12th March 1993 …a date that will live in infamy. Twelve blasts at key points across the Mumbai metropolis,killing over 300 and injuring around 800, shocked the nation and the entire world, and marked a bloody day in the history of Mumbai City.
Capturing this event in a motion picture, would be a challenge for anyone. But Anurag Kashyap not only accepts the challenge but does a commendable job executing it!Based on the book of the same name, the movie follows the namesake chapter by chapter.
After two years of controversies and several censor cuts later, the highly anticipated movie from Anurag Kashyap does not disappoint, not one bit! Black Friday brings into light the days before the incident and the aftermath, meticulously detailing the planning, the conspirators and the reasons behind the blasts.
The movie begins with the actual blasts and the grotesqueness that followed. The movie then swings between the past and the present capturing several aspects of the blasts. The main chapters include the search for the accused (The first arrest), the interrogation of the conspirators (Arrests and Interrogations), the plight of the accused as they are left to fend for themselves (On the run) , the uncovering of the remnant explosives (The RDX), the voluntary disclosure of the entire planning by one of the accused ( The Conspiracy) and the motivation to plan the blasts (What is past is prologue).The movie gives a very unbiased perspective of the blasts and the aftermath, no one is portrayed as a hero or villain, purely victims of circumstances.
The story-telling is somewhat confusing at times with the timelines not being followed chronologically. But it allows for a more attentive film-viewing experience. Despite being a movie on a very serious topic, the director manages to blend in some well-timed humor. An added bonus is how Anurag seamlessly weaves the actual news segments that followed the lasts with his movie to give it an authentic feel.
Performances by everyone are par excellence. The dialogues are well written and brilliantly executed by the cast. Among those that were a class apart were by Kay Kay Menon and Pawan Malhotra.
Black Friday is a movie that must be watched by every Indian and especially every Mumbaikar. Not only because it is a brilliant movie but because it tells the true story of probably the most devastating terrorist attack on Indian soil.
My verdict, Cinema at its best!