'Dil Ke Aar, Jigar Ke Paar, Do Kaudi Ka Nakli Pyaar! Irrfan Khan's latest outing 'Blackmail' has 'love, s*x aur dhokha' as its central theme. A misfit couple struggling with a loveless marriage find themselves entangled in a game of 'blackmail' where each is unaware about the other's intention. What works in the film's favour is the clever writing which keeps you guessing till the very last minute. It's a wacky ride that promises to entertain and regularly gives you moments of laughter.
Jumping straight to the plot, Dev (Irrfan Khan) and Reena (Kirti Kulhari)'s marital life is already under the shambles; blame it on the seven-year itch! One day, on his office colleague Anand (Praduman Singh)'s suggestion, Dev leaves early from office to give a sweet surprise to his wife to bring back the 'spark' in his mundane life.
Unfortunately, the poor guy is in for a rude shock when he discovers her in bed with another man named Ranjit (Arunoday Singh). Does he knock off his wife's lover? Nope. Does he bumps off his wife for adultery? Nope.
Instead, the heartbroken husband decides to take some 'badlaa' and starts blackmailing her lover. Meanwhile, Ranjit turns out to be a henpecked husband whose wife Dolly (Divya Dutta) never misses a chance to bully him. But like they say, 'what goes around comes around' and soon in a hilarous turn of events, there begins a chain of 'blackmail' which makes up for a thrilling, eccentric ride.
Abhinay Deo won rave reviews for his directorial debut 'Delhi Belly'. His next, 'Delhi Safari' and 'Force 2' didn't exactly manage to charm. But with Irrfan Khan's 'Blackmail', the film-maker is back in the game. What makes Blackmail a refreshing watch is its wacky concept and generous bouts of witty humour! Of course, the film's message should be taken in jest! Further, Abhinay has a complete control over his characters in this tale of a scam gone awry.
On the flip-side, the film takes its own sweet time to build up the narrative which might make you restless in your seats. Further, the slow-pace of the film might not be every cine-goers' cup of tea! With a runtime of around 139 minutes, there were moments where 'Blackmail' gets a tad repetitive and loses its steam.
Right from the first frame till the last, Irrfan Khan is a complete show-stealer. His poker-faced humour adds a quirky dimension to the film as you put your gray cells to work to 'bracket' his character in the film. Is there anything out there which Irrfan can't get right? The scene where he picks up a bouquet of flowers from the graveyard for his wife is pure gold!
Kirti Kulhari aces as Reena and puts up a commendable show. Arunoday Singh is a surprise package and it's a treat to watch him on screen. Divya Dutta as his dominating, rich wife complements his character wonderfully. Wish we could see more of her in the film! Praduman Singh, Gajraj Rao and Anuja Sathe are total charm. Omi Vaidya has its own funny moments.
Jay Oza's cinematography is top-notch. However Huzefa Lokhandwala's editing seems blunt at a few places.
Amit Trivedi's and Amitabh Bhattacharya's music and lyrics flow with the narrative but lack a recall value. Even Urmila Matondkar's special appearance turns out to be 'bewafaa'!
In a nutshell, Irrfan Khan's Blackmail is a roller-coaster with its own set of ups and downs. A song in the film goes like 'Bewafa Beauty, Haaye, Ishq Mein Cheating Kar Gayi! But director Abhinay Deo stays true to his words and delivers a film that's high on quirky quotient and almost ticks off most of the check-boxes barring a few. If you are looking out for some quirky black comedy, then Blackmail is your comfort food.