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Dec 29, 2007

Black Friday

A lesson in contemporary Indian history that no self respecting Indian should miss. Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday starts a few days before the fateful Friday in March(12) 1993 when the city of Bombay was blown apart by extremist bombs and follows the subsequent police investigation that solved the case. Based on S.Hussein Zaidi's book of the same name, Black Friday, despite being a feature film is the most realistic and comprehensive account of the infernal Bombay blasts that I've ever seen.

It is hard to believe it is a movie and people are acting. It feels like there was a hidden camera recording the actions of the real people as they planned and schemed and died and fled and bled through those gruesome days. Anurag Kashyap wrote the script of Ram Gopal Varma's much acclaimed film about Bombay's underbelly, Satya. This is his second film as a director, although I believe Black Friday reached the public(despite a two year delay) before his first film Paanch did.

For a large part, the movie reminds me of trying to see the world from the other-side, like a German movie about WWII or a Soviet film about the Cold War. Getting under the skin of the character and breathing his air, you realize why people did the things they did. The credit goes to the director and script writer - in this case, Kashyap and the writer Zaidi for providing the original well researched content which the director built upon. Kay Kay Menon plays Additional Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria, Badshah Khan(played by Aditya Srivastav), one of the accused in the bomb case, represents the pawns, who in the hands of terrorist master minds, Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim becomes a terrorist. Pavan Malhotra plays Tiger Memon and Vijay Maurya, who was also in Paanch, plays Dawood Ibrahim.

An important slip that Kashyap has avoided is that it doesn't become another Satya, especially considering Kashyap scripted both the movies and both are about the darker side of Bombay. Black Friday appeals to me because it is hard to come by a powerhouse of a feature film loaded with information and details about contemporary event(s) depicted in a truthful manner.

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