‘Blackmail’ Movie Review


Abhinay Deo teams up with Irrfan and the gang…..

You know the plot, so no time wasting on it. Irrfan discovers his wife, Kirti (Pink) is cheating on him with Arunodaya Singh (Yeh Saali Zindagi) and instead of resorting to any alpha male violence, he takes an alternate route, of blackmailing the lover.

The trick is, the ransom is not a huge amount to live his life lavishly. It is only to cover his next EMIs!

Whilst Abhinay and his co-writer Parvez Sheikh take their own time building up the plot, mixed with zany raps and the Satasat song which will remind you of the Saigal Blues from Delhi Belly; it does feel that the film at a running length of 139 minutes is a tad 20 minute too long. Especially the portions of Omi Vaidya, which are intended to be relief spinners, do feel unwanted.

Not to forget the silly item number of Urmila Matondkar. What a waste. These few points coupled with a few instances of lazy writing, makes the film feel a wee bit clunky at times.

But remove these and you have a film filled with fantastic performances which overcome the poor writing also. So from the inspector who is more interested in the fact that a murder victim was a virgin rather than who the killer was to the blind gun dealer Vibha Chibbar, who has a Bachchan story against each gun that she sells; all actors come good in their performances.

Gajraj Rao as the detective Chawla, referring to himself in the third party is hilarious. Omi Vaidya is still living in the Idiots hangover whilst Kirti doesn’t have much scope in the film. Neelima Azim in her cameo is decent.

But the film belongs to this lot, who irrespective of role size, manage to anger, irritate and at times infuse pity at themselves:

Pradhuman Singh, from Osama to this skirt chasing, money minded best friend cum colleague.

Divya Dutta, the drunk, spoilt wife whose insinuations to her husband as the canine pet of the house will have you in splits.

Anuja Sathe is a revelation. Her transformation is simply fantastic.

Irrfan as expected rules the roost. In any scene, he is the character with the least dialogues, emoting only through his eyes and facial expressions. Something which was intended by the director too. It is his helplessness, his quirky sense of humour, or his own justification of justice, be it the blackmail or just jerking off every 20 minutes by ogling at this colleague’s wifes, in one case even his boss’; which add so many shades to an otherwise boring existence of a sales person for a toilet paper company, living a loveless marriage of 7 years. He shows truly that he owns the character inside out.

But the fun is watching Arunodaya. This talented actor has had his due long coming. He shines as the loud track suit clad, body building Aroraa who just married for money and now is having his cake and eating it too. His is the only well written character in the film, to great detail and the one that pays the maximum, in terms of BLACKMAIL.

Abhinay Deo does a good job at this dark, twisted black comedy. Yes, the editing could have been sharper and a few things here and there, but hey, there is a reason Aamir is called the perfectionist, no wonder this is no Delhi Belly.

Rating : 3/5

By: Yusuf Poonawala