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Black is beautiful!

There was just one word when I walked out of the hall after watching Black: WOW!

This is exactly the feeling you’d like to be left with at the end of a movie and Sanjay Leela Bhansali does an absolutely fabulous job of ensuring that he achieves this objective. Not only does he extract great performances from all the cast members, he frames each scene with such care, perfection and finesse that you can’t help but be impressed.

Amitabh Bachchan: What can I say! The veteran comes up with such an amazing performance that I could only sit back with awe and wonder. He’s 60 + but his energy and versatility shines through in every scene. Towards the end, when he is struck with Alzeihmer’s, his portrayal of the character is so realistic, that it’s difficult to believe this is the same Amitabh who sang and danced Shava Shava!

Amitabh on his role: “Black is such a welcome relief. It has salvaged me as an actor. Everything from its exceptional background score by Monty to the cinematography by Ravi Chandran is beyond anything seen in our cinema.

Rani Mukherjee: A performance of a lifetime and her best yet. Even without words, she conveys her character’s emotions with such strength and passion that leaves you in tears. With body and sign language she convey what many can’t possibly convey even with words. A really amazing performance (she deserves a few awards for this one!). Watching her in popcorn and masala movies, I for one would have never guessed she’d be so good in a role such as this one.

Ayesha Kapur: Wow! She is 10 years old and gives a performance that matched the older veterans in every shot. To convey the feeling that one is trapped in a world without thoughts, words and dreams is no mean task. Ayesha slips into the role and delivers what I’d consider one of the best performances by such a young woman in Indian cinema recently. You have to applaud the fantastic job she does in portraying a young Rani, trapped in a dark and hellish world. Ayesha is from Auroville, Pondicherry and has no acting background.

Ayesha on her role: “Amitabh was very nice and kind. I read in the newspapers that Amitabh praised me a lot. I really liked that and I hope it is true. Amitabh was very patient with me whenever I forgot my lines or expressions. He would leave me alone so that I would learn them again and then get it right. Whenever my shot was not good, I would get upset and would want to do it again. I wanted to be perfect…”

Shernaz Patel: From the first scene, when she discovers her baby is deaf and blind – Patel is another great actor to watch out for. I’ve seen her on stage, but she excels in her role as Rani’s mother. Trying to deal with her daughter, fighting for her (when her husband wants to send her away) and hoping for her when Amitabh comes into their life.

This is one movie that I wouldn’t call a language movie – it’s not Hindi or English or any other – it’s an experience by itself.

The movie been elevated quite a few notches just by the presence of Amitabh and Rani who share a really good chemistry. Every single scene touches you. People actually clapped when the movie ended and that’s just how much it impacted the audience. The cinematography is beautiful with some of the scenes shot in Himachal Pradesh. Some of the scenes have apparently been recreated in Mumbai.

Absolutely, one of the best movies I have watched in a long, long time.

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