Black Friday
Producer: Arindam Mitra
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Music: Indian Ocean
Lyrics: Piyush Mishra
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Shrivastava, Pawan Malhotra
Cinematography: N Nataraja Subramaniam
Editor: Aarti Bajaj

Black FridayA couple of years back my brother called me up and asked to courier him Indian Ocean’s latest album. It hadn’t reached the music stores in faraway Shillong. I got it and when as the strains of Aare ruk jaa re bandeh… started flowing from my desktop speakers, I sat on the ground. Indian Ocean was just getting better and better.

To experience a similar experience, I waited for the movie to release, and stopped myself from getting a pirated copy which was selling and circulating quite well since the ban. Yesterday as I sat in a 3/4th empty mosquito infested hall at a multiplex in Noida and the opening scenes had a similar spellbinding effect. Marvellous! But that was the highpoint of the movie. You see the best as soon as the film begins and you expect better as the film progresses, but that is a tough task, which Anurag Kashyap couldn’t perform, so he again brings back the film, through the series of flashbacks and flashforwards, to the blast at the Bombay Stock Exchange.

This is an edited version of the official trailer
Download [FLV 1.89MB 00:01:29 320X240]

A docudrama, Black Friday gets us into what happened before and after Friday, March 12, 1993. Someone who is not really clued into the details of the blast would at parts be left clueless trying to comprehend what is happening. Some scenes towards the later part of the movie do not gel into the whole frame and I was left thinking from where did these characters come from and who are these guys. Maybe I should read S Hussain Zaidis’ book and then go for a second helping.

Black Friday stillsTalking of performances, it was excellent. Kay Kay, as usual, was good, but he seems to lack in versatility. He appears similar in all the movies. Kay Kay doesn’t deserve to go the Nana Patekar way (you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all). But the best is Nawazuddin, playing the role of Asgar Muqadam (Tiger Memon’s secretary manager). You have to see him act to understand what I mean, especially in the interrogation scenes. Naseeruddin Shah was supposed to play the role of Tiger Memon (played by Pavan Malhotra) and Irrfan was to be Badshah Khan (played by Aditya Srivastava), but both backed off as they didn’t want to play a Muslim terrorist. Irrfan was comfortable playing Rakesh Maria, but Anurag insisted on Kay Kay. The cast is long and even Anurag makes a cameo (we thought so). And yes, there’s Dawood Ibrahim (Gajraj Rao) too. The scene in which Dawood makes his first appearance is beautifully shot.

There were light hearted moments in between the blood and the violence, especially a long-drawn realistic but hugely hilarious chase sequence where the police try to catch Imtiaz Ghavate. The book and the movie might have been about the Bombay Bomb Blasts and doesn’t shy away from taking names. My friend who accompanied me to the film, asked, “Where was Sanjay Dutt?” Dutt as the court verdict said wasn’t directly linked with the blasts, but the AK56s were there (even in the film), and the public wanted a glimpse of the man who kept the news channels so uselessly busy of late.

My complaint, Indian Ocean’s excellent music was not used well.

Rating? Do I need to come up with a rating system for my inconsistent reviews?

A synopsis of the film is available here
Cast and crew details can be found here

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