash Khurana and Subhash Ghai) and a dragging treatment to the movie takes all the focus from the good intentions that the movie had.

Here is a “siddhantwadi” Professor, who believes in piece and wears white, who can ham at the death of his loved ones, who is as clichéd as our “Amar Akbar Anthony” Funda, he is a Hindu Urdu Professor who seems to understand Koran very well. And then comes his loud wife, who is loud and sweet. Whose mere existence was there to get killed for the sake of good and for the sake of a much awaited transformation in protagonist’s life. And of course you have your angry young man, a person who has lost his loved ones in riots and is trying to take the revenge by becoming a terrorist. In comes an old uncle, who seems to have been cloned from Ashok Kumar’s last roles. Add to it some glimpses of forgotten sayonni style rock group, an amateur terrorist camp and a sobbing, smiling, playful young love interest of our Angry young man. All this could have looked good, if the treatment of the film too would have been a clichéd Ghai style, with larger than life villains being fought by unbelievable machismo of our heroes. But Mr.Ghai disappoints as he tries to venture in the genre of realistic cinema.

The concept was good, though it was not actually new (One of the movies that I could recall on similar lines was Rajesh Khanna’s Roti). The actors too I think were chosen very well and they acted just the way the script demanded, then where did Mr. ghai miss the bus? He missed it partly at the time of story development and completely at the time of screenplay. Very few movies, with a length of about 2 hours can make you feel that it was stretched, this movie succeeds in doing that.

The acting, like the movie, is great in a few scenes and just unbearable in most of the other scenes. Anil Kapoor, performs great in certain scenes, and hams in a few. Watching this veteran actor growing in to the variety of roles he play is a real treat for his fans. Shefali has got another meaty role after Gandhi my father and she does fairly well. Her charm actually makes you smile in certain scenes, she is loud in many of the scenes. Anurag Sinha the new comer shines in his angry young man looks and his stone cold dialogues. He gives a very sincere effort in a badly etched role of his. As his love interest, Aditi sharma is only symbolic and unimportant for the story. Still she looks pretty and simple. Habib Tanvir’s (as the old uncle of Numair) dialogue delivery is awesome, though his role was the most clichéd one.

Milind Gunaji, the old actor, corrupt politician, a good CID officer have all acted just a little worse than the what a real terrorist / politician might have acted like. They were terrible to say the least. The Young girl acting as Professor’s daughter looks very cute.I think that the acting talent that this movie had was all wasted, it pains to see good actors like Akash Khurana, Arun Bakshi, Habib Tanvir, Shefali chhaya and even Anil Kapoor in such done to death roles.

Sukhvinder singh gives 2 impressive songs, “Mein chala” and “Jogi Aya”. For rest of the movie, the music too is just about average. Almost all the other departments of editing, cinematography, dialogues, art direction, were mediocre.

And at last it pains me to write that Subhash Ghai did not present this very well. He has made unbelievable characters look fantastic in his track record of movie, but with this movie he looks like a different director.

The movie gets a generous 1.5* from my side and all of it for the very intentions of the movie.

Suggestion : My suggestion for a movie with story line revolving around a human bomb would be an Arabic Movie called “Paradise Now” (Review) , it was the first Palestinian movie entry to the Oscars. This too has its share of errors, but is a good watch.


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Robin said...

enjoyable read, Jay ! i felt it was a not-so-bad movie. the depiction of changing of a fanatic's heart seem to be a bit too cinematic to me... the bedroom pillow fight betn Anil Kapoor & Shefali Shah reminded me of similar GURU scene... hehe... u put it nicely... this was one 2 hr movie which made me feel stretched.... he he... i guess the title of the movie could have been Black-White-And-Grey....from the way it ends... :-)

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