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Blackmail  : Wacky, Witty & Wild
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Friday, April 6, 2018
Comedy
Abhinay Deo
Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari

The director who made that crazy film called Delhi Belly is back. It’s a 139-minute joy ride with Dev Kaushal, the husband who’d rather play computer games in the office than go home to his insipid life with wife Reena. As it turns out, the one evening that he does return early to spring a surprise on his wife with a bunch of flowers, he’s the one who’s in for a surprise.

 

Everything is wacky in writer Parveez Shaikh’s screenplay. From Dev’s quirks in the office washroom to how he gets flowers from a graveyard to discovering his wife’s infidelity, everything’s irreverent, especially marriage.

 

Wife Reena’s boyfriend Ranjit Arora unabashedly lives off the crumbs thrown at him by his rich, tipsy wife, Dolly who treats him like a dog. But it’s all a light-hearted jab at life with no mush, no melodrama. 

 

Dev’s workplace has its own bunch of wackos especially the mild, virgin-looking Prabha who turns into a money-crazy virago in a second.

 

Of course, the mad, mad world of director Abhinay Deo whirls around Dev blackmailing his wife and her lover, setting off an unexpected chain of events in his house, in his office and in Ranjit and Dolly’s lives.      

 

Irrfan with his pan-faced humour is ideal as Dev while Divya Dutta as drunken Dolly sways and slays her man verbally at just the perfect pitch. Kirti Kulhari as the wife and Arunoday Singh as her lover play their parts comfortably. Marathi actress Anuja Sathe is delightful as virginal Prabha and Omi Vaidya who was first seen in 3 Idiots is back as the office boss who wants to market toilet paper.

 

Verdict: Perhaps Abhinay Deo overdoes the imaginary scenes a tad bit. Also, unlike Hindi Medium, another Irrfan starrer produced by T-Series, which had crowd-pleasing punchlines that catered to a mass audience, Blackmail will appeal to a more elitist viewer. For instance, most of the alphabets of a neon sign fuse, leaving only ‘Life Suc…s’ lit up. It’s funny but how many will catch it? And I do wish there were some chartbusting numbers to come back humming.

 

But for those who’d like an unconventional chuckle at life, Blackmail is the fun trip for this weekend and gets a 3* rating.

 

Direction: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Screenplay: 3/5
Dialogues: 3/5
Music: 2.5/5

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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