Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Black

Black is beautiful. I don't really know what else to say about it. It's a little emotionally manipulative, a little heavy on the attempt to inspire, the characters a little broad and shallow, but I very much enjoyed watching it. Not so much the story but the performances and the visuals. I loved the not-quite-defined time period, the Indo-Euro mishmash house that was more like a gallery than a home, the storybook village that was really only safe if you knew where you were. Rani and Amitabh handled their unoriginal parts with grace, energy, and just the right amount of humor. Although I haven't seen The Miracle Worker, there so many other familiar threads here - misfit grizzly type with one last chance to save himself, angry young person softened when she can reach out to others, jealous-but-loving family member - that the whole package was familiar. But it didn't matter. Certain story devices and themes are reused so often because they work, and these worked sufficiently on me. I can't say I was moved, but I can say I was happy to have spent a few hours in this little world. It was the familiar made touching, intriguing, and beautiful. Many a movie does far less than that.

Aside to costume designer: from a knitter's point of view, this was intoxicating. Rani's never-ending parade of sweaters, hats, and scarves was absolutely gorgeous. Please publish patterns.

8 comments:

Paresh said...

Yes, Black is certainly beautiful!
This film is easily a milestone in Bollywood's history. And the performances by Bachchan The Great and Rani Mukherjee are awesome. No wonder this film has bagged all the important filmfare awards this year!

Raja Pakistani said...

Excellent film. I saw it in theaters when it first came out, so I don't remember too much of it...but I do recall how moving it was. Rani Mukherji in her best role, ever. Amitabh...what can I say? It was great to see him do something different from the typical roles he's been playing since he came back from retirement.

Raja Pakistani said...

P.S.

Beth, I skimmed through your film index and noticed Muqaddar ka Sikander wasn't on there. You should check it out sometime...it's my all-time favorite Amitabh film. :-)

Obi Wan said...

Black was an extremely overpowering movie for me. I came out of the theatre in a daze. In addition to the terrific acting by Bachchan Sa'ab, Rani, and Ayesha, the whole atmosphere conspired to make it an emotionally draining experience.

t.HYPE said...

How funny that you posted on Black! I was just thinking about it this morning while I was getting ready for work.

I absolutely LOVED the lush cinematography BUT as a fan of the Helen Keller story, (I've seen about 3 different versions of The Miracle Worker), the first half of the film seemed old hat to me. The second half was uncharted territory. I look forward to seeing more of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's work.

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Beth, I thought - I know I'm going to be shot down for saying this but I will say it anyway - Black was a little over the top. The idea was great but the execution was a little too flamboyant for my taste. The acting was good of all the actors, no doubt about that.

Beth said...

Thank goodness, AFJ, that you came along and voiced that too. It really was. It was a bit much. Not way too much, but a bit. Granted I have seen only a tiny fraction of the movies of 2005, and I know nothing about how the awards are decided, but please.

Anonymous said...

Bhansali at his best