Blackmail (2018 film)

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The poster features face of a person wearing a Paperbag Mask and title appears at bottom.
Directed byAbhinay Deo
Written byStory & screenplay:
Parveez Shaikh
Pradhuman Singh Mall
Produced by
CinematographyJay Oza
Edited byHuzefa Lokhandwala
Music bySongs:
Amit Trivedi
Guest composers:
Guru Randhawa
Background score:
Mikey McCleary
Parth Parekh
Distributed byT-Series
Release date
  • 6 April 2018 (2018-04-06)
Running time
139 minutes
Budget18 crore (equivalent to 20 crore or US$2.7 million in 2020)[1]
Box office28.81 crore (equivalent to 33 crore or US$4.3 million in 2020)[2]

Blackmail (stylised as Blackमेल)[3] is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language black comedy film co-produced and directed by Abhinay Deo. The film stars Irrfan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh and Divya Dutta in lead roles and is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Apurba Sengupta and Rohit KaduDeshmukh under the banner of T-Series Films and RDP Motion Pictures.[4][5][6][7] Blackmail depicts the life of a married-man in his late 30s stuck in a full day-time job and unexciting life but things turn after he finds that his wife is having an extramarital affair.[4] The film had its theatrical release in India on 6 April 2018 and turned out to be a flop at the box office.


Dev Kaushal (Irrfan) is a toilet paper sales executive who is leading a dispirited life professionally and personally.

One day, to surprise his wife Reena Kaushal (Kirti Kulhari) he arrives early from office but instead finds his wife in bed with another man named Ranjit "Tommy" Arora (Arunoday Singh). He imagines different scenarios, like killing the lover, killing the wife, but leaves and decides to blackmail him.

Ranjit is married to Dolly Verma (Divya Dutta), who has an influential dad Ranjit is scared of. Dev blackmails Ranjit for a sum of 1 lakh. Ranjit arranges the money from Dolly. When Dolly's father asks Ranjit to return the money, he blackmails Reena for 120,000.

Dev drunkenly reveals everything to his colleague Anand (Pradhuman Singh Mall). Reena asks Dev for money, saying that its for her dad's treatment. Dev gives her the money and in turn asks Ranjit for more. Reena keeps the money in a dust bin which Ranjit collects and leaves it in a trash bin which then Dev collects.

Anand, who has a crush on Prabha Ghatpandey (Anuja Sathe), a colleague, takes her on a date and unintentionally reveals Dev's plans. Next day Prabha blackmails Dev. Dev confronts Anand, then asks Ranjit for money. Ranjit in turn asks Reena for money and Reena asks Dev for the money. From the cash received earlier Dev transacts the amount to Reena's account, while Reena puts the money in a dustbin. Ranjit collects it, and throws it in a dustbin which Dev collects and gives to Prabha.

Ranjit gets fed up and hires a detective, Chawla (Gajraj Rao). Prabha blackmails Dev again. Dev meets Prabha and they share an argument in her apartment. Prabha slips during the argument and falls, killing her. Suddenly Prabha's parents arrive. Dev manages to escape by wearing mask made out of a Paper bag.

Next morning, police arrive and interrogates everyone in the office. Anand knowing that Dev met Prabha last night, blackmails Dev. On interrogation Dev reveals that Anand liked Prabha. Dev convinces Anand to hide the truth from the police. Using Anand's car Dev purchases the same bag he used last night and hides it in Anand's car, following which the police arrest Anand. Anand panics and reveals everything about Dev to the police. Meanwhile, Chawla calls Dev telling him he knows about his ruse.

The police then interrogates Dev about his blackmail activities. Dolly follows Ranjit and sees him together with Reena in cinema hall. Anand comes out of police custody and fights with Dev, but Dev calms him down, claiming he has a master plan to gain lakhs of money. Dev meets Chawla who starts blackmailing him too to remain silent. Back at home Dolly tries to kill Ranjit, and as they fight Ranjit shoots her dead. Aghast, he hides her body. Dev blaikmails Ranjit (to pay Chawla), warning he would tell Dolly's dad. Ranjit asks Reena for more money, and Reena then asks Dev for money claiming that its for her father's surgery, which he refuses saying he doesn't have.

Dev calls Reena's parents to find out she has been lying. So Dev follows her, watching her sell her own jewelry and then dropping the cash in the dustbin at a Mall. Dev tries to take it out, but Ranjit comes over there first and takes the money. Dev takes pictures of Ranjit taking the money. Ranjit hides the money in the dustbin and waits there himself to catch the blackmailer. Dev bribes a security guard to take out that money. Ranjit tries to catch the guard, as Dev collects the money and then later gives it to Chawla. He then asks Chawla to call Ranjit and tell him that the blackmailer is Anand. Furious, Ranjit kills Anand. Dev sends the pictures of Ranjit taking money to Reena. Meanwhile, Dolly's parents find out Ranjit murdered their daughter and call the police.

Back at home, heart broken Reena deletes Ranjit's contact from her phone and messages Dev asking when he will come home. A depressed Dev receives the message and deletes Reena's contact too.


  • Irrfan as Dev Kaushal (A sales executive who works in a company that manufactures toilet papers. Dev is dissatisfied with his job, because it doesn't pay him enough, as well as his marriage because his wife doesn't love him the way he loves her.[8]
  • Kirti Kulhari as Reena Kaushal (A woman who is having an affair with Ranjit, who used to be her boyfriend before she married Dev.)[9]
  • Arunoday Singh as Ranjit Arora (A jobless man who married Dolly for her money and is later blackmailed by Dev for indulging in an affair with his wife Reena.)[10]
  • Divya Dutta as Dolly Verma (Ranjit's wife and daughter of a rich and powerful businessman)[11]
  • Pradhuman Singh Mall as Anand Tripathi (Dev's best friend & colleague and Prabha's love interest who is aware of everything that is happening in Dev's life.)
  • Omi Vaidya as Boss D. K. (Dev, Anand & Prabha's boss who comes up with bizarre ideas to promote his company's product)[12]
  • Anuja Sathe as Prabha Ghatpande (Dev & Anand's colleague who blackmails Dev after Anand accidentally reveals everything about Dev's plan to her.)[13]
  • Gajraj Rao as Mr. Chawla (A private detective who is hired by Ranjit to find out the identity of his blackmailer. He always speaks in 3rd person to his clients, causing confusion.)
  • Vibha Chibber as Mrs. Chawla (A blind woman, Mr. Chawla wife and a dealer of guns)
  • Navratan Singh Rathore as Mr. Verma (Dolly's father)
  • Neelima Azeem as Mrs. Verma (Dolly’s mother)
  • Atul Kale as BST Shankar
  • Anjali Ujawane as Mrs. Ghatpande (Prabha’s mother)
  • Abhijeet Chavan as Inspector Pramod Rawle
  • Urmila Matondkar as Mili (An item number in the song "Bewafa Beauty"; special appearance)[14]
  • Sharad Jadhav as a Police Constable
  • Zaheer as a Boy at Chawl
  • Suresh Yadav as Pandey Singh (My Handy Office Security Guard)
  • Mridul Daas as Cashier at the Mobile Shoppe
  • Pravina Bhagwat Deshpande as Mrs. Kaushal (Reena's mother)
  • Tanuka Laghate as a TV Reporter
  • Rajesh S. Khatri as Mr. Kaushal (Reena's father)



The genesis of the film traces back to 2014 when Abhinay Deo had announced that his next film would be a dark comedy set in Mumbai.[15][16] In January 2015, it was reported that Rakesh Roshan would be producing Abhinay Deo's next film which would have Irrfan Khan and Aditi Rao Hydari as the lead actors playing husband and wife. Kunal Kapoor, Kunaal Roy Kapur and Vijay Raaz were also signed on to be a part of the project and the shooting was supposed to begin at the end of February.[17][18] In June 2015, it was reported that Rakesh Roshan had dropped the project that he was doing with Abhinay Deo citing creative differences.[19][20] One year later in August 2016, Abhinay Deo said that after he completed the work on Force 2, he planned to revive the film that he was supposed to do with Irrfan Khan before it was shelved.[21][22] In November 2016, Abhinay Deo's film was given a working title of Blackmail[23] and in February 2017 it was confirmed that T-Series had come on board to produce the film along with co-producer Rohit KaduDeshmukh.[24] In April 2017, it was reported that the title of the film had been changed to Raita and Kirti Kulhari would be playing the role of Irrfan's wife in the film instead of Aditi Rao Hydari who was the first choice of the director.[25] The principal photography of the film began on 4 April 2017 and the entire shoot was done in Mumbai itself.[26] In December 2017, the film was officially renamed as Blackmail and it was announced that the film would have its theatrical release on 30 March 2018.[27][28]


After the special screening for Amitabh Bachchan on 31 March 2018, the makers organised another special screening on 2 April 2018 in the absence of lead actor Irrfan Khan (who was undergoing treatment for a neuroendocrine tumour in the UK) for contemporary Bollywood film directors, which was attended by Rajkumar Hirani, Amol Gupte, Nishikant Kamat, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Tanuja Chandra, Meghna Gulzar, Ravi Udyawar, Rensil D'Silva, Sudhir Mishra, Sriram Raghavan, Soumik Sen, Pradeep Sarkar, Mukesh Chhabra and others, to a positive response.[29][30][28]


Soundtrack album by
Released23 March 2018 (2018-03-23)[31]
GenreFilm soundtrack
External audio
audio icon Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube
Amit Trivedi chronology
Fanney Khan
Badshah chronology
OK Jaanu
Guru Randhawa chronology
Dil Juunglee

The album is a compilation of six tracks, four of which were composed by Amit Trivedi while the other two were composed by the guest musicians Badshah and Guru Randhawa. The lyrics of the songs were written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Badshah, Guru Randhawa and Divine. The entire music album was officially released on 23 March 2018.

Guru Randhawa recreated his track "Patola", originally composed by Preet Hundal.

Track listing
1."Happy Happy"BadshahBadshah2:46
2."Patola"Guru RandhawaGuru RandhawaGuru Randhawa3:04
3."Bewafa Beauty"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediPawni Pandey4:41
  • Amitabh Bhattacharya
  • Divine
  • Dhaval Parab
Amit Trivedi
5."Nindaraan Diyaan"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediAmit Trivedi5:28
6."Sataasat"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediAmit Trivedi3:30
Total length:23:11

Critical reception[edit]

Rajeev Masand gave the film a rating of 3 out of 5 and said that, "It’s the film’s unique brand of humor – some of it pitch black and Coen-esque – that makes Blackmail worth your time, despite its shortcomings."[32] Sweta Kausal of Hindustan Times gave the film a rating of 3 out of 5 and said that Blackmail is a "Fun filled and realistic story-telling made interesting with engaging and hilarious performances of Irrfan Khan and Divya Dutta".[33] Rachit Gupta of The Times of India gave the film a rating of 4 out of 5 saying that, "The plot of Blackmail is its hero and it manages to strike a good balance between dark and funny. This is one of the most wickedly funny films that we’ve seen in a long time."[34] Raja Sen of NDTV gave the film a rating of 1.5 out of 5 and said that, "Irrfan is incapable of giving a bad performance but Abhinay Deo's farce is too tacky and poorly-conceived to do Khan justice".[35] Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the film a rating of 2 out of 5 and said that, "The Irrfan Khan starrer begins promisingly but descends pretty quickly into flatness and sluggishness, a classic problem of not knowing quite how to play out a perky idea."[36]


  1. ^ "Blackmail-box- office:Irrfan Khan film gets emerges-a-sleeper-hit". DNA India. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  2. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (7 April 2018). "Box Office: Worldwide collections and day wise break up of Blackmail - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Blackमेल Trailer: जब ब्लैकमेल करते-करते खुद ही ब्लैकमेल होने लगा ब्लैकमेलर". ABP News. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b FP Staff (30 January 2018). "Blackmail: After Delhi Belly, stars Irrfan, Kirti Kulhari". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  5. ^ IANS (31 January 2018). "Irrfan Khan and Kirti Kulhari's Blackmail to release on this date". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  6. ^ IANS (31 January 2018). "Abhinay Deo's upcoming Irrfan Khan-starrer 'Blackmail' locked for release on April 6". Mumbai. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Blackmail teaser: Why is Irrfan Khan running bare-chested on the streets?". Hindustan Times. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Blackmail director Abhinay Deo: Irrfan read the script in two hours and said yes". The Indian Express.
  9. ^ "'I'm still very, very desirable'". The Hindu.
  10. ^ "Arunoday Singh: After Blackmail, I feel reborn as an actor". The Indian Express.
  11. ^ "'Self-made journey of passion': Divya Dutta on going from 'sweet Punjabi' to embracing her dark side". Scroll.
  12. ^ "Omi Vaidya of '3 Idiots' fame in Abhinay Deo's next". DNA India.
  13. ^ "Irrfan is unpredictable in a good way: Anuja Sathe Gokhale". Hindustan Times.
  14. ^ "Urmila Matondkar's comeback is a special song in Irrfan Khan's Raita". The Indian Express.
  15. ^ "'Delhi Belly' director to make a comedy again". The Times of India.
  16. ^ "Delhi Belly director to make a dark comedy". The Times of India.
  17. ^ "Rakesh Roshan to produce a film starring Irrfan Khan and Aditi Rao Hydari". Bollywood Hungama.
  18. ^ "Aditi Rao Hydari to play Irrfan's wife in Abhinay Deo's next". The Times of India.
  19. ^ "Film starring Irrfan Khan and Aditi Rao Hydari shelved?". Mid-Day.
  20. ^ "Rakesh Roshan's untitled film starring Irrfan Khan, Aditi Rao Hydari shelved". The Indian Express.
  21. ^ "Irrfan's Next is a Dark Comedy with Abhinay Deo". NDTV.
  22. ^ "Irrfan Khan's next is a dark comedy with Abhinay Deo". The Times of India.
  23. ^ "Working With John Abraham In 'Force 2': Director Abhinay Deo Interview". Forbes.
  24. ^ "Gearing up for the reel deal! Bhushan Kumar's T-Series to release 11 films in 9 months". The Economic Times.
  25. ^ "After Force 2, Abhinay Deo to direct Irrfan Khan and Kirti Kulhari in Raita". Bollywood Hungama.
  26. ^ "A marry-go-round for Irrfan Khan now". Mumbai Mirror.
  27. ^ "Abhinay Deo's Irrfan Khan – Kirti Kulhari starrer Blackmail to release on March 30". Bollywood Hungama.
  28. ^ a b The Hitlist Team (3 April 2018). "Irrfan Khan-starrer Blackmail has title woes". Mid-Day. Mumbai. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  29. ^ D'Souza, Vinod (3 April 2018). "Irrfan Khan's Blackmail Receives A Thumbs Up From Bollywood Film-makers!". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  30. ^ HT Correspondent (3 April 2018). "Bollywood directors watched Irrfan Khan's Blackmail and their one-word review is 'genius'". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Blackmail (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes.
  32. ^ "Pitch black". Rajeev Masand.
  33. ^ "Blackmail movie review: Irrfan Khan, Divya Dutta's black comedy is refreshing". Hindustan Times.
  34. ^ "Blackmail Movie Review". The Times of India.
  35. ^ "Blackmail Movie Review: Irrfan Khan Suffers Through A Messy And Mediocre Film". NDTV.
  36. ^ "Blackmail movie review: Irrfan Khan is terrific in the Abhinay Deo directorial". The Indian Express.

External links[edit]