Critics’ Verdict: Irrfan Khan Shines In a Sluggish ‘Blackmail’
Take a look at what the reviewers have to say about Abhinay Deo’s ‘Blackmail’.
Cast: Irrfan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anuja Sathe Gokhale, Omi Vaidya
Director: Abhinay Deo
Excerpts from reviews of Blackmail.
The idea that no one’s a ‘doodh-ka-dhula’ innocent, and that everyone has a grey streak or quirk is what can make well-done black comedies so much fun. A couple of surprises do leap out at us, especially featuring Gokhale and Irrfan, she throwing off her nice girl garb, revealing her claws, and he backing off, and maneuvering. The rest of it, even in the blessedly quicker second half, is tiresome.The one man who keeps us watching, regardless, is Irrfan, who plays a jerk-off artist and blackmailer as essentially a decent guy making the best of a bad job. He is one actor who can, with subtle shifts, reveal an interior life; he can show without telling.Shubhra Gupta, The Indian Express
To begin with, Blackmail doesn’t look like an actual movie. The cinematography is sloppy, the lighting poor, the colours miserable. The overall tackiness is so pronounced that it appears intentional, as if the filmmakers were trying to show us life through the miserable protagonist’s bleary eyes, but things stay shoddy even when he isn’t on screen. In fact, they get worse, for the dead-end hero is Irrfan Khan, incapable of giving a bad performance. When he isn’t around, merely the dummy fish remain.Raja Sen, NDTV
Despite the efforts taken to ensure that the labyrinthine turns through the 139-minute movie are never confusing, the filmmakers are unable to avoid the twin curse of repetition and redundancy. Deo aims for conversational humour that evolves organically from the moment, but the running length could have been cut significantly limiting its impact. Blackmail has a satisfying neatness and roundedness that are usually missing from such films, but some of the manufactured clutter could have easily been avoided.Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in
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