Opening Mood: Good Morning Bangalore!
Opening Song: Lakshya – Title track
Saw Subhash Ghai’s movie Black and White yesterday. If not anything, I must say it is a th0ught provoking and a brave attempt by the man who has been known to make only potboiler commercial cinema.
WARNING!: Possible spoiler ahead!
The movie is about a young Fidayeen who comes to Delhi with a mission to blow up the Red fort on the occasion of Independence day. And how is plans his attack, the people he encounters, the clash of ideologies and finally the decision that he makes. Anil Kapoor portrays Rajan Mathur, a resident of Chandni Chowk, and a professor of Urdu at Zakir Hussain college. New comer Anurag Sinha portrays Numair Qazi, the Fidayeen.
The movie begins with a slow pace, introducing the characters, and setting up the premise. It is in the second half that we see the real characteristics coming out. The ruthlessness with which Numair is ready to execute people whom he believes do not follow Islam is really shocking. One wonders what could have made a young man like that to become a fanatic, who knows nothing in life but upholding his interpretation of Quran.
There were a couple of really hard hitting sequences in the movie. The scene where Numair goes to an MLA to ask for a Independence day Pass and finds that Hindu and Muslim youth leaders offering bribe to the MLA to get some private favors and making it clear that the rivalry is purely political. This was followed by a scene where Numair’s cousin, who owns a travel agency, trying to sell a Hindu Pilgrimage package to a customer with pthe passion that Numair simply couldn’t identify with. He concludes that the Muslims in this country have sold out. When his cousin tries to explain him the concept of “customer is the king”, he tries to attack the cousin, asking him “What right do you have to call yourself a mussalman? And if you cannot be a mussalman, what right do you have to live?” This sequence where he openly displayed his fundamental nature, did shock me for a second.
It takes the murder of Rajan Mathur’s wife, Roma Mathur played by Shefali Shah, by Numair’s accomplices, and Rajan’s mature reaction to it, that forces Numair to rethink his ideologies. Inside the Red Fort, just before he plans to execute the attack, he senses the first speck of doubt about his actions and decides to abort the mission. And subsequently asks the question, “What is the right way of Jehaad? What’s greater in Jihaad? Killing and Dying? Destroying or Saving? If it is saving, what is it that we are saving ?”
Throughout the movie, Numair’s ideology was that of a single minded Fidayeen, who would not deviate from his mission, and never question his ideologies. He was a man, for whom following the Quran was the only way of life. So the abrupt change of heart inside the Red Fort does come as a bit of surprise. That in my opinion is the only problem with the movie. However, one could argue, that these thoughts were taking birth in his mind right from the moment he encountered the different types of Muslims than the ones he was used to in his native country, and Rajan’s reaction and comments inside the Red Fort only triggered the freeing of these thoughts. If this was the case, I feel it could have been portrayed a bit better.
Nevertheless, it is an honest attempt. I would suggest you go watch it 🙂
Closing Song: Main Jahaan Rahoon – Namaste London.
Closing Mood: Hungry for breakfast!