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Black Friday Review

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Black Friday
Cast:Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Pawan Malhotra
Direction:Anurag Kashyap
Production:Jhamu Sughand, JSPL
Music:Indian Ocean

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Black Friday Review - Startlingly Gripping Cinema

IndiaGlitz  [Friday, February 09, 2007]
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"An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind"-         Mahatma Gandhi

It's human to be judgmental. To have opinions. Slam verdicts without blinking an eyelid. And then you have director Anurag Kashyap. A man possessed with the truth serum. For when you come out of 'Black Friday' what hits you the hardest is the naked honesty with which the dark story of Bombay Bomb Blasts of 1993 unfolds. Everyone knows blood on the streets can only be a gory sight. But when the bloody blasts are symbolized by the whistling silence, it unnerves in a strange unmentionable way. 'Black Friday' is not merely a film. It's a film that best of films all over the world would be flattered to be compared with.

No, it's not a documentary. Yes the format is similar to one. But then considering it's a true incident, it's bound to happen. It's a thoroughly engrossing film (I wouldn't use the word entertaining). Gripping from start to finish. The format isn't linear. For the actual planning of the bomb blasts is showed at the very end. There are several important events that move forth and then go back. At many a time the confessions of the conspirators take the story forward. Then in an expression of excessive research, a lot of actual 'Newstrack' videos detailing the blasts are replayed to chronicle the pulse of those times.

This film is based on an investigative book 'Black Friday' written by senior journalist S. Hussain Zaidi (Covered crime for Mid Day for a long time and carries an excellent reputation) that looks at the various events involved in the ill fated Bomb Blasts. The story moves forward on the basis of various chapters of the book.

There are several issues that the director leaves to audience's imaginations to decide. Like, the anger within prime accused Tiger Memon (Pawan Malhotra)...Was it because he really cared for his community or was it an expression of his hatred for people who burnt his office during the communal riots of 1992-93? Maybe a personal loss led to loss of hundreds of lives. Or was he paid handsomely by the intelligence agencies of a neighbouring country? Pawan Malhotra's personification of the hot blooded foul mouthed Tiger is impeccable. The bambaiya lingo, the aggressive body language, the networking expert and a shrewd strategist....Malhotra details everything clinically. 

Take the case of the prime witness Badshah Khan (Aditya Shrivastava). After being instrumental in carrying out the blasts, he is asked to travel between various cities of the country to avoid police. His passport has been deliberately burnt along with those of all others. He has nowhere to go except for running away from himself. A victim of circumstances who finds a ray of light in investigating officer Rakesh Maria's (Kay Kay Menon) views that all religious leaders (or should we say goons) blatantly use people like Khan to further their own purposes. Here it's important to note that Aditya Shrivastava's acting is exceptional. The restrained anger, vacuous sexual frustration while being on-the-run and a thinking reasoning mind has been detailed by this theatre actor with amazing aplomb.      

Kashyap also exposes the dark truths of smuggling by sea that happens on the nondescript ports. The system was as much responsible for the blasts as the officers in police, customs and revenue department had to be bribed by their noses for the RDX to enter Bombay in such a massive quantity. And they precisely knew the contents of the smuggled goods (Read RDX, guns, handgrenades). Even the police have been showed in black and white. Their methods of torturing are gruesome. But

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