Black Friday is a film from 2004 that follows the events of the 1993 bomb blasts that took place in Mumbai.
In 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 discovered that the bombs were RDX, smuggled into the city with the aid of customs officials and the border police.
The film traces the motive for the blasts to the Bombay riots, the war between the Hindus and the Muslims which left over 1500 people dead. The Bombay riots were an outburst of violence and abuse, resulting in emotional trauma and property loss. Tiger Memon (Pavan Malhotra) is an underworld don whose office is burnt down during the riots. The suffering of the Muslim minorities in the riots triggers a meeting of underworld leaders in Dubai, who then take it on themselves to seek revenge. Tiger Bhai (as Tiger Memon is addressed), one of the chief inflamed suggests an attack on Bombay as the strongest message of retaliation, thus leading to Black Friday on 12 March 1993.
Asgar Muqadam (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), Tiger Memon’s secretary is arrested. He is beaten till he opens up with information he has about the bomb blasts and that initiates a full-fledged police inquiry. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Maria (Kay Kay Menon) is put in charge of the case.
After the blast, the accomplices in the crime are forced to lead a life of anonymity and secrecy as it becomes evident that Mumbai police have started picking up the suspects one by one.
In spite of assurances to the contrary, the high command refuses any help to them once the bombings have taken place. Tired of being let down by his own people and without a place to hide, Badshah Khan realizes that there is no justification for his acts and decides to become a police witness. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) takes over the case.
In 1994, Tiger’s brother, Yaqub Memon (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), 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.
The film is one that is depicted through sheer violence and atrocities. It required an insane amount of research and Anurag Kashyap and his team did wonders with the details portrayed on screen.
The censorship issues that followed were the graphic images in the film. It was utterly horrific and a realistic take on how bomb blasts work. The film also focused a lot on police brutality with triggered the censorship board to shut down the screening so as to not show authoritative institutions in a bad light. The storyline in itself were the actual events that took place leading to the arrest of those accused and thus it had no motive of hidden information by the writer who is Anurag himself.
A movie made in 2004 found it’s release in the country in 2007 after going through a lot of levels of convincing with the Censor Board and bearing the cuts, for a story like this needs to be told and in exactly the way it happened, which is what Anurag Kashyap wanted and achieved.