122 Min | Drama | February 2005
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Shernaz Patel
Black Review: Black is based on the darkness and soundlessness of Helen Keller’s world, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s monumental work Black, is an attempt to take us through the experience of witnessing a human being overcome what is practically insurmountable. Black is an opportunity to witness and appreciate an aspect of human existence that many of us are probably not even aware of. To think of an existence wherein one cannot hear and cannot see calls for some ability to imagine. In the rush of life, we find it so very easy to ignore and block out the pains of lesser privileged that most of us perchance can never even imagine.
Black is a movie as ‘real’ as is gets – it is even based on a true story. In terms of cinematic excellence it belongs to the highest league. Bhansali seems to have brought that caliber and class to Bollywood that many directors failed in, even when they tried. In many ways, you are reminded of Sadma. But Bhansali’s characters are a little more complex. Rani’s deep felt pain has been portrayed at various levels – from the basic inability to communicate to a less obvious trauma of knowing that she would never be treated as a ‘woman’. So has been Amitabh’s sense of commitment as a teacher. It would be an understatement to brand Amitabh’s role in Rani’s life as that of a teacher.
Black is full of brilliant performances – Ayesha Kapoor as the eight year old Rani, being probably the most impressive one. Rani herself has attained unprecedented heights of acting brilliance. Amitabh has acted brilliantly, so brilliantly that it seems almost effortless. Minus any songs and any Bollywood style twists and turns, Black probably marks the beginning of a new era in Indian cinema. In the final analysis, Bhansali’s best direction until date – Black – is a great testimony to a great director who is not defined by his environment but defines it by his creations.