wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
A compilation of absolutely boring lectures delivered by largely dull characters. A half-decent plot ain't good enough to make a gripping movie.Read more
After a drought of 3 weeks, will Black & white serve as a welcome relief or yet another one to maintain one arm's distance from?
The synopsis at the official site sets up an interesting premise -
What does 'BLACK AND WHITE' mean? Two colours? Two extremes? Two polarities? Obviously about contrasts, 'BLACK AND WHITE' epitomises the 'black and white' psyche - a psyche that refuses to see the shades beyond the two. A mind that is literally 'colour-blind'. Imagine when the colours of rainbow confront a man whose mind has always been conditioned to see only black and white ...
Let's just hope that not all characters see either black or white and they have shades of gray that people sitting in the audience can believe, if not identify with.
It's going to be difficult to talk about a Subhash Ghai product without remembering the well-deserved early demise of his earlier products Yaadein and Kisna. Carrying that wariness in their minds, many in the audience are going to be skeptical of Black & White even if the man himself claims it to be "different".
... It is nothing short of an earth-shaking experience. Same can be said about of my experience while making such a realistic film - which confronted my psyche with new never-before nuances - be it the story, the characters, the conflict, the drama or the final resolution. It has left me emotionally elevated - a different kind of elevation from mainstream cinema.
Moreover, Black & White threatens to be a lecture.
'BLACK AND WHITE' is an emotional Drama that entertains for sure but leaves the audience with a lofty message for all humanity - in search of harmony amidst diversity. In that sense 'BLACK AND WHITE' is an idea whose time has come. Just what the world needs perhaps.
Oh well, time will tell soon enough, what we have in store. Meanwhile, I am going to remind myself of the movies the movie that I grew up with - Karz, Vidhaata, Hero, Meri Jung, Karma, Ram Lakhan - Movies that certainly weren't art personified, but they entertained me then. I have grown and so must have a huge portion of the audience. Let's hope the maker of these films has too.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Haven't we had an overdose of movies based on religious fanaticism and associated terrorism already? May be not...Okay, haven't we had more than our share of stories told in the same mundane fashion? I say enough already!
First credit where it's due. The base story is not bad at all. It has its interesting plot-twists. The sub-plots sort-of flowed into each other too!! The other thing that I enjoyed was the music. Unfortunately, this list stops here.
The battle is completely lost in the filling-in of the details. The characters cannot be called underdeveloped, but they are unbelievably one-dimensional. One character is just shot out of the plot just about when his character could have done something interesting. It is hard to digest when a character behaves the exact same way when he is being friendly with someone and when a close relative passes away. Even if he is the modern-day Gandhi. How can one be speechlessly grieving in shock in one moment and lecturing on tolerance in the other.
Almost each character spieling out speech after speech on either tolerance or intolerance, doesn’t help either. Each lecture consists of the same old, mind-numbing lines. Each line being repeated begs us to be thankful if they are two different sentences saying the same thing. Because at other times, the same words are repeated - asking us to be sympathetic towards the dialogue writer for being creatively-challenged. And one character who certainly shouldn't have been encouraged was the "poet" grandfather figure. The lyrics were just inane, sir, let alone inspirational.
Anil Kapoor certainly has a wider range of expressions than this. Anurag Sinha again, has a great voice but a very monotonous style of delivering dialogues. Shefali Chaya should be admired for trying her best to maintain composure while playing a rather loud character. I would still blame the character development for the lackluster performances. They had a very good reason to pick a tone and stick to it - the script has no variation in their character!
There is one redeeming factor in this whole set-up - we have seen much, much worse from Subhash Ghai
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...If you're impressed by this zoom-in on a suicide bomber (Anurag Sinha), it's because it touches upon that rarely-discussed aspect of fanaticism... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...The ever-excellent Anil Kapoor gets to sink his teeth into a fine role and delivers a strong performance, with more than his share of emotionally high-strung moments.... full review
So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ... A kind of monotony sets in with the one-dimensional approach of the story and repetitive shots of Dilli gully, metro trains, Numair’s black pathani attire and the professor’s super safed poshak (perhaps the director’s way of symbolizing the Black and White characters).... full review
So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...And what was the need to make Anil-Shefali's little daughter mute? Maybe Ghai wanted us to take the Black part of his film's title seriously.... full review
Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Black & White is itself all black and white – an all-upper-case, yellow-highlighted, 48-point-size plea for communal harmony with zero subtlety, zero shades of grey... full review
Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...He hasn't much of a revealing story to tell or full-bodied characters to engage with, nor a control over craft to weave either into a coherent film; never mind a powerful one... full review
Thumbs down, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...If 'Kisna' and 'Yaadein' weren't proof enough, Subhash Ghai's latest film puts it literally in 'Black & White'- the man is clearly past his prime.... full review
Thumbs down, by Jaykumar Shah, Planet Bollywood : ...A clichéd, if I may use the word, pathetic characterization, a terrible screenplay ...and a dragging treatment to the movie take all the focus off of the good intentions that the movie had.... full review
Thumbs down, Urge to Fly : ...While it is a little embarrassing to re-discover that I used to write in such a clichéd and blatantly sermonizing manner, it helps me be a little more charitable towards the film... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
A Jihadi (Anurag Sinha) is sent to India to blow up the Red Fort in Delhi on Independence day. Does he succeed? What he goes through? Watch if you must in Black and White.