of Release : 2005
Hindi & English
by : Sanjay Leela
: Amitabh Bachchan, Ayesha Kapoor,
Black is the
poignant story of a deaf-blind girl whose life is changed by a personal teacher, from an uneducated spoilt brat to a fine
young lady. There is no mistaking; the movie is heavily influenced by Helen Keller's autobiography 'the Story of My Life'.
The book has inspired lot of films, starting with Deliverance (1919), a silent film starring herself.
Yet the film features in my Top10 list, might be because I have not been through any other portrayals of her life, including
the autobiography itself. The film has the director's signature all the way. Ravi K. Chandran’s
camera captures light and shade in the perfect ratio. Monty's soulful background score is heart-warming. Michelle McNally,
the central character of the film is portrayed by Ayesha Kapoor at younger ages and Rani
Mukherji at older ages. It was Rani who won many laurels for the role,
but I think it was Ayesha who rocked. In fact Rani is one thing I didn't like about the film. I
found her motions too plastic and unreal for a deaf-blind. Having said that her mannerisms were superb and her act wasn't
second rate. Shernaz Patel as Catherine McNally, Michelle's mom is also wonderful. But, it was Amitabh who amused me with his terrific skill. He just lives as Debraj sahai, Michelle's trainer (Anne Sullivan in Helen Keller's case). His every movement, dialogue and expression
as the insane looking strange teacher and as the old Alzheimer's
patient left me spellbound. He is the prominent reason for this film finding a place in here.
Best Scene : When Debraj and young Michelle's
parents learns that she could comprehend what Debraj was writing on her
palms. She does it below a fountain when Debraj gets mad of her and was scolding her by talking
loud and writing the same on her palms. I later learned that even this scene is a clear lift from Keller's book, but I didn't
know that when I saw it. When I was watching it, I could feel hairs standing on my hand.