– Yaser Khan
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunodhay Singh, Divya Dutta
Direction: Abhinay Deo
While Irrfan Khan has boarded a journey to fight his illness and recover, he offers us an interesting film in the form of Abhinay Deo’s directorial ‘Blackmail’ which also stars Kirti Kulhari and Arunodhay Singh. The film is based on how a husband deals with his wife’s extramarital affair.
Story: Dev (played by Irrfan Khan) is a boring man who loves his office work more than his beautiful wife Reena (played by Kirti Kulhari) and has a weird fixation of fantasizing the wives of his colleagues. On his friend’s advice, he decides to surprise his wife with flowers stolen from a graveyard to spice up his marriage. He finds out his wife is having an affair with an old lover Ranjit (played by Arunodhay Singh). He follows him to his house and finds out he’s married to a corporator’s daughter Dolly (played by Divya Dutta) and is her toy boy. After learning his wife’s lover may have a sponsor, he starts blackmailing him through an anonymous SIM card to pay off his EMIs and loans which also occurs from the fact that his boss (played by Omi Vaidya) refuses to give him a raise. Ranjit takes a loan from his wife fooling to start a business and gets threatened to repay the full amount. He decides to blackmail Reena in order to recover the money and portrays its the same person who blackmailed them in the first place for the ransom to hide their truth from Dev. In this duration, Dev’s friend reveals the whole blackmail scenario to an office crush, who starts blackmailing Dec for her benefit. More blackmails lead to more complications and some murders. Who will finally benefit from them blackmails and ransoms if to be found out!
Irrfan Khan is terrific in his act. From being a lousy husband to a mastermind in no time could be a little questionable, it maybe the screenplay that lacked the sensibility but Irrfan surely pulled it off.
Kirti Kulhari plays a vulnerable wife from the word go. She does justice to her role with her controlled emotions. Wish she had more screen time.
Arunodhay Singh has a ‘There, not yet there’ kind of an act. His expressions are sometimes unnecessary at certain places and come across as very immature, at very few places, he impresses too.
Divya Dutta is hilarious in her part. She plays a typical dominant woman who treats her man like a dog and has a sexiness to her without trying to be desirable.
Omi Vaidya sticks to his ‘funny’ act with his signature accent and shows no growth as an actor.
Music and Dialogues: The music of the film has been composed by Amit Trivedi and it’s not his best work for sure. The song ‘Badla’ is good but the same cannot be told about Urmila Matondkar’s special song ‘Bewafa Beauty’, her screen time is a disappointment. Guru Randhawa’s ‘Patola’ is fun but sadly not an original. The dialogues of the film are great. There’s a punchline to every conversation without a direct indication. You’re sure to crack up everytime.
Direction: Abhinay Deo captivates the dark side of his very normal looking characters. His ‘Delhi Belly’ was a masterpiece, unfortunately, due to a weaker screenplay, ‘Blackmail’ fails to match up to that level but is still an enjoyable pulp fiction. The concept of a husband taking a silent revenge could be tasteful but her not having a happy marriage with him is really her fault? There are questions that you will raise but if you still to the concept and enjoy the film for what it is, the performances and the comedy make you ignore everything. The number of twists might get you into a confusing loop. The editing could have been a little more crisp to pack this suspense filled drama with more sharpness. The cinematography though was interesting with the opening scene, roof top shots and making the same deal used by Dev’s character interesting everytime. Overall, the film works for the performances from its actors and the punches it has.
Cinespeaks Verdict: For the interesting premise and a new approach to seek revenge from your partner (though we do not recommend for anyone to try in real life), the film is enjoyable and keeps you entertained. You’ll find the climax appealing too. Cinespeaks gives the film 3 out of 5 Stars.