A Punch In The Jaw! – Black Friday

Black Friday, is probably one of the greatest thrillers in a long time.

This isn’t Anurag Kashyap’s “take” on the Bombay Blasts of 1993, but a re-telling, exactly as they occurred. Unlike other crime thrillers, there’s no sensationalization of the violence, of the gore, it’s told honestly and truthfully, offering a view from those who planned the blasts, executed them and those who suffered. Perhaps, that is the most commendable aspect of Black Friday; you see the film from the point of view of a police inspector, Tiger Memon (one of the main perpetrators of the crime) and Baadshah Khan, one of the main bombers; but as much as you realize their desperation, their strong desire to do what each of them did, you will not, even for a moment agree with it, or “root for the bad guy“. The whole way, in which the film has been presented, is extremely realistic, take the blast scenes for an example, even in the film, you know they are going to happen, you can see it coming, but when they occur, it’s just like they did on that unfortunate day, back in 1993, ripping through the life-line of the city, completely unexpected and sending shivers down the spine of even those watching them from their homes.

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This film a result of intensive research and a lot of interviews. In fact when it was made in 2004, the Indian Censor Board didn’t allow its release. Because this film named real people, and it was feared that this film could influence the verdict for the 1993 Bombay Blasts case! After three years of stalling, this film finally released in India in 2007, after the verdict for the case had been delivered.

The way the film has been shot, is truly beautiful. The bird’s-eye view shots, the monochrome, red lighting during the interrogation scene and the lighting in general, have an alluring quality. The re-creation of Bombay in the Mumbai era, is truly wonderful. With the city covered in hoardings, and the mobile phone era , it’s indeed a laudable way in which Kashyap has presented this film, in the crowded alleys and the slums of Mumbai.

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The writing of this film, is just stupendous! Wonderful. The well written, witty dialogues, the perfect expressions of rage. Though of course, this wonderful script couldn’t have become what it is without the brilliant performances by the actors! Kay Kay Menon as Inspector Rakesh Maria, Pawan Malhotra, as Tiger Memon and Akash Shrivastav as Baadshah Khan, deliver haunting performances and embody their characters perfectly. I cannot describe Vijay Maurya’s performance as Dawood Ibrahim, for that, you just have to see this film yourself! The soul of this film, the chilling music, is composed by Indian Ocean, and that work of art during the end credits, just stunning! Though like every other film, this does have its draw-backs. It just stretches out a bit too much, perhaps fifteen minutes shorter and it’d have been just perfect! However, not a single second of this two hour, forty two minute long epic seems empty.

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Filled with drama and thrill throughout its run-time, do not mistake this for a “documentary“, you simply have to watch this, and prepare, to have your minds blown!

The 13th

Brilliantly written and directed, it is the other areas of this film that drag it down.

The 13th

The 13th is a suspense short film, by up and coming director and writer Syed Shadan, whose earlier work, The Permanent Job too was pulsating and thrilling! Shadan’s passion for this project is evident from the superb direction and the well written script of this film. A well made production design that aptly used the resources in hand too is extremely commendable. It syncs in well with the whole film, and adds to the aura of empty-spookiness.

The dialogue delivery by the actors varies from time to time, sometimes, it’s extremely good, the emotions being truly felt by the on-looker. However at times, they are a bit cheesy, which acts as the slight breath of air that manages to break the house of cards that suspense is.

The editing is choppy, and there are very frequent cuts between the dialogue that do not let the suspense build up as well as it could have. The cinematography on the other hand is brilliant! The “shaky camera” scene where the actor is dizzy successfully manages to make the audience’s head spin as well.

The film has a great background score, however, during the first act of the film, it seems out of touch with the emotions being portrayed, the conversation going on and the whole film in general. However, later on the music does a good job of filling up the emptiness that the despair or its two main actors is!

All in all, it’s a great effort, from a director who you should keep your eyes on for the future, ’cause he has some big projects coming up!