Monday, February 12, 2007

Black Friday

Black Friday

Direction: Anurag Kashyap

Cast: Pawan Malhotra, KK, Aaditya Shrivastava. I do not know the rest of the names.

Length: Around 3 hours

The movie is the adaptation of the book by the same name by S Hussain Zaidi . It traces the investigation into the Mumbai blasts of 1993 and how the case was cracked. The movie was released after a long time in the courts and just its appearance in movie halls is a victory for freedom of speech in India.

Opening with a small glimpse of silence after the blasts, the police unravel the case with the help of an abandoned vehicle and an un-exploded scooter bomb. The primary angle of the movie is from the investigation side, into how loose threads formed a coherent story eventually. The case itself was classic police lore, with accusations of human rights violations, bravery and intelligence of the police force and large political repercussions. But, the purpose of this movie is not entertainment, it sort of moves a documentary style about how ordinary people, brought together by ‘loss’ conspire and execute a daring plot to cripple the financial center of the country.

Mushtaq(Tiger) Memmon (Pawan Malhotra), is filled with rage after his business is lost in target mob attack during the riots. He channels the rage of similarly affected people, broadly influenced by the demolition of the Babri Masjid (“We refuse to believe that a construction that has stood for centuries could have been destroyed by stones and hammers”) and the state of fear induced by the vicious attacks of the Hindu mobs. (I guess this part is what stopped the movie from being screened, “How many Hindus have you killed” Memmon asks one of the recruits). The recruits are sent for training to Pakistan and execute the plot while the masterminds fund it from Dubai. The entire plot is recounted by Badshah Khan(brilliantly portrayed by Aaditya Shrivastav) who turns an informer when he figures he is just a pawn in the larger game.

The movie is set against the haunting music of Indian ocean (tho’ I would have love to hear “Ruk ja re bande” in the movie itself) and captures the anguish of the perpetrators( without showing whether they have remorse or not) and the chilling efficiency of the police (KK as chief investigating inspector Rajeev Maria). I say anguish because, most were ordinary people who suddenly realized that the way of life and country they believed was theirs, was now making it difficult for them to live in. Of course there are creative licenses in the movie probably (I have not read the book), but the attempt is to have an impact on the audience of reality, not shock, awe or message driven.

The acting is brilliant with Vijay Mourya (Dawood) having and uncanny resemblance to the original. Malhotra and KK are restrained, while Shrivastav shows the right weight to his emotions. Indian ocean is at its elements with its background score.

Rating: 9/10

PS: The chilling coldness of the policeman kadam is to be seen to be believed.

No comments: