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Black (2005)

Not Rated | | Drama | 4 February 2005 (USA)
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The cathartic tale of a young woman who can't see, hear or talk and the teacher who brings a ray of light into her dark world.

Writers:

Sanjay Leela Bhansali (screenplay), Bhavani Iyer (English dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Indian Movies #32 | 37 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amitabh Bachchan ... Debraj Sahai
Rani Mukerji ... Michelle McNally
Shernaz Patel ... Catherine 'Cathy' McNally
Ayesha Kapoor ... Young Michelle McNally (as Ayesha Kapur)
Dhritiman Chatterjee Dhritiman Chatterjee ... Paul McNally (as Dhritiman Chaterji)
Sillo Mahava Sillo Mahava ... Mrs. Gomes (as Silloo Mahava)
Chippy Gangjee Chippy Gangjee ... Principal Fernandes (as Chippy Ganjee)
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal ... Ms. Nair
Salome Salome ... Martha (as Salomi Roy Kapoor)
Kenny Desai Kenny Desai ... Dr. Mehta
Arif Shah Arif Shah ... Marc Brugger
Bomie E. Dotiwala Bomie E. Dotiwala ... Mr. Brugger (as Bomi Dotiwala)
Jeroo Shroff Jeroo Shroff ... Mrs. Brugger
Bomi Kapadia Bomi Kapadia ... Trustee 1
Kamal Adib Kamal Adib ... Trustee 2
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Storyline

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. Things only get worse when Catherine gives birth to Sara, and Paul considers admitting Michelle in an asylum. It is here that Debraj Sahai enters their lives. Through his eager involvement, Michelle blossoms, grows, gives up her violence, even gets admitted in school with normal children. The years pass by, Michelle does not succeed in getting her graduation, and it is time for Debraj to bid adieu as he is having his own health problems. 12 years later, at the age of 40, Michelle does succeed in graduating in Arts, and it is shortly thereafter she will be re-united with... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An unending darkness... A world of shadows... A ray of light that found its way... A teacher's dream... A student's miracle... A valiant journey... From ignorance to knowledge... From darkness to light... An extraordinary story of an ordinary life

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi | English

Release Date:

4 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Întuneric See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

INR 180,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

INR 68,064,805 (India), 6 February 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$125,342, 6 February 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$733,094, 27 March 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kareena Kapoor was first signed for the lead role but was dropped due to tension with the Bachchan family. See more »

Quotes

Debraj Sahai: That after spending thirty years in this school, I'm just an unseen unheard entity. When I saw the school for the last time, my students were waving to me in the wrong direction.
See more »

Connections

References The Kid (1921) See more »

Soundtracks

Jazz
Composed by Monty Sharma
Courtesy of Yash Raj Music
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User Reviews

Black will be remembered as a 'Classic' in days to come
23 April 2005 | by shehzada0See all my reviews

Black is an unusual and interesting film in idea and visualization. It's a very special film and there is no doubt; Sanjay Leela Bhansali is among the best talents Indian Film Industry has produced.

There have been films like Sadma, Sparsh and Koi Mil Gaya and Sanjay's directorial debut Khamoshi - The Musical, where the protagonists of the films were physically challenged. KHAMOSHI - THE MUSICAL, was a tale of a deaf and dumb couple and their ordinary child. Despite the presence of matinée idols like Salman Khan, Manisha Koirala and Nana Patekar, the film failed.

Black cannot be described in sheer words. It has been handled with extreme kindliness and it does boast of a plot that's rarely attempted on the Indian screen. Before this movie, Gulzar made a movie 'Koshish' in early 70's starring Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar for which they have won the awards.

Michelle McNally (Ayesha Kapur/Rani Mukerji), born to an Anglo-Indian family, is deaf and blind. She is a bright and intelligent girl and she lives in the world of black and this frustrates her because she desires to speak. Therefore, because of her frustration she becomes harsh and cruel on numerous events.

Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan) is a strange person. He is an alcoholic, a teacher to the deaf and blind children. The principal of the school believes in his ability and sends him to the McNally house to teach Michelle. Debraj's arrival at the McNally home is far from favorable, as he arrives intoxicated, annoyed and impolite. On encountering Michelle, Debraj realizes that the only way to tackle her is to distress her, be violent at times and at the same time, show her the love.

Debraj succeeds and Michelle amazingly learns her first word - Ma. But this is just the beginning. There are several battles to be won. His dreams of Michelle going to a college with students without any disability. But, at this stage, Debraj starts to suffer from Alzheimer. He slowly forgets everything including all words and their meanings. The roles are now reversed!

Sanjay Leela Bhansali explanation of Helen Keller's outstanding life and the role Annie Sullivan played in her life. The real-life story was presented on the big screen in the 1962's Hollywood flick THE MIRACLE WORKER, which starred Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft for which both the performers won the Oscars.

A film like BLACK relies heavily on performances and Bhansali has extracted award-worthy work from practically the entire cast. When you talk of BLACK, it's not just Bachchan or Rani's work you would like to extol, but Shernaz Patel, Nandana Sen, Dhritiman Chaterji and Ayesha Kapur's contribution as well.

International Cinematography by Ravi K. Chandran. Each and every frame is laudable of a great compliment. Omung Kumar has created lively sets for the film. The Shimla shopping mall has been reconstructed to precision in Mumbai. Background music by Monty is apt. BLACK belongs to Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji primarily. After Khakee and Dev, this one is his best performance and for this role, he felt that for the last 25 years I have been working in the movies but this is the first time that I have shown such an interest. Bachchan comes up with a performance that he'll always be remembered for!

There's no denying that Rani delivers her best performance to date and her performance in this movie has topped on the number one spot and crossed her early performances i.e. 'Yuva', 'Hum Tum' and 'Veer - Zaara'. Rani has conveyed through expressions exclusively. Here's a performance that should act as a reference guide for all aspiring actors. And yes, she's bound to walk away with all major awards next year as well!

Shernaz Patel is exceptional. Her sequences with Bachchan are awesome. Dhritiman Chaterji is excellent. Nandana Sen impresses in a small but significant role. Ayesha Kapur is first-rate and she should be given a special award next year in every award ceremony. And also Best Perfromances award should be given to Mr. Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. If Bollywood has to move ahead with time we will be open to experiments like this. A must watch for those who like different cinema. After Lagaan, The Legend Of Bhagat Singh, Kaante, Khakee, this is the movie, which can compete with any Hollywood Movie. Rating: 4 Out Of 5


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