'Blackmail' is a sharp idea so, so very let down! Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari and... Urmila Matondkar's item song don't really help. The action is underwhelming, and the film thoroughly boring. I am going with 1.5 stars out of 5 for 'BlackMail'. The film soughts to acquire multiple identities and ends up in acquiring none. It is subtle failure, but failure, nevertheless.
Abhinay Deo’s Blackmail, a black comedy film, does not turn out to be a promising film. Abhinav Deo’s Delhi Belly had become a box-office hit. He has tried the same genre in this film as well, but the film picks up only at certain shots. Irrfan Khan is a great actor and he generally brings his punches to the characters he plays on screen. But in blackmail, even his punches were missing in most of the places, could be due to the screenplay. The premise of the film is interesting that when a husband accidentally discovers his wife having an affair, how he deals with the same? Instead of confronting with his wife, he chooses to blackmail her. How does this blackmail impact his wife, wife’s boyfriend and how do they respond back is shown in rest of the film. Rather the trailer revealed the flow of the film. The film suffers from repetition syndrome.
The initial parts of the film seemed interesting. Dev (Irrfan Khan) is trapped in his mundane routine. He prefers to play games on computer in office till late evenings rather than going back home to his loveless marriage. His wife Reena (Kriti Kulhari) is shown to be very detached towards Dev and she is just bothered to know whether Dev paid the TV bill or not. Dev has a list of his expenses written viz. loan emi, bills etc. Dev wished sincerely that his relationship with Reena improves. So, one day, he decided to surprise his wife by reaching home early and that is when he finds his wife in bed with her lover Ranjeet (Arunodaya Singh). Dev decides to blackmail Ranjeet.
Rest of the film is all about how the events unfold when Dev starts the blackmailing. Dev’s blackmailing leads to a series of blackmails. It gets very repetitive and the film starts suffering as far as the content, pace, dialogues etc. are concerned. The subplots seemed forced.
Irrfan Khan and Arunodya Singh rescue the film from being a boring one. Divya Dutt has done justice to her role, but her role itself seemed absolutely out of place in the film. Kriti is ok. The subplots involving Dev’s boss Omi Vaidya’s plans to capture the .market for toilet rolls did not add magic to the film. It is sad that Urmila Matondkar’s item song is absolutely forgettable.
Abhinav Deo’s Blackmail suffers from repetition syndrome. Irrfan and Arunodaya do add value to the film with their presence. The premise of the film is interesting but it does not pick up.
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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