Amitabh and Rani bound to impress in Bhansali’s Black
After the successful inning of delivering movies like Khamoshi - the musical, which was based on a theme of the difficulties faced by a couple who is deaf and dumb, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam filmed on a sweet love triangle, addressing the reality of life and true love and Devdas, a remake of Bimal Roy’s Devdas (1955), which was based on a novel by Saratchandra Chatterjee, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is all set for another big release hopefully on February 4th 2005.
Black stars Amitabh Bachchan [Debraj Sahai], as a teacher to Rani Mukherjee’s character [Michelle McNally] who is of a deaf and blind girl. She accomplishes her dream of becoming a world-recognized musician with the help of her teacher who comes into her dark life to spread some light.
The trailers of Black seem to give a broad idea of what the movie is about. It starts with images of Rani and Amitabh in a classroom moving their hands in different motions. There are words in Amitabh Bachchan’s voice in the background. The words are “ye andhon ki aankhein hain, gungon ki awaaz, aur beheron ki kavita – thak jaayein to talwar, band ho jaayein to darkhat.” The frame then moves on to showing Rani and Amitabh sitting in a library-like room. The picturization moves on to Rani doing hand gestures along with other girls and then to Amitabh moving his hand. The background music is prominent by this point. The title ‘Black,’ written in embossed and shiny words follows next. The last scene is of Rani and Amitabh sitting on a bench outside when it’s snowing. Rani tries to feel the snow when Amitabh gets in her way and teases her and Rani pushes him aside and Amitabh says, “aye, stop it!” Rani starts to tickle him and Amitabh gets up and laughs. We can hear little squeaks from Rani as if she is trying to laugh.
The promo shows the hard work that the two actors, Rani Mukherjee and Amitabh Bachchan have put into giving their best to the movie. Big B is purely outstanding as usual with his accurate expressions. Rani Mukherjee surprises with, what seems like, a remarkable performance in a highly challenging role. The marvelous performances were inevitable, as both Rani and Big B learnt sign language in order to play the role with more efficiency and effectiveness. According to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, “[Rani] also studied deaf and blind people.” He also claims, “this is Amitabh’s career best role. I am proud of their performances.”
This time around, Bhansali has come up with a unique theme. Black, compared to his earlier movie themes, is exceptional. Bhansali is convinced that a big part of the population that watches Hindi films is bound to like the film. He is not afraid to experiment with something that’s out of the average Hindi film frame.
“When I made 'Khamoshi', everyone said who would want to see a film about a deaf-and-mute couple? Perhaps some people are saying the same about 'Black'? Who would want to see a film about a severely handicapped girl and her teacher?” said Bhansali. “Well, I've news for the doomsday prophets. There's an audience out there that wants to experience a cinema that takes them beyond the expected. I want to surprise, enthrall and seduce the audience. Yes, I want to be a magician on celluloid.”
On February 18th 2004, there was a fire that erupted because of short circuit and two gas cylinders. The fire destroyed a major set of the film, leaving Bhansali in a huge loss of over five crore rupees due to the damage of many technical equipments.
Even after this critical incident, Bhansali decided to go on with the shooting and thankfully, the film was successfully completed.
Black appears to be an out of ordinary film with an unusual subject. The film is bound to appeal to the viewers because of its distinctive style and brilliant performances by the stars.
Hit or flop, Black is sure to leave a deep impact on the minds and hearts of the viewers. Bhansali will, once again, win millions of hearts through his extraordinary venture, Black. Wish you all the luck, Sanjay!