Blackmail (2018 film)

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Blackmail
The poster features face of a person wearing a Paperbag Mask and title appears at bottom.
Directed by Abhinay Deo
Produced by
Written by Parveez Shaikh
Abhinay Deo (dialogues)
Starring
Music by Songs
Amit Trivedi
Badshah
Guru Randhawa
Background score
Mikey McCleary
Parth Parekh
Cinematography Jay Oza
Edited by Huzefa Lokhandwala
Production
company
Distributed by T-Series
Release date
  • 6 April 2018 (2018-04-06)
Running time
139 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 18 crore[1]
Box office 28.81 crore[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 Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh and Divya Dutta in lead roles and is produced under the banner of T-Series Films and RDP Motion Pictures.[4][5][6][7] Blackmail depicts the life of a middle-aged married-man 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 movie had its theatrical release on 6 April 2018.[8]

Plot[edit]

Dev Kaushal (Irrfan Khan) is a toilet paper sales executive who is leading a dispirited life both professionally and personally. He steals the photographs of other men's wives for his personal pleasure and gratification.

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

Ranjit is a hen pecked husband married to Dolly Verma (Divya Dutta), who has an influential dad, who Ranjit is scared of. Dev shares a great bond with his Boss DK (Omi Vaidya), he asks him to promote the newly made toilet Paper rolls. Calculating all things he has to pay, Dev blackmails Ranjit for a sum of 1 lakh. Ranjit arranges the money from Dolly by making an excuse of starting a business and pays Dev the money. When Dolly's father asks Ranjit to return the money, he blackmails Reena for 1,20,000. In a drunken state, Dev 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 the money. Reena keeps the money on a dustbin which Ranjit collects and puts the money on a dustbin which Dev then collects.

Anand who has a crush on Prabha Ghatpandey, (Anuja Sathe) a newly appointed colleague gets her on a date and unknowingly reveals everything about Dev's plans. Next day Prabha blackmails Dev for money. Dev confronts Anand but 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 put 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 (Tripathi Gajraj Rao). Prabha blackmails Dev for more money. Dev decides to meet Prabha and they share a heated argument in her apartment. Prabha slips during the argument and falls as an entire shelf falls on her, killing her. Suddenly Prabha's parents arrive. Dev manages to escape by wearing mask made out of a Paper bag and runs outside wearing only shorts while being chased by nearby residents.

Next morning following Prabha's death, police arrive and interrogates everyone in the office. Anand knowing that Dev met Prabha last night, blackmails Dev. On interrogation Dev reveals that Anand used to like Prabha. Dev convinces Anand to hide the truth from the police. Using Anand's car Dev purchases a similar paper bag he used last night to escape 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 while Ranjit manages to get a gun to kill The Blackmailer.

The police then interrogates Dev. Dolly follows Ranjit and sees him together with Reena. Anand comes out of Police custody and tries to beat Dev but Dev manages to calm him down. Dev meets Chawla who asks for money to remain silent. At their home Dolly tries to kill Ranjit, but Ranjit manages to shoot her and hides her body in a Refrigerator. Dev asks Ranjit for money so that he can pay Chawla. In turn Ranjit asks Reena for money and Reena asks Dev for money lying that its for her fathers surgery. Dev calls Reena's parents and find out that she is lying. He follows Reena, sees her selling her ornaments and puts the cash in the bin at a Mall. Dev goes to take it, but Ranjit comes over there and takes the money. Dev takes pictures of Ranjit taking the money. Ranjit hides the money in the dustbin and waits there to catch the blackmailer. Dev sees Ranjit watching and bribes a security personal to act like he is taking the money. Ranjit follows him as Dev collects the money, and gives it to Chawla and asks for a favour. Chawla calls Ranjit and tells him the blackmailer is Anand. Ranjit kills Anand and Dev sends the pictures of Ranjit to Reena. Meanwhile, Dolly's parents find out that Ranjit murdered their daughter and lock him up in a bathroom and call the police.

Reena waits for Dev at dinner and messages asking "When will you come home?". A depressed Dev receives the message and deletes Reena's Contact, while winning a computer game he always failed.

Next morning his boss DK sees that all his promotional tactics for his toilet paper has failed as some other company have taken over him.

Cast[edit]

  • Irrfan Khan 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.[9]
  • Kirti Kulhari as Reena Kaushal, a woman who is having an affair with Ranjit, who used to be her boyfriend before she got married to Dev.[10]
  • Arunoday Singh as Ranjit Arora, a jobless man who got married to Dolly for her money and is later blackmailed by Dev for indulging in an affair with his wife Reena.[11]
  • Divya Dutta as Dolly Verma, Ranjit's wife and daughter of a rich and powerful businessman.[12]
  • Pradhuman Singh Mall as Anand Tripathi, Dev's friend and colleague who is aware of everything that is happening in Dev's life.
  • Omi Vaidya as Boss DK, Dev's boss who comes up with bizarre ideas to promote his company's product.[13]
  • Anuja Sathe as Prabha Ghatpandey, a colleague of Dev who blackmails him after Anand accidentally reveals everything about Dev's plan to her.[14]
  • Gajraj Rao as Chawla, a private detective who is hired by Ranjit to find out the identity of his blackmailer.
  • Vibha Chibber as Blind woman, wife of Chawla and dealer of guns.
  • Neelima Azeem as Dolly’s Mother
  • Atul Kale as BST Shankar
  • Anjali Ujawane as Prabha’s Mother
  • Urmila Matondkar as Mili, in a special appearance in the item number "Bewafa Beauty".[15]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The genesis of the film traces back to the year 2014 when Abhinay Deo had announced that his next film would be a dark comedy set in Mumbai.[16][17] 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.[18][19] In June 2015, it was reported that Rakesh Roshan had dropped the project that he was doing with Abhinay Deo citing creative differences.[20][21] One year later in August 2016, Abhinay Deo informed that after he completes the work on Force 2, he plans to revive the film that he was supposed to do with Irrfan Khan before it got shelved.[22][23] In November 2016, Abhinay Deo's film was given a working title of Blackmail[24] and in February 2017 it was confirmed that T-Series had come on board to produce the film.[25] 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.[26] The Principal photography of the film began on April 4, 2017 and the entire shoot was done in Mumbai itself.[27] 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.[28][29]

Promotion[edit]

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 neuroendocrine tumour in 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.[30][31][29]

Soundtrack[edit]

Blackmail
Soundtrack album by Badshah, Guru Randhawa and Amit Trivedi
Released 23 March 2018 (2018-03-23)[32]
Recorded 2017
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 23:11
Language Hindi
Label T-Series
Producer
External audio
Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube
Amit Trivedi chronology
Raid
(2018)
Blackmail
2018 String Module Error: Match not foundString Module Error: Match not found
Fanney Khan
(2018)
Badshah chronology
OK Jaanu
(2017)
Blackmail
2018 String Module Error: Match not foundString Module Error: Match not found
Nawabzaade
(2018)
Guru Randhawa chronology
Dil Juunglee
(2018)
Blackmail
2018 String Module Error: Match not foundString Module Error: Match not found
Nawabzaade
(2018)

The album is a compilation of six tracks, four of which were composed by Amit Trivedi while the other two songs 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.

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsMusicSinger(s)Length
1."Happy Happy"BadshahBadshah2:46
2."Patola"Guru RandhawaGuru RandhawaGuru Randhawa3:04
3."Bewafa Beauty"Amitabh BhattacharyaAmit TrivediPawni Pandey4:41
4."Badla"
  • Amitabh Bhattacharya
  • Divine
  • Dhaval Parab
Amit Trivedi
3:41
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."[33] 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.".[34] 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."[35] 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".[36] 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."[37]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]