Black and White


Black and White is just about average as it has a fine script but the screenplay comes across as too placid for such an intense theme of terrorism. A sensitive topic such as terrorism needs to be handled with the right intensity, the right actors and the right performances. The intensity seems to be lacking while the actors and their performances are just about average. The story also caters more to niche multiplex audiences. But nonetheless, director Ghai ventures into serious cinema with this film and deals with this noteworthy topic sincerely. There are several poignant and emotional moments in the film that have been handled well and hence the film come across as just about average. 

The film has been produced under Subhash Ghai's Mukta banner and it has been directed by Subhash Ghai. The film stars Anil Kapoor as Professor Rajan Mathur, Shefali Chaya as Roma Mathur, newcomer Anurag Sinha as Numair Qazi etc.  

Professor Rajan Mathur teaches Urdu literature while his wife Roma is a social activist. They reside in the colourful Chandini Chowk area. The professor befriends Numair Qazi, a young lad who claims to be a victim of the Gujarat communal riots and he immediately takes him under his wing. Numair gains the young and helpful couple's sympathy and trust and he begins to reside in their home for a few days. The unsuspecting couple are eager to help this needy youth and they welcome him into their home and introduce him to the people from Chandini Chowk. The professor also unknowingly helps him get a pass for the Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort. But nobody knows that this seemingly harmless and quiet lad is actually a suicide bomber who has been commissioned by a Muslim fundamentalist group to detonate a bomb at the Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort. 

However after Numair begins living with the couple, he begins to question his life and his gradual fundamental beliefs. The guilt of betraying this warm and sympathetic couple begins to gnaw at him. But nonetheless he is not willing to give up his mission until an event occurs that changes everything for him and his mission. Will this event change Numair's life and the course of his actions? 

Black and White deals with an extremely important topic in today's times, terrorism which is a major cause of concern for many nations. However Ghai is able to manage the topic with only minimum success. The script is good at it explores both sides, the black reasons for the rise of terrorism and the white reasons for revolting against terrorism. It also explores the mind of a terrorist. However the screenplay   lacks the intensity required for such an intense subject. Also the screenplay is not knit in a tight manner. There are several unwanted diversions like the romantic track which does not fit well into the film. While Ghai executes some scenes with finesse, there are times where the execution is not up to the mark. Ghai seems to flounder quite a bit in this new terrain, a non masala flick. The characterisations   are not dealt with in dept but at a superficial level. Finally the pre climax makes more of a mark than the climax as the latter does not have the hard hitting impact that it should have.  

The cinematography is fine and although music does not have much place in the film,  songs like ‘Jogi Aaya’ and ‘Main Chala' sound fairly good. Dialogues by Ghai are definitely noteworthy. Performances are average. Although Anil's character is not explored in depth, he gives a fairly decent performance. He delivers his emotional scenes with finesse. Shefali Shah may also not have a long drawn role, but she delivers her performance with ease. Newcomer Anurag Sinha definitely has good screen presence. Although his role is one dimensional where he mostly has an angry look, he manages to give a decent debut performance. Aditi is not up to the mark and the rest of the cast is just average. 

Overall though the film has noble intentions and the script is average, it is the screenplay that is placid and not hard hitting enough. The characterisations and performances too are average and hence the film comes across as just about average.

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