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Sanjay Leela Bhansali'Black': Bhansali's Masterpiece
05th Feb 2005  02.45 IST
By N K Deoshi  


'Black' is a masterpiece by Sanjay Leela Bhansali . It is a cinematic gem that needs to be seen more than once to fully absorb its beauty, its subtlety, its emotional depth and nuances.

Bhansali began his career with Khamoshi and has now reached a new height with Black , every frame of which shows his passion and intensity. Bhansali's strife for perfection in his craft comes out in the meticulousness with which he tells his story without making you feel pity for the leading character of the blind-mute-deaf girl.




The film tells the story of Michelle McNally ( Rani Mukherjee ), a girl who becomes deaf and blind after an illness at the age of eighteen months. She cannot communicate with the outer world. Nor can she comprehend the forms and shapes of things. As time passes on, Michelle's handicap makes her personality involuted and self-destructive.

But then comes into Michelle's dark world the 48-year-old Debraj Sahai ( Amitabh Bachchan ), an eccentric alcoholic, who is consumed by his passion of teaching the deaf and blind. Debraj's first encounters with Michelle are far from pleasant. But soon he realizes the immense potential the girl carries. He teaches her the language of touch and smell so that she begins to learn about the things and creatures in the world she cannot see.

It is Debraj's dream to see Michelle leading a normal life one day. But his debilitating health and his Alzheimer's attacks make him bedridden. Now it is Michelle who decides to take Debraj under her care. But will she be able to resuscitate the aged Debraj from his weak condition? Will she be able to fulfill his dream of leading a normal life?

'Black' is visually striking and emotionally moving. Although the general look of the movie is dark, there is not a single sequence in the film that depresses you. The stunning cinematography by Ravi Chandran literally paints the metaphors in light n shade, as if reflecting the blackness of Michelle's inner world.

'Black' is a testimony to the acting talent of Mr Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. Rani plays her character with such finesse that she literally brings out the inner voices of Michelle with her facial expressions, her flat-footed walk, her body language and her glazed looks. As for Mr Bachchan's performance, it truly ought to be seen than written about.





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