Black n White Review

Friday, March 7, 2008

Black n White Review

By Anupama Chopra, Consulting Editor, Films, NDTV

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Anurag Sinha, Aditi Sharma
Director: Subhash Ghai
Producer: Subhash Ghai
Music: Sukhwinder Singh

Black and White is Subhash Ghai in mini-me mode. The director, best known for coloUrful, blustering 70mm entertainment, is attempting here to make quieter, more intimate cinema.

The story revolves around Numer, a hard-core terrorist who comes from Afghanistan to India, to blow himself up at the Red Fort on August 15. But the fortnight he spends in Chandni Chowk alters his view.

He understands that the world is far too complex and corrupt for simplistic divisions of evil and good.

What works for Black and White is the honesty of intention. Ghai is grappling here with big issues – religion, terrorism, what creates terrorists and what is the solution to decades of hate, political manipulation, violence and tragedy.

He attempts to tell all sides of the story and creates some genuinely moving moments between a killer and his adopted family.

There is a wonderfully written and enacted aging poet, who when nagged by his wife, remarks that when there isn’t any peace in the house, how can there be peace in the nation.

Debutant actor Anurag Sinha has the difficult task of propelling the narrative but he has a nicely simmering intensity and the gravitas to pull it off.

What lets Ghai down is his screenplay. Ghai is a master of broad stroke cinema but a subject this complex requires subtext and more nuanced writing.

In Black and White, the plotting is much too simplistic. There are loopholes in logic and unnecessary detours like a love angle and songs, which only slacken the pace.

The characterisation is also uneven—some characters are etched out but most are too generic to be effective.

Eventually then, Black and White works intermittently. It is a well-meaning but flawed film. I recommend it, with reservations, for its sincerity.

Source : NDTV

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