#39 #Scriptors100BestFilms

“The alphabets of the world start with A, B, C, D, E but yours start with B, L, A, C, K… Black.” says Debraj Sahai (#AmitabhBachchan) to student Michelle McNally (#AyeshaKapur played the childhood role and later #RaniMukerji played this part). And, it says a lot about this film – a film which tackles and portrays disability as none of the Bollywood film could.

Black, written by #SanjayLeelaBhansali, #BhavaniIyer, #PrakashKapadia and directed by #SanjayLeelaBhansali, is a story of hope, it’s a story of faith: a story of love and a story of miracles. I wonder if there would be any soul who wouldn’t be inspired and touched by this beautiful piece of art.

The film was premiered in the Marché du Film section of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. It was then screened at the Casablanca Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India. It won the Best Feature Film in Hindi Award and Amitabh Bachchan received Best Actor award at the 53rd National Film Awards.  Time Magazine (Europe) selected the film as one of the 10 Best Movies of the Year 2005 from around the globe. And with that, I bagged more than 50 awards all together for various categories for the year of 2005. Doesn’t this say a lot about Black and why this film is there in our 100 Best films? Actually it doesn’t because BLACK is much more than awards. It’s simply Magic!

Black draws inspiration from the life of Helen Keller. The story starts with McNallys couple knowing that their daughter is blind and deaf. Trapped by her inability to see, hear and express, Michelle is devoid of what other kids of her age have. This is building frustration in her, and making her violent. Finally a day comes, when Michelle black world sees light for the first time and it happens when Debraj agrees to be her teacher.

No doubt every scene and shot of the film is masterpiece, but I recollect this particular scene where Debraj finds a bell handing on Michelle and says,

“Jab maa baap hi bachche ko jaanvar samjhege toh usse insaan kon samjhega?”

Thus begins his journey to bring out the human in her to the world (which the world can’t see, mere irony). This story is about two stubborn people, a teacher and his student. The characters are both are so well crafted and written that they make you spellbound at so many moments in the films. The film not just teaches you things about discipline and faith, its writing makes it utterly interesting and entertaining; and eventually makes you believe in magic and miracles. To me, it’s one of the most positive films of Indian cinema.

This film has explored human emotions and bonds in very honest manner; be it of the parents with their daughter, or of the two sisters, of mother and the daughters. There is a scene where Michelle speaks for the first time, and says maa. She goes to her parents and hugs them. Debraj is happy to see that, and also knowing he is not a part of the family, and she is just his student, he steps back – and that’s when Michelle goes to Debraj and hugs him. That gives you Goosebumps!  This film makes you cry for her failures and cheer for her victories; as if you have known these characters for long.

This film is also a love story, which deals the physical needs of a disabled woman very well. And, one can say Debraj and Michelle had been everything for each other as two lovers are. Not just that Debraj has been with her, but when he gets Alzheimer, she equally takes care for him: making them both made for each-other couple or better to say “Soulmates”. Bhansali was brave enough to tackle this side of disability with uttermost dignity and beauty with a kiss between Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherji.

Other than Rani and Amitabh, I feel every actor has done a great job in the film. Ayesha Kapur, #ShernazPatel, #DhritimanChaterji, #NanadanaSen impresses by every bit of their presence on the screen. The film’s mood is lifted by beautiful music by #Monty. The music itself is like meditation. Just a suggestion – Close your eyes, put the music and listen to it, you will get to know why i frequently used word “Magic” so many times in this article.

That makes BLACK a record holder with winning maximum number of Filmfare Awards that year. (11 if I am not wrong).

To conclude, I will only say: if you have stopped believing in magic, watch this film (again, and again)!


Baljeet Randhawa

Baljeet Randhawa

Writer from Bhopal. Theatre Director and Co- Founder of Dream Stage Theatre along with Scriptors. Shy Actor performs rarely.
Baljeet Randhawa