wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
Is some good performances and a lot of technical finesse enough to make a good movie? I don't think it is - for a movie that falls into the 'reality' genre. The content needs a lot more depth than this one had. Also, I just didn't understand the purpose of the movie. Was it to tell people how bombs are made or to tell terrorists not to terrorise? I think such movies receive more attention than they deserve due to the controversy they create.Read more
Black Friday is a very well made movie; the technical aspects are par excellence and live up to the expectations of the genre. The acting is at its best, the background music is very well used, and the locations and sets seem as real as they could be. But the narration style is not gripping at all.
This movie is being advertised as a movie about 'the truth'. So there's the usual gore, the regular torture in prison cells, the typical yelling and pleading associated with a crime, and the investigation thereof. The strange thing is that not a single cop was bribed during the inquiry and you don't see one politician through the movie. Was it really so easy for the police to get all the information about this act of terrorism as is portrayed in the movie? And by the way, if this movie is 'the truth', all our other movies that show greedy police officers and politicians and claim to be fictitious, etc - they are actually telling the truth! These dishonest people in the bureaucracy are a figment of imagination!
The movie is not about one police officer, one terrorist or one victim. It is about the bomb blasts. It is a dispassionate, non-judgmental account. It is like reading a newspaper, gives you the details of the way things supposedly happened. Of course, the visuals and language are much more graphic than a few pictures in print.
Kay Kay Menon (Additional Police Commissioner), Pawan Malhotra (Tiger Menon) and Aditya Shrivastav (Badshah) do full justice to their roles. But the characters (except Badshah) are not sketched out very well and the non-linear presentation does not help. In fact it adds to the confusion of the long list of names and the inter-connections.
Also, what exactly is the aim here? Is it to tell the world, "this is how ammunition is smuggled into India, this is how terrorists were trained, and this is how it was planted"? There is nothing shocking about the answers to any of these questions. Obviously, if there were bomb blasts, someone-somewhere got the raw material and organized the whole operation. Is the aim, then, to tell both the Hindu and Muslim fascists how this is not what God wants? If it was so easy to convince the fundamentalists, then wouldn't half the problems in the world be over by now? And I surely hope the aim is not to tell Tiger Menon and Dawood Ibrahim, "We know what you did thirteen years ago?" By the way, in the middle of all this, was I supposed to feel bad for the terrorist?
No, I certainly don't expect every movie to have a list of aims and objectives. But, for a serious movie of this caliber, a much clearer purpose is needed. Especially when the previews have bold, red letters on a black background that read "the 'real' contender for the Oscars", a little more than a documentary is expected. Unless, of course, you are hoping for a nomination in the "documentary" category.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ... Taking least possible cinematic liberty and retaining objectivity throughout the film, Anurag Kashyap tells a compelling and disturbing story in ‘Black Friday’... full review
Thumbs up, by Vaibhav, M TV : ...he police interrogation scenes, the 10 min chase sequence with black humour, the landing of explosives - just about everything is done with minute attention to details.... full review
Thumbs up, by Prithviraj Hegde, Rediff : ...There are moments in the second half when the filmmaker seems to lose the vice-like grip by which he holds viewers but that's excusable since the film has to stay within the framework of its reality theme... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, Maharashtra Herald, Local newspaper: ...He manages to somehow sensationalise everything and make heroes out of criminals...
So-So, by Murphy, Murphy's Movie Reviews : ...There's a lot of material covered in the film and its structure of flashbacks and flashbacks within flashbacks requires an audience to pay careful and close attention.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
As the review mentions, the movie is not about one or two people, it is about the 1993 bomb blasts in Bombay. It narrates how Tiger Menon (Pawan Malhotra) supposedly organized the serial blasts. How he trained the actual operators and how he treated them after the job was done. It also tells you how the police got hold of key information.
This one just stood out - During the only chase sequence, there is one scene in an underground passage on one of Bombay's railway stations. It was absolutely empty in broad daylight!