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Blackmail

By Shubarna Mukerji Shu Friday, Apr 06, 2018 08:40: PM
Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anuja Sathe Gokhale, Omi Vaidya
Abhinay Deo
Dark Comedy
2018-04-06
Hindi
3/5

Sometimes, when you plan something diabolic to kick start a domino, it becomes something that is completely beyond the realm of things you can handle. It happened with Dev Kaushal (Irrfan) - the protagonist of this comic, thriller.

 

The first scene itself tells you just how interesting Dev’s marriage is.  He would much rather sit at his office wasting time than go home to his beautiful wife, Reena (Kriti Kulhari) The way he watches her, peeping through their bedroom while she is in the kitchen tells you plenty about his feelings.  Does he hope for more out of his life? Yes! Does he want out of his marriage? Not necessarily. Does he dream of a better tomorrow? Yes…but fact remains that he is too damn tired of even attempting to work towards his dreams.

 

While we are on the topic of dreams, I might as well tell you, Dev has a very active mind. If not busy masturbating, collecting photographs of his co-workers’ wives, spending time spying on his unfaithful wife – he is imagining things he would like to do, and have his mind explode with possibilities. The lethargy continues until he figures that he is not the only one thoroughly frustrated with his marriage. His wife is, in fact, having an affair with her ex- Ranjit. Ranjit himself is in a bad marriage. It is obvious that he married hoping to be in his wealthy father-in-law’s good books and cheque book. However, it wasn’t a lucrative deal as he hoped it would be…

 

In all this madness, when Dev decides he wants to blackmail Ranjit, the wheel spins uncontrollably in all mad directions.  You start seeing how a regular person doesn’t think twice about doing something mean or even criminal, when it comes to bettering their prospects.  

 

There are moments which bring a smile to the face.  There are some that make you want to look within and see if you would have reacted the same way, and yet the film hasn’t been pitched to perfection. For instance, there is an Irrfan, who is handling his job with as much finesse as he is accustomed to. He is delivering every notch with perfection, he is too much himself to be Dev. You cannot help but see a lot of Irrfan’s previous work in Dev, which isn’t flattering to the director. If you want to have an actor of Irrfan’s calibre on board, you need to juice him out to perfection too. We all know what miracles Irrfan is capable of, so why not let him soar?

 

Kirti Kulhari for instance, is excellent. She does a fair job as Reena, and yet she has too little to do. She is like a hungry caterpillar who has been given only a sliver of a leaf so how far can she take that along? In comparison, there is a lot of Arunoday to be seen and Divya Dutta (who plays his drunk wife). They are funny in parts, and stretchy in the others. Considering Deo has opted for a linear storyline, despite the madness and chaos in the script, it is odd how portions of conflicting beliefs crop up through the film. Through the script there are no fingers pointed at Kirti for being adulterous.

 

The conflict speaks of lack of direction on Deo’s part. With the novelty of a slightly risqué storyline (screenplay is by Praveez Sheikh) no longer being a novelty in Bollywood, Deo didn’t have much of an advantage this time, as he did in Delhi Belly. With his former, he made relatively mediocre actors blossom;  with this one though, he made veterans looks iffy.

 

 

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BRARS RASMALAI
Brars Rasmalai