“Black” which released on 4th Feb 2005, has become an iconic movie for Bollywood..
Written by Sanjay Leela Bhansali & Bhavani Iyer, “Black” was loosely based on the English movie “The Miracle Worker” which released in 1962. It told the story of the bond and relationship of a deaf & dumb girl Michelle McNally (Rani Mukherjee) and her teacher Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan). Dialogues were written by Prakash Kapadia.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali thought of the idea of “Black” while preparing for his first movie “Khamoshi-The Musical” which released in 1996, but it was only after “Devdas” which released in 2002 that Sanjay actually went ahead with “Black”. It is said that Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to make “Bajirao Mastaani” after “Devdas” with the cast comprising of Salman Khan as Bajirao, Aishwarya Rai as Mastaani and Rani Mukherjee as Kashi Bai, but due to personal conflict between Salman and Aishwarya the movie was scrapped, so Sanjay decided to make a low budget quickie and that is how “Black” was made.
The principal cast comprised of Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukehrjee, Ayesha Kapoor, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Shernaz Patel, Nandana Sen and Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal. It is said that Rani Mukherjee was initially not very keen to play the role of Michelle as she was not very confident of doing justice to such a difficult role, but it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s belief in her that changed her mind and eventually she played the character of Michelle.
“Black” faced many hurdles during its production, one of the major setbacks was a fire which broke on the set of “Black” and destroyed the entire set erected in Film City. The production team had to re-create the sets from a scratch to resume the shoot. Another setback was during the outdoor at Shimla, for a particular sequence snow fall was to be depicted, but though the shooting was happening in January when it snows in Shimla, there was no snow falls that year. So to depict snow fall, snow making machines where used with sacks of salt which substituted for snow, but when you see the sequence you will not realize that it was fake snow. The major setback was when Sanjay did not get teh permission to shoot the indoor sequences in a vintage villa; hence a mammoth task was assigned to art director Omung Kumar to re-create the interiors of a pre-independence vintage villa in Film City, Mumbai.
“Black” was critical and a box office success, though being an unusual concept. Amitabh Bachchan was seen in a completely different avatar in the movie, far removed from his super star persona. “Black” fetched Amitabh Bachchan his second National Award for Best Actor, earlier he got his first National Award for Agneepath. Additionally Amitabh won all the major awards for Best Actor including Filmfare for that year. Since “Black” Amitabh has done some path breaking roles in Cheeni Kum, Paa, Piku and Pink out of which Amitabh Bachchan has received National Awards for Paa & Piku.
“Black” catapulted Rani Mukherjee to the league of good actresses and also consolidated her position in Bollywood. She won all the major awards for “Best Actress” including the Filmfare Award for “Black”. Another actor who created a mark with “Black” was Ayesha Kapoor who played the kid Michelle. Ayesha received the Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor Female category.
Ravi K Chandran will be remembered for his brilliant cinematography of “Black”. He swept all the awards for Best Cinematography for that year including a Filmfare award.
“Black” won 11 Filmfare awards, making “Black” the movie which has received the maximum no. of Filmfare Awards till date.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is famous for his music and extravagant song sequences, surprisingly did not have a single song in Black, but still it captured the hearts of the audience till today.
“Black” I think is the best movie that Sanjay Leela Bhansali made till date. The movie had the correct emotional content which was shot with technical finesse and the performance from the entire cast was just magical.
“Black” is and will remain a cult classic for Indian Film Industry, and it is one of the “Must Watch” movies of Bollywood…
Watch the movie trailer of “Black”