Film Review: Black Friday

Film: Black Friday


Director: Anurag Kashyap


Cast:  Kay Kay Menon, Pavan Malhotra, Imtiaz Ali, Aditya Shrivastava


Rating: 3.5/5


It almost seems like a beautiful and a well thought of plan, last month one saw Parzania release and this month it is Black Friday that will hit the theatres; both films swearing to recreate the horrific events of the Gujarat carnage and the Mumbai Bomb blasts respectively.


An adaptation of the book written by S.Hussain Zaidi under the same title, the movie like the book claims to reveal the truth behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.


As kids one could imagine playing the game of ‘Police and robber’, fast forward all those years and you will find yourself not playing the game but merely viewing it as a spectator on the silver screen.


Black Friday is one such film, that does not analyze whether the incident that occurred was right or wrong, it does not while time trying to sentence the accused through the medium of cinema. It simply states the point and that too in a very objective fashion, leaving us to come up with the answers to our very own questions.


The movie brilliantly tracks the suspects involved in the blasts through the narrative of Inspector Rakesh Maria essayed by Kay Kay Mennon, each character is introduced as the investigation gets more intense and progresses. Names such as Tiger Memon, Badshah Khan, Yakub Memon and Bashir Khan are thrown up as the masterminds behind the blast. After establishing the suspects and the prime accused, the movie begins traversing across Dubai, Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, following the suspects; this is where the narrative moves over to the point of view of Badshah Khan (Aditya Srivastava) another prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. At this point one sees the incident through the eyes of the accused, where each one is hurrying to head away underground, hoping to be spared of a sentence and trial.


The dialogues and certain scenes like the police interrogating the suspects and conspiracy for the blasts are almost voyeuristic, a delightful difference to see in Indian cinema.


Jumping across real time, flash backs and stock footages, the movie uncovers the ulterior motive behind the blasts, that of being an answer to the Babri masjid incident. The film concludes with spine chilling images taken right after the bomb blasts of March 1993.


The actors are at their best in essaying their respective roles except Kay Kay mennon who in certain scenes reminds us of his character Ritesh Sahani (Corporate), though the two films are poles apart. Another area where the movie takes a blow is that a substantial background to the characters is not provided; it is taken for granted that the viewer is aware of all the characters.

However what is remarkable in the film is the way colours (Filters) are used to distinguish time; one sees the movie caught between the effect (yellow) and the cause (blue). The brilliance in production does not end there; the use of music is yet another commendable area. The music possibly after a really long time adds value to the movie, rather than senselessly playing in the background. The stylistic structuring of the film chapter wise not only simplifies the plot but also lays emphasis on the fact that it is an adaptation of a book (it is something that one has rarely seen in Indian films).


Disappointing as it might sound, like parzania this movie might not be destined for box office success, but it will certainly awaken those who are used to the candy floss entertainers. Black Friday is by far the best recent Indian example for those studying the finer nuances of filmmaking.  


Now here’s the thing; You either chose to watch the film as a piece of work, a film about cops trying to apprehend a bunch of criminals behind a bomb blast but if you are one of those who see a reason to everything, you might consider seeing the film as a harsh and eye-opening experience to what a little politically stirred community disparity can result to. So choose wisely.


If you have the time and want the ultimate movie experience start watching Rakesh Sharma’s Final Solution followed by Black Friday and Parzania. This will leave you with Goosebumps. It is high time we welcome the new pedigree of directors who are in the business to make intellectual and world class cinema.


In a nutshell, Black Friday is cinematically brilliant as it is as a story. A must see for those who believe Indian cinema is moving in circles. 


What one learns from Black Friday:


1)      The growth of Indian films has begun, with films like Black Friday and Parzania

2)      The movie was money well spent, also worth the two years wait

3)      It is about time Anurag Kashyap be put up on the highest pedestal

4)      Your friend lied to you by telling you Black Friday was a love story

5)      “An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind” – Mahatma Gandhi


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