Black

Black

Streaming Video - 2005 | Hindi
Average Rating:
4
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Based in Simla, the McNallys are an Anglo-Indian family consisting of Paul and his wife, Catherine. Both are full of joy when Catherine gives birth to a baby girl, Michelle, but their joy is short-lived when they are told that Michellle cannot see nor hear. Both attempt to bring up Michelle in their own protective way, as a result Michelle is not exposed to the real world, and becomes increasingly violent and volatile.
Publisher: [United States] : iMusti : Made available through hoopla, 2005
Branch Call Number: E-VIDEO
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 122 min.)) : sd., col

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h
HereHere
Sep 16, 2011

A touching story.

j
joelinMagnolia
Jul 04, 2011

This film is a bit of a departure for its director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is known for his expansive, over-the-top musicals, e.g., "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and the 2002 version of "Devdas". Here he created a stylish drama, making abundant use of William Gibson's wonderful play, "The Miracle Worker" (without crediting it, lending credence to the saying that for Hindi Cinema 'Copyright means the right to copy'), as well as showing the adult relationship of the deaf and blind girl and her teacher. Bhansali spends a lot of time in pre-production preparation for his films, and it shows in "Black", with exceptional performances from its stars, the use of location (the mountainous region of Simla - so often mentioned in the early short stories of Rudyard Kipling), art direction, color palette, use of music, and many, many details which make this film something to treasure.
Its stars include Ayesha Kapoor as the young Michelle McNally, the deaf-blind girl who is coddled by her parents and requires so much attention and inventive instructional technique from her teacher, the great Amitabh Bachchan - the Kirk Douglas of Hindi Cinema - as the has-been teacher who finally is able to get through to Michelle to communicate and civilize her, and Rani Mukherji (or Mukherjee) as the adult Michelle, who is trying to come to grips with life and her relationships with those around her, as well as the trials and tribulations of continuing her education. Rani, who often has light weight roles in romantic comedies (e.g., "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" (with her cousin Kajol), "Hum Tum", "Chalte Chalte", and "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic"), here shows her acting chops. She goes into the role with a vengence, capturing and communicating with and without dialogue the isolation and blackness of the world the character lives in, and how that isolation is transcended. Rani deservedly won both the Filmfare Best Actress Award & Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for that year, in addition to many other awards and accolades. The other stars do very good acting turns as well. Mention must be made for Nandana Sen, who in her first Hindi Cinema role played the younger sister with all her faculties, Sara McNally, if for no other reasons than that (should both the IMDb and Wikipedia be believed) she is the daughter of Nobel Prize winner for Economics in 1998, Dr Amartya Sen, and that she is actually over 10 years older than Rani Mukherji. (If this date of birth is true, Nandana Sen must have the best anti-aging genes in the business. These facts of ancestry and date of birth must be checked, for there is no mention of either on the official Nandana Sen website.) Time Magazine listed it - at no. 5 - as one of the top 10 best films in world cinema for 2005.
"Black", like all Hindi Cinema, is very melodramatic and very sentimental. In its two-hour runtime - short by Hindi Cinema standards - it punctuates the emotional impact over and over again. Yet it does this in a style that Western audiences can at least tolerate and at most deeply appreciate.
This film is not meant for children, due to language.
(Context: this reviewer has seen over 500 Hindi Cinema (or Bollywood) films on DVD and in theaters.)

j
JohnFDavidson
Aug 04, 2010

An adaptation of the Helen Keller story altered to fit India and with some unique differences. The main actor Amitabh Bachcan demonstrated an amazing versatility. Rani Mukerjee showed a side not seen before. The music was very affecting, but at times seemed overdone. They captured a feeling well that is hard to describe--in some ways the title does it best. I had heard won a cinematography award and it is startling when focused. The script was effective--starting at near the end and going back to the beginning. Even if you start to watch casually you will be drawn in as the emotions it evokes are very powerful.

i
iza
May 07, 2010

This is a very powerful and emotional movie. Want to see how is to live in darkness, how is to hear and feel the meaning of live itself flowing through your fingers? Black will teach you the new alphabet that begins with B.L.A.C.K. The person behind this enlightens is the TEE...CHER alias Teacher. The pupil who is deaf and blind perceives the man who gives her back her humanity as the TEE...CHER the MAGICIAN who is watching every step. The life comes back to this hopeless child through the sign, touch of the water. This is the first word that has the power of separating dark from light. The most amazing thing, is that this girl gradates university and she will be the TEE...Cher for her ex-teacher who has now Alzheimer. I hope you all enjoy this movie as I did.

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