1993 Mumbai Blasts: Looking back at Anurag Kashyap's fearless cinematic gem Black Friday
It's amazing how the inspiration to create a memorable cinematic experience can sprout from the most disturbing events in history.
As the accused in the 1993 blasts get convicted, let's have a look at Black Friday, the film that was made on the bombings that shook Mumbai. The film is based on investigative journalist Hussain Zaidi's riveting book — Black Friday – The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts. Zaidi's thorough account of the blasts could not have been projected on the big screen optimally without Anurag Kashyap's cinematic vision.
Although, the film was not a commercial hit, it still remains one of the most valuable gems of Indian cinema. It is one of those films that stand the test of time and stay relevant even after years of their release. When Kay Kay Menon and Anurag Kashyap come together for a collaborative offering, magic is bound to happen. It is no surprise that both Kashyap and Menon are often hailed as the faces of parallel cinema in India.
Here's a glimpse of who played what character in the film:
Kay Kay Menon as DCP Rakesh Maria
Menon played former police commissioner Rakesh Maria, who cracked the blast case and was later given the responsibility of investigating the 26/11 blasts in Mumbai. Known for his nuanced expressions, Menon owned the part of the fiery Deputy Commissioner in the film.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Asgar Muqadam
Siddiqui plays Tiger's secretary in the film and his interrogation scene still is one of the best acted scenes of Bollywood. Siddiqui once told HT, that he was supposed to look scared out of his wits for the scene. However, the reason why he could deliver so well was because he was reading his lines from a paper and it looked like he was just out of words in the scene. Typical find-a-way-around-everything Siddiqui.
Pavan Malhotra as Tiger Memon
Malhotra plays the underworld don in the film, who like a magician, evokes disgust, loathing, repulsion at the same time in the viewers. Malhotra's feisty display makes it easy for the viewer to develop a deep sense of detestation. Memon is the one who puts the thought of an attack on Mumbai in the gang's head and is very convincing at that.
Aditya Srivastava as Badshah Khan
The star of the longest running Indian TV serial CID, Srivastava, played Badshah Khan, a henchman of Tiger Memon. He remains a staunch supporter and protector of his clan which is seen in the scene where he is being interrogated in the police station and he defends his actions in a heated argument. Khan, however, towards the end of the film becomes a witness after being let down by the same clan he stood up for in the beginning.
Vijay Maurya as Dawood Ibrahim
Maurya plays one of the most wanted terrorists in India, Dawood Ibrahim. Maurya being cast as Ibrahim in the film is one of the most interesting stories you will ever read. Kashyap had told India Today that he was unable to find an actor to play the underworld don. With Maurya walking into his office and gate-crashing is way into the film. Maurya had been secretly preparing for role, piling on kilos and growing a mustache. Kashyap was dumbfounded when he saw Maurya in the avatar and that is how his search for an actor to play Ibrahim ended.
Imtiaz Ali as Yakun Memon
In a seeming absurdity, the director who helms the most romantic love stories of Bollywood has been a part of a gory Anurag Kashyap crime film. In a blink and miss role, Ali plays Tiger's brother who eventually turns himself in to the police. Yakub gives an interview to a news channel, which is telecast on national television.