Sunday, October 01, 2006

When Black touched my heart and "Gandhigiri" stemmed

In the midst of a hectic schedule, I caught up with a recent movie which received rave reviews from all quarters, and an other one, released in 2005, which took the nation by storm. The two movies I am refering to are Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006) and Black (2005). Both of them are emotional and touchy, with fantastic messages passed across.

After watching Parineeta, the simplistic Vidya Balan had hit the right chord with the masses. Her elegant and graceful South Indian looks was enough to bowl out almost any stone hearted individual. The grace and elan she evokes is so different from the other heroines. She plays the lead role in the sequel to Munnabhai MBBS. The other characters had the star cast lifted from the prequel - Bomman Irani, Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi. Arshad Warsi had his career going to great heights after the first part, and to be honest, he deserves all that he is getting and more. He has played a terrific role in this one too, with classy dialogue delivery and the typical maamu stuff. Sanjay Dutt, as an emotional goonda, listening to Gandhi has been dealt in a very subtle manner. Now, why is Lage Raho the most talked about movie of the year? Rajkumar Hirani has shifted away from the monotony of the routine Bollywood masala and has come up with something highly entertaining and meaningful. In the days of violence and monstrous activities committed everyday, Hirani has tried to convey the importance of non-violence through simple examples. The theme is totally refreshing and more importantly it is handled deftly, without any strings attached. It is never easy to live upto the expectations of the people after the first part. People never expected the second part to be as good as the first one. I am sure even Hirani wouldn't have expected the movie to evoke such a tumultous response. Terms like Gandhigiri has found its way through some catchy sequences. The catchy term used for the first time in the movie was enough to generate considerable curiosity.

This movie aims to convey to the society the harsh realities in a subtle way. A preachy philosopher is never accepted in the society, but a clown with a smiley is sure to attract the masses. This is what Hirani has employed to convey a strong message to the community. He does not get bogged down with preachy dialogues aimed at the critics, but the end product has resulted in such a way that it has pleased the critics as well as the usual cinegoers. Unlike Rang De Basanti, which conveys a totally flawed message, this movie can walk upright with a socially strong message appealing to the masses. Hirani and crew have hit the jackpot here without attracting any hint of negative publicity for the movie.

Coming on to Black, the first thing I felt after seeing the movie was, why this one wasn't sent to the Oscars? I could not even think of how this movie was thrown out of the equation by a totally lacklustre movie like Paheli. Where is the comparison? Guys, give me a break! No movie can come close to this movie in any way not just in 2005, but maybe for a decade. This movie talks about the life of a handicap (blind and deaf) child, who is pruned to the social life by a teacher. The child grows up to be Rani Mukherji, and the teacher happens to be Amitabh Bachchan. The emotional trauma faced by the child is sure to bring tears to the eyes of the viewers. The emotional hardship juxtaposed with the harshness of the reality which the child is not able to understand left me dumbfounded. I can go on and on about this totally flawless movie, the cinematography, the theme, the picturisation and everything. It made me realise for an instant as to how lucky I am to be bestowed with the gifts of God - the ability to feel, sense, see, hear and talk. They undoubtedly can be bracketed to be the greatest gifts to us. Everything else materialistic pales in comparison to this natural wonder. Both Rani and Bachchan have essayed magnificient roles, and have shown how the handicap can be overcome to play a significant role in life. There are moments while watching the movie, I was thankful that there was nobody else watching along with me. The first time the child understands what it is to relate meanings to words left me with so much happiness like never experienced before. The way the family forgets everything around them to realise that their daughter was learning the ways of life is unforgettable. The classroom activity, where Rani explains to the class that it is not the eye but the mind that has to imagine things is brilliant. The family dinner, where Rani and her sister who is getting married, realise how each feels in the other's company is truly touching. The point where Rani realises, that she would never understand what it is to be loved by a man, is superbly capturised. One really feels for such a girl, who has to forego all happiness in her life because of her handicap. But the final speech made by Rani on her graduation is the scene of the movie, which can really lift your spirits and instill a new found inspiration and motivation in your life.

Black is one movie in recent times, where from start to end, it was taken in near flawless fashion. It also made me realise the trauma associated in the life of such individuals. If I have to say that I was moved by this movie, it would be the understatement of the century. A class movie with an awe-inspiring message, and I really don't understand what made me miss this movie for so long. It is also sad to realise that we kicked a potential Oscar winning movie due to our foolishness.

On an overall note, Black takes Indian cinema to new heights, and it would be just not possible to compare this movie with any other movie I have seen. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has stitched an highly compassionate movie in the finest fashion. A heart rendering, soul searching and an emotional shake up that left me asking for more.


  1. Hi,

    Nice blog!

    Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as well?




  2. Very good review of Lage Raho - you said it! Some related sites and

    I haven't seen Black yet though I made an attempt (but the VCD wasn't good) but after seeing the first line of your review I stopped reading the post, will get back to it after I watch it :)