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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Welcome back, Mr Ghai

7/10
Author: die_Heuchler from Katmandu, Nepal
29 March 2008

Okay, now I'm not exactly sure how to put it. I just returned watching the great showman's latest presentation "Black and White" and I am pretty muddled up because I have very mixed reaction to the film. Perhaps I am the only one contented out of the 17 who turned up for the show, or this film has been badly victimized of bad publicity and lack of good starcast. I say bad starcast because I am sure I felt exactly the same sitting there in the couch and watching the promos, but I did not know I would be proved so wrong once I watched the movie.

Kudos to Subhash Ghai for picking a subject like this who otherwise took great pleasure in doing musicals targeted towards NRIs. I suppose this is very different as it has very less to do about life outside India and speaks more bravely of matters that have not been quite able to grab the attention of big film studios. Not that Yashraj (phew!) did terrorist movies like Fanaa and Red Chillies did Main Hoon Na, but this latest attempt is more subjected and particularly tackling to the main theme of the movie – global terrorism. Kudos once again to a setting that not for once you realise you're being shown a "commercial" (mind the term here) movie, yet at the end of the day it leaves you feeling that it has hit the spot.

The movie served another good purpose to me as I was able to re-cherish my moments I spent in Chandni Chowk. I was there for a fortnight in 2005 so I was like "oh that's Shishgunj Sahib" and "look at the spot we had kulfis" through the movie. Quite mesmerizing though. However, I think Ghai has very well justified as why the movie should've been there and not anywhere else.

Character wise, debutant Anurag Sinha fits in very well – be it the first scene where he's shown recording a TV feed or the later ones where he shoots. His serious, calm look is very intimidating though charming. Good find, Mr. Ghai! Anil Kapoor shows he is a good actor and not someone irritating like in Tashan trailer. I mean, we were shown Tashan's trailer before the film started, and later when Anil appears in this Black and White movie – just look at his versatility. At times when Anil himself is into curves and six packs, it indeed takes a lot of guts to get grey sideburns and glasses and perform with equal dignity and vigour. The new girl does not convince and I doubt if she'll go very far. However, Shefali Shah once again proves her metal. A very good work there but the one who steals the show is undoubtedly the old poet who is both charming and inspiring. Milind Gunaji cannot be remembered for the role. Scenic wise it's again so-so. You can't expect lot of scenic beauty for hazy Delhi plus the pollution. Music is okay, not a very good choice for repeated listens. Nice driving of the story, but whatever that makes me feel like taking back all the good words I've said so far is the screenplay – believe me, I found it haunting.

I specially remember two over-the-top scenes: 1) where Anurag has to choreograph a shootout to win over Shefali Shah's confidence; and 2) the scene where Shefali dies and Anil Kapoor overacts. Notwithstanding that, I would definitely recommend this story to any sensible movie lover and ask them to try it at least once.

I expect more of similar works from the great Showman who finally seems to have realised that he is indeed falling down and needed to take some serious steps to reclaim his image in the industry.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not the best from Mukta Arts

5/10
Author: uncle_g1234 from United States
24 June 2008

I saw at the beginning that it was a Mukta Arts movie. Given the history of the banner, that could lead me to expect a lot. Look at the sweet part Anil Kapoor got in Taal. And here's Anil again, with Shefali Shah this time. I always look forward to seeing her.

Short answer is that this movie isn't that good. The music is no more than average. The script is very awkward a good deal of the time. The plot asks a lot from your credulity. Just one blatant example is when they want to get the protagonist close to the Urdu professor, they fake a terrorist attack and then have him rescue the professor's cute young daughter. For that plan to work, the kid has to wander away from her parents. Since the kid isn't IN on the plan, they seem awfully lucky that she somehow gets separated on cue.

Anurag Sinha, who plays the terrorist, is certainly a kid with some potential, but how great it is doesn't show in this movie. Compare him with J. D. Chakravarthy in Satya and it becomes obvious what I mean. Satya had the same kind of protagonist, but the director did ten times as much with the same sort of personality.

Also, to me this is a different angle on the Dil Se story, but having Dil Se makes this movie look like a comedown.

It might be worth one look, but no more.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Hmmmmmmm

4/10
Author: angelshalz from United States
18 July 2008

"Black and White" directed by Subhash Ghai is about a Muslim terrorist from Afghanistan who aspires to come to India and cause a Hindu massacre. Anurag Sinha, who plays this role, looks as shady and dangerous as the role permits him to, from the moment he first steps out of that train ,into Delhi. He lives undercover in a friend's house, changing his identity so that he's not discovered. All the Muslims around seem to know his secret, although they don't know how mean and fanatical he is. This is a man purely acting on revenge, and not reason. Anyways, Anil Kapoor plays a kind-hearted professor that has a lot of tolerance. You can imagine when he is Hindu and has the Quran memorized. Now, the regular Indian clichéd plot of this movie would be that Anil Kapoor influences the terrorist so much with his compassion and love, that the terrorist doesn't end up bombing the Hindu temple and killing all those people. Although the movie works towards this ending, the terrorist doesn't. Sinha's face is pretty much that of a terrorist: his expression is dead serious. I can't imagine him hugging anyone or even smiling. It looks so ridiculous when Aditi Sharma (a Muslim girl who loves him) imagines them running around on a train, hugging and laughing at each other. The general fantasy and dreamy spirit that wells up inside of me when listening to such songs, wasn't there…it didn't work as well as I wanted it to.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Still missing the good old Midas Touch of Subhash Ghai in this movie.

4/10
Author: bobbysing from India
4 April 2008

Black & White – Subhash Ghai returns after the debacle of "Kisna". But unfortunately I was again disappointed and found the Ghai spark missing in the movie. In fact, I am quite surprised why the filmmakers keep on using the same plot again & again even when they know that it has been exploited before by others in the industry. We all have seen the plot of "Inviting a new person to live in your house which in disguise is a terrorist and a suicide bomber" used many time before also. The main source behind the inspiration is "The Devil's Own" which came in 1997 starring Harrison Ford as the house owner & Brad Pitt as the guest. It was followed by Raj Kanwar's "Baadal" released in 2000, in which Amrish Puri played the host and Bobby Deol was the terrorist. We also witnessed the similar kind of thing in the second half of Maniratnam's "Dil Se" (1998) which had Manisha Koirala, staying in Shahrukh's house. And now again it is repeated in "Black & White".

Subhash Ghai surely moves ahead with an offbeat and an unusual track for Mukta Arts and he has broken his own old pattern of film-making with this venture. But its quite questionable why he chose a story which has similarities with many other movies. The film lacks the grip from the first half hour itself and then the only engrossing aspect is the music which comes as a background theme in many scenes. The screenplay is predictable from the first scene and the viewer also cannot relate to the secular them in a big way.

The only impressive elements in the film are : 1. The unmatchable act by well know theater activist Habeeb Tanvir as the old poet. 2. And the Soul Stirring music by Sukhwinder Singh. In fact this is the first time I am impressed with this music for a film soundtrack. Way to go Sukhwinder…Keep it up.. Subhash Ghai undoubtedly has a gifted ear for good music which he has proved again with this latest offering.

Anil Kapoor is impressive and establishes himself as veteran actor in the industry who can be a strong pillar for any project. The debutant Anurag Sinha is a good find, but he has got not much to do and only has to give the starring looks according to the his role most of the times. So he can be judged better when he emotes, fights and dances in his next movie. Shifali Chhaya is loud at some places and the rest of the cast just OK.

The climax is the major letdown. The similar kind of climax you may recall in "Dil Se" and "Hu Tu Tu" when the suicide bomber is heading towards a national meeting place on 15th August or 26th January. Chandni Chowk and Heritage Sites in Delhi are the new craze in Hindi Films now a days. The best part remains the music by Sukhwinder Singh, though he borrows a lot from the Punjabi Traditional Music Treasure, still I will rate it as his best work for a film soundtrack till date.

In simple words, its Subhash Ghai's attempt towards a different kind of cinema. He excels in parts no doubt, but I wish he had chosen a virgin topic for this move. Watch it for Habib Tanveer…and do listen to its complete soundtrack…

Rating : 2 / 5

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The theme in Black & White is good – but it's very poorly executed!

3/10
Author: inforaza from INDIA
10 October 2016

Black & White is an attempt by Subhas Ghai to make a film on a real issue. Well…it is a case of "missed opportunity" for this popular director who needs to grow out of the usual "filmy" sensibilities to make realistic films on real issues.

MERITS of Black & White

1 – I like the idea of a murderer (in this case an Islamic terrorist) who is out on a mission to cause mayhem (bomb blast during Independence day) but changes his/her heart & mind when s/he comes in contact with people of the right kind.

DEMERITS of Black & White (unfortunately more Demerits than Merits)

1 – The story is very poorly presented by Subhas Ghai. It should have been as realistic, gripping and non-melodramatic like Satya or Company (two of the greatest films in Hindi cinema).

2 – Poor acting by the central character, Numair Qazi played by Anurag Sinha (in the role of an Afghan terrorist). He hardly injects fear or hatred in the audience. It is just plain ordinary acting. He also did not have the right looks.

Please compare this fellow's acting with J. D. Chakravarthy (of Satya), and you will know what I mean. Even Angad Bedi would have have been a better choice.

3 – Numair's men kill Anil Kapoor's wife in his house, but later when he discovers his murdered wife he behaves in a strange way. He cries in a very odd manner (in the presence of Numair). He does not even show any inclination to know WHO has murdered his wife and FOR WHAT (Numair knew who did it but stood silently still). He cremates her body without informing anyone.

Later we were informed in a rather casual and flimsy manner about the fact that Anil may've disposed of the body quietly in order to prevent Hindu-Muslim communal riot.

What infantile nonsense is this?

4 - Shefali Shah's (Anil Kapoor's wife) melodramatic acting "sticks out like a Sore Nose" in a 2-hour film based on a serious concept. Even in supposedly serious scenes she is melodramatic. Pathetic!

5 – It is strange that an established actor like Milind Gunaji is used very sparingly in the film.

6 – At the end of the film you may feel like it was "stretched" a bit too far than necessary, even though the film is just 2 hours long.

Even if you've not seen Black & White don't worry you have NOT missed or will not miss anything at all! Black & White is just a casual, bland and unconvincing attempt by Subhas Ghai to do something different from his usual masala films.

The fact is he is just not cut out to make the kind of realistic, to-the-point, and "non-filmy" films that a Ram Gopal Verma or a Vishal Bharadwaj can make.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Black and White walks away with Flying Colours !!!!!

10/10
Author: xxTusharxx (maschile4u@yahoo.ca) from Megha Valley
12 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i am a hardcore horror/thriller/mystery fan, and watch very few movies belonging to other genres. I watched this movie only because it had a theme which was very fresh in the minds of all Indians..."The Terrorist Attack on the Delhi..." and i must say i enjoyed every bit of this movie. a thought provoking, heart wrenching movie... Anil Kapoor was at his best in this film. He portrayed the role of a moralistic Urdu professor with such élan and elegance that i was amazed. The scene that i felt best was the one when Anil comes to know his wife was dead and in spite of being totally shattered and shocked, he asks his daughter not to cry as that might lead to Hindu-Muslim riots

!!!! Amazing!!!

Watch it and enjoy it!!i am sure u will!!! I will highly recommend it to everyone who likes intelligent movies.. a 9.5/10 rounded off to 10/10 !!!!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

excellent

10/10
Author: naimakhalid from United Kingdom
4 July 2008

I didn't expect much from this, just another film about terrorism. But saying that it was very good and heart-warming film. It wasn't against Muslim's or Pakistan as some movies, but showed what terrorists believe and that this world isn't simply black and white. The songs were nice to listen to, and the acting was overall quite good. The film didn't drag at places. Being a Muslim i liked the fact that the true meaning of jihad and how Muslim's should behave was shown. Overall a very entertaining movie which kept my attention throughout and had a really good message. For an Indian movie it was quite well made, but this is what is expected from a great director like Subhash Ghai.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Black & White is an amateurish effort from Subhash Ghai.

3/10
Author: sumanbarthakursmailbox from India
19 December 2009

Subhash Ghai's Black & White is an amateurish effort from a filmmaker clearly out of his depth as far as his subject matter is concerned. The film follows the story of a suicide bomber who seeks refuge in the home of an unsuspecting professor, while all along involved in a plot to blow-up the Red Fort. Loosely inspired by the Harrison Ford-Brad Pitt starrer The Devil's Own, Ghai's film explores the relationship between a terrorist and the couple who open their home and their hearts to him. Well-intended the film may be, but at plot level itself there's a fundamental flaw with Black & White, and that flaw is the writer-director's sheer inability to set the tone of the film. Opening on a note that's so pretentious you want to puke, Ghai uses redundant symbolism—like a child with a candle—to make a point that's been made so many times before. To top that, his every character is a caricature that spouts clichés instead of dialogues. Take Anil Kapoor playing the Urdu professor, for instance. How you cringe at those long sermons he delivers, and then his shameless hamming, especially in that scene where the professor returns home one night to discover a horrible brutality committed on his wife. Not that Shefali Shah, playing the professor's activist wife is much better. Hysterical for the most part, she's so over-the-top even in comic and supposedly emotional scenes, you want to remind her, this is film not street theatre where melodrama can be used to great effect. Newcomer Anurag Sinha, who plays the mysterious stranger with dishonourable intentions, has an arresting screen presence, undeniably, but straitjacketed in a loosely developed role he has little scope to really perform — unless you count his brooding and that 'angry young man' impression as a performance. Black & White falls like a pack of cards because it's meant to be a serious, even realistic film, a departure from Ghai's trademark masala musicals. But problem is the director is so unfamiliar and uncomfortable with minimalism that he cannot resist the urge to throw in some of his typical formulas, as a result delivering a film that is both confused and sloppy. Look at that presumably symbolic scene in which a deaf-mute child plays out a patriotic tune on her piano to a man just hours away from committing a ghastly act of terror. Or that supposedly comic scene in which an elderly poet makes repeated telephone calls to the professor's home late one night. Or even that indulgent dream song between the terrorist and the young student who's clearly falling for him. The sad thing is, for a film that was meant to address an issue, Black & White doesn't say anything that you don't already know. The film makes only token nods to patriotism, and if you ask me, I'd say the very themes of terrorism, patriotism and nationalism are just incidental to Ghai's story which is in fact, about the power of goodness and love which can convert even the serious non-believers. And that, my friends, let's not forget, is one of mainstream Bollywood's oldest and favourite themes. So you see Ghai never ventured too far from his comfort zone anyway.It's a miscalculation in every sense of the word, a film that makes Kisna and Yaadein seem watchable. When it comes to Subhash Ghai, I'd much rather watch his masala musicals any day.

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