Director Abhinay Deo can safely call himself the king of black comedies as Blackmail by all means surpasses his previous best, Delhi Belly (2011). Irrfan, the king of the neighbouring kingdom - subtle acting - plays Dev, a cuckold to his wife (Kirti Kulhari) and leads the show. How an ordinary office-going man with shades of grey turns into a hostile creature with inflated vile human characteristics is what is the basic setting, and why Blackmail works compared to its past contemporaries is because Dev is not the only monster here. Every single character in the film is a vile creature with sinister intentions. From Dev's wife to his colleagues to the adulterer (Arunoday Singh) - everyone is a culprit in this drama that is written with full conviction and imagination. Writer Parveez Sheikh, known for Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Queen (2013), weaves a story that is so well-connected and polished, it is both delightful and funny to see the events unfold. Irrfan is at his usual best who acts like he his living the character; Singh, Divya Dutta, and Omi Vaidya are other members of the cast who support Deo in creating a near modern masterpiece in storytelling. With narrative frequently taking potshots at the human nature and also sampling current affairs and trends, there is never a dull moment that will bore a discerning viewer. There is enough going on in this drama that you will want to pay close attention as there is brilliance even in the niceties. Supported by a hard-pumping soundtrack, an unnecessary Urmila Matondkar cameo, and one of the best screenplays I have seen for a Bollywood film in 2018 so far, Blackmail is like that student who gets 80+ on all the subjects. How a noxious affair leads to another nasty thought to several more beastly events is what Blackmail situates itself in, and at the end reveals the hard truth about life that it is not people who actually do the crime that always suffer for it. It's a sincere and quirky take on life and gets full points for the efforts. The ambiguous climax makes it much more of a new wave, unmissable film. Go watch it! TN.
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