Black Friday is a 2004 Indian film by Anurag Kashyap about the 1993 Bombay bombings. Based on Black Friday - The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts, a book by S. Hussain Zaidi, the film attempts to recreate those events and the intense feelings that followed them. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and was a nominee for the Best Film [Golden Leopard] award at the Locarno International Film Festival.
On 9 March 1993 a small time thug, Gul Mohammed, is detained at the Nav Pada police station and confesses to a conspiracy underway to bomb major locations around the city. The police dismiss his confession, and three days later, Bombay is torn apart by a series of explosions leaving 257 dead, and close to 1,400 injured. Investigators discover that the bombs were made of RDX, smuggled into the city with the aid of customs officials and the border police.
In turn, the film traces the motive for the blasts to the Bombay Riots, which is the term used to describe the bloody warring between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the period from December 1992 to January 1993, which left over 1500 people dead. The Bombay Riots was an unprecedented outburst of violence and abuse, resulting in enormous emotional trauma and property loss. Tiger Memon [Pawan Malhotra] is an underworld don whose office is burnt to cinders during the riots. The suffering of the Muslim minorities in the riots incites a meeting of underworld leaders in Dubai, who then take it on themselves to seek retribution. Tiger Bhai [as Tiger Memon is called] one of the chief inflamed suggests an attack on Bombay as the strongest message of retaliation, thus leading to Black Friday 12 March 1993.
Asgar Muqadam, Tiger Memons secretary is arrested on 14 March 1993. He is beaten till he provides whatever information he has about the bomb blasts, and that initiates a full police inquiry. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Maria [currently Inspector General of the Maharashtra Police], is put in charge of the case.
The next piece in the puzzle is the arrest of Badshah Khan [Aditya Shrivastava], one of the henchmen who had left Bombay and gone into hiding, who was found by the police on 10 May 1993.
Badshah Khan realizes that there is no justification for his acts, and decides to become a police witness. On 4 November 1993, the police file a charge sheet against 189 accused. The Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] takes over the case.
Then on 5 August 1994, Tigers brother, Yaqub Memon, willingly turns himself in to the authorities. In a candid Newstrack interview on national television Yaqub states that it was Tiger and his underworld associates who orchestrated the conspiracy. Tiger Memon has now disappeared.
* Black Friday [album]
*List of films based on crime books
The films soundtrack and background score was composed by Indian Ocean and the lyrics were written by Piyush Mishra. This was Indian Oceans first film soundtrack and it has a total of nine tracks - three songs and six instrumentals. The song Bandeh became immensely popular and reached #2 on the film charts. The music was well received by critics and the album was declared a "must buy." The score and soundtrack has been described as "haunting" and "goose bump[s]" inducing.
The film was screened at the 57th Locarno International Film Festival on 13 August 2004 and was received with widespread praises. It was a nominee for the coveted Golden Leopard [Best Film], but the award eventually went to the Italian film Private. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles in April 2004.
Black Friday was also nominated for three Star Screen Awards in 2008, but did not win any of them.
* Best Actor in a Negative Role - Pavan Malhotra
* Best Screenplay - Anurag Kashyap
* Best Editing - Aarti Bajaj
The film has been appreciated by critics all over the world. The film has an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Matt Zoller Seitz of the New York Times described it as "epic and raw, and cut out from the same bloody cloth as Salvador and Munich.
Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter compares the films "journalistic inquiry into cataclysmic social and political events" to that of Gillo Pontecorvos classic The Battle of Algiers. He remarks that the film is without any lurid sensationalism and is objective.
David Chute of LA Weekly described the film as "a rigorously naturalistic docudrama about a complex police investigation."
Ethan Alter of Film Journal International describes it as a "potent reminder that Indian filmmaking isnt limited to Bollywood super-productions." According to Maitland McDonagh of TV Guides Movie Guide, "its assertion that religious terrorism is about more than simply faith is food for thought." According to Ted Murphy of Murphys Movie Reviews, "Kashyap keeps the action moving and the overall movie turns out to be engrossing."
The film was released in the United Kingdom with 17 seconds of the cockfighting scenes deleted. Laws in the UK do not allow any film footage of actual animal cruelty that has been deliberately orchestrated by film-makers.
Black Friday is a film based on the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai which many believe were organised as retaliation for the Bombay riots which left over 1,500 people dead.
Black Friday was not released in Indian theaters for two years, as on the eve of its release, a petition seeking a stay was filed by the people named in the film, the alleged perpetrators of the crime. Since the verdict was still pending for the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, they argued that the film would bias public opinion against them and affect the courts decision. An argument that was ultimately upheld by the court.
The film was received rapturously at previews in India and abroad. It was released in the United Kingdom in 2006 and was finally given the go ahead by the Supreme Court for release in India on 9 February 2007, after the accused had been charged with TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act], which carries a maximum sentence of death.
The DVD [Eagle Home Entertainment] synopsis contains the name of Tiger Memon incorrectly spelled and printed as Tiger Menon, which is in fact a Malayali [Kerala] Hindu name and not the Muslim name Memon.
British director Danny Boyle has cited Black Friday as an inspiration for his 2008 award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Boyle stated that a chase in one of the opening scenes of Slumdog Millionaire was based on a "12-minute police chase through the crowded Dharavi slum" in Black Friday.
Source : Black Friday Wiki Page