The Inception of blackmails!
Blackmail – Synopsis
Dev (Irrfan) is a toilet paper salesman. One evening he decides to spice up his otherwise mundane life and passionless marriage, by going home early from work with a bunch of roses for his wife. It turns out, that his wife is in bed with another man. This shocking revelation leads to a series of events which are both funny and outrageous.
Native and/or alternate titles: Blackमेल
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Director: Abhinay Deo
Writer: Parveez Sheikh, Pradhuman Singh
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Omi Vaidya, Gajraj Rao, Neelima Azim, Urmila Matondkar
This review may contain minor spoilers!
Blackmail – Review
A black comedy film starring Irrfan Khan! I had no second thoughts about watching ‘Blackmail’ and I am glad I went to watch it!
Dev (Irrfan Khan) is a middle-class man living a mundane life. He is living with his wife Reema (Kriti Kulhari) in a loveless marriage. After getting some advice about re-kindling passion in one’s marriage, Dev decides to go home early and plan a romantic night for his wife. As he reaches home instead of surprising Reema, he is the one who ends up getting surprised – he finds Reema in the bed with her lover, Ranjit (Arunoday Singh). Dev gets upset visibly but he fails to get his body to react! He imagines all sorts of vicious scenarios to handle this situation but his body refuses to follow through. He then silently walks out seething with anger and plotting a plan to get revenge on Reema’s lover by blackmailing her. This way, he can both get his financial situation fixed and get revenge as well. Like the Indian proverb goes, ek teer se do nishane (Killing two birds with one stone).
However, everything goes NOT according to plan. One thing leads to another and more people get involved in this revenge plot for the money and all of it creates a hilarious chain of blackmails!
At first, ‘Blackmail’ feels more like a situational comedy than a black comedy. The story progresses rather slowly but it is filled with lots of comic scenes and dialogues. Every time Dev stays late at the office he steals his colleagues’ wife’s photos and uses them for his secret pleasure. At one point he even steals his boss’ wife’s photo to ‘get-off’ and once when he could not find anything he takes a model’s cut-out to the bathroom to have some ‘naughty’ fun. On another hand Omi Vaidya’s comic character is hit-or-miss. His toilet paper jokes are sometimes incredibly funny and at other times just fall flat. Dev’s colleague-friend has okay-ish comic value. Some of Dolly (Divya Dutta) and Ranjit’s scenes were also quite funny as well.
Black comedies or dark comedies take a comedic approach to handle heavy, provocative, or disturbing topics, sometimes even in politically incorrect manners. ‘Blackmail’ does not deal with very serious kind of topics but it still packs a dark hilarious punch. It is easy to find humour in a blackmail plot but not so easy to walk the thin line between comedy and insult/disgust where creating humour based on a murder. ‘Blackmail’ successfully manages to produce non-stop comedy in such moments. During these scenes, I was one of a few people laughing-out-loud and it made me question my sanity.
Blackmail is overall a very good comedy. Subtle changes in the soundtrack, quirky dialogues and situations manage to produce laughter. For example, Dev demands 100,000,000 INR at first but then he creates a mental-checklist and calculates the money he needs. Then he removes additional zeroes and demands only 100,000 INR! I do not know about others but I was laughing out loud at that moment! Am I weird?! Probably!!
Despite having a somewhat slow beginning and nothing very interesting happening until intermission, what makes ‘Blackmail’ absorbing is that I was not able to predict the end of the story until the very last moment.
Irrfan Khan gives a stellar performance as a kind of timid but ballsy (?!) guy. His character plots the revenge but is also kind-hearted and that kind-heartedness of his adds even more to the humour (from 100,000,000 INR to 100,000 INR – still gets me!) on multiple occasions. While doing all this the “I am sorry but…” kind of expression on his face is gold! Arunoday Singh is hilarious as well in a ‘bad boy with the puppy of wife’ kind of character. Divya Dutta and Gajraj Rao (as Chawla) are great even in their relatively smaller roles. Kriti Kulhari has nothing much to do but she was decent as well. Omi Vaidya was good. Rest of the cast is also great and they had to be because this movie does not depend on just a couple of actors’ performances.
The soundtrack of ‘Blackmail’ is great! It is a wonderful add-on to the environment of the film. However, the item song featuring Urmila Matondkar remained quite unsatisfactory for me. It did not bring any value for the film in my opinion.
Overall, ‘Blackmail’ is a great comedy movie. It is dark and funny at the same time. As a black comedy – mission accomplished! Fans of this genre will probably like it. However, I believe that it may not appeal to some people. Those who are not familiar or fond of black comedy (after the movie, a couple looked visibly upset at people for laughing at death scenes), and the people who are weirded out by anything sexual in nature (a friend of mine was complaining about scenes where Dev pleasures himself and wanted to leave at intermission – well that is perverted for sure but hey, adult humour! And damn girl, you laughed at those scenes!). So, you are warned. Watch at your own risk!
Have you seen ‘Blackmail’? Did you like it? Or, do you plan to watch it? Let us know in the comment below!