By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | April 06, 2018

Rating: 2 / 5

2stars


The essence: The one actor who stands out is Anuja Sathe who gives Prabha (her character) a life of its own with a machiavellian twist. She comes in as this shy girl who is the target of the male staff but then turns the table on her adversaries in a manner that is both shocking and delightful.


Blackmail I believe was I intended to be funny (black comedy); but the joke is on the film itself!

Let’s list the flaws:

  • The one who blackmails, usually ensures that he tells no one what he is up to. Blackmailing is an act which is a crime even if it means punishing the one who has offended you! Here, the one blackmailing lets out his truth to a colleague; and you know how it can then trigger a ripple effect!
  • The one being blackmailed receives a SMS; the blackmailer does not speak to his victim. Incidentally, dumb that he is (and scared for what he has done), he gives in to his demand and very late in the day hires a ‘cheap detective’ to track down the blackmailer.
  • The ‘cheap detective’ does his duty and finds out within a day to whom the number belongs. This is something that the one being blackmailed could have done in the first place.
  • The blackmailer, we understand, is a pervert. Photographs of spouses of colleagues on their desks, and even that from the bosses’ cabin go missing as he goes to the rest room.
  • What is even surprising is that the door connecting the kitchen and the bedroom (on which there are shelves to keep kitchen essentials) has a hole in it through which the blackmailer can see his wife lying on the bed. Now this hole is exactly in line with the wife’s level of vision and yet she has not detected it: It is through this gaping hole that the premise for blackmailing begins.
  • Moreover, the cops have enough clues as to who the blackmailer is after the accidental death of a colleague but fail to arrest him; I wonder why?

Blackmail is a voyeuristic film that is driven on the lust of a pervert who prefers to stay late in office playing ‘Pac-Man’ rather than going home and living a healthy life with his wife.

Day after day, Dev Kaushal (Irrfan Khan) stays late at work and the organization has nothing to tell him even though the watchman knows that no productive work is being done during that time.

Director Abhinay Deo has a good plot for a gripping film but adds too many flips that turns the plot on its head which makes no sense at all. When the actual blackmail begins and another blackmailer gets in the picture, things look exciting. But things soon get out of hand for the blackmailer [and the viewer] as everyone wants their piece of the pie. The never-ending circle of blackmailing gets nauseating.

Irrfan khan in the lead as this forlorn pervert who has a young wife at home (but prefers photographs instead), performs to a nicety. The shortcoming mentioned above does not allow him to carve out a character that one will take home, like say Kalki Koechlin’s Ruth from That Girl in Yellow Boots, another dark and disturbing film.

Kirti Kulhari as Reena his wife who is relegated to her home can only do so much. Like a bored housewife who looks for entertainment elsewhere her character lacks the depth of say Shilpa Shukla’s Sarika from B. A. Pass, another dark film.

Divya Dutta is beginning to go the Jimmy Sheirgill way: not his fault if directors want to cast him as a cop in every other film! Omi Vaidya has been seen on the screen after long; he needs to shake off his Chatur Ramalingam effect from 3 Idiots and fast!

The one actor who stands out is Anuja Sathe who gives Prabha (her character) a life of its own with a machiavellian twist. She comes in as this shy girl who is the target of the male staff but then turns the table on her adversaries in a manner that is shocking, yet delightful.

Blackmail goes the Lunch Box way: (The Dabbawala community has been awarded a Six Sigma Certification. Six Sigma is a set of practices to systematically improve processes by eliminating defects. They received the Certification because they did not care about Certification but cared only about customer satisfaction. Agreed a mistake can be happen once even by the efficient Dabbawala. But to consistently hand over a tiffin to the wrong address to a wrong person for over a fortnight certainly makes a mockery of the fact that these guys have this Certification; and that they are passionate about customer satisfaction.)

Incidentally, both films have Irrfan Khan!


CREDITS
Producer: Krishan Kumar, Bhushan Kumar, Abhinay Deo, Apurba Sengupta
Director: Abhinay Deo
Star Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Omi Vaidya, Anuja  Sathe

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