Did you know? Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black had secured 5th spot in Time (Europe)’s 10 best movies of 2005


Nearly two decades have swept by since the release of ‘Black’, a movie that established itself as a benchmark in the annals of Indian cinema. Directed by the celebrated filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali—in what many consider his tour de force—the film not only captured the hearts of audiences within the sprawling subcontinent but also transcended cultural barriers to garner international praise. The quintessence of human strength and perseverance, ‘Black’ centers around the character of Michelle McNally, a deaf-blind girl portrayed compellingly by Rani Mukerji, and her indefatigable teacher Debraj Sahai, brought to life on the silver screen by the iconic Amitabh Bachchan.

In a testament to its transcendent storytelling and powerful performances, ‘Black’ was honored with the fifth position in Time (Europe)’s list of the 10 Best Movies of 2005—a significant milestone that illustrates the film’s far-reaching impact and its resonance with a worldwide audience. This accolade not only celebrates Bhansali’s artistic finesse but also reflects the progressively influential role of Bollywood cinema in the global arena.

As the film ushers in its 19th anniversary, it finds a new home and potentially millions of new admirers on Netflix, broadening its reach and cementing its status as a beloved classic. With ‘Black’ now available on the streaming giant since February 4, it invites contemporary viewers to experience the poignant narrative and arresting visuals that once captivated cinema-goers. This marks a digital reincarnation for the movie, ensuring that the magic of Bhansali’s creation, which beguiled audiences in the mid-2000s, continues to weave its spellbinding tale for spectators of all ages.

Rani Mukerji, speaking on the outpouring of appreciation for ‘Black’ in the wake of its OTT release, expressed her delight and humble gratitude towards the audience’s unwavering adoration. The film remains a defining feature in her diverse body of work, cherished for the experiences it provided and the formidable collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan under Bhansali’s directorship. Her gratifying role and the film’s availability on Netflix offer a chance for those who missed its original theatrical release to envelope themselves in its transformative journey from the comfort of their screens.

Bhansali’s ‘Black’ continues to resonate because it transcends conventional storytelling to speak to something immutable within the human spirit: the will to overcome insurmountable challenges and emerge victorious. This message, paired with the movie’s aesthetic brilliance and emotional depth, confirms its standing not only as an exemplar of Indian filmmaking but also as a work of art that obliges no boundaries, touching diverse populations across the globe.

The achievement of ‘Black’ and its recent Netflix debut are more than just a celebration of an extraordinary work; they exemplify the versatility and dynamism of cinema that bridges cultures and unites audiences through shared human experiences. As Bhansali’s ‘Black’ continues to enchant with its narrative, it serves as both a reminder of the past achievements of Indian cinema and a harbinger of its future potential to leave indelible marks on the canvas of international cinema. Bhansali’s magical synthesis of performance, story, and visual artistry stands firm, entrenched ever more deeply into the fabric of cinematic history through its triumphant march across the platforms of the digital age.

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