Irrfan Khan is terrific in the Abhinay Deo film

Story: Blackmail builds with Dev (Irrfan) being a tissue sales representative. One night he chooses to flavour up his generally unremarkable life and unconcerned marriage, by going home ahead of schedule from work with a group of roses for his better half. For reasons unknown, his better half is sleeping with another man. This stunning disclosure prompts a progression of occasions which are both clever and over the top.

Cast: Irrfan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anuja Sathe Gokhale, Omi Vaidya


Build-up: The white collar class man is his very own casualty conditions. He carries on with an existence of accommodation, so much that when given a circumstance of contention, as Dev, he battles to carry out a wrongdoing of energy. Shakedown takes this idea and gives it an uproariously decent curve. It takes the regular man’s day to day situations and puts a captivating twist on things like EMIs, advances and falling flat connections.

Review: On learning about his wife’s adultery, Dev starts blackmailing her lover Ranjit (Arunoday Singh), who in turn blackmails Dev’s wife. More drama unfolds once other characters from Dev’s life get to know of his blackmailing plans. It sparks a series of sorts, where everyone starts blackmailing someone else for motive. The situational humour that arises from this madcap premise is hilarious. Parveez Sheikh (who’s written Queen and Bajrangi Bhaijaan) has his finger on the right note and pitches the comedy in the sequences skilfully.

The pace of the primary half is somewhat moderate. It requires investment to set up every one of the plots, however, and still, at the end of the day, the diversion remains fresh and engaging. The second half is a giggling riot. As each plot unfurls, the circumstances get unusually amusing. After Abhinay Deo’s dark satire Delhi Belly, he has split another in this type with Blackmail. The music in the film (Amit Trivedi) flawlessly highlights the correct scenes. In the film, Omi Vaidya who’s back with his insane American twang continues empowering Dev by saying, “shake it up” (a play on words proposed!). Extortion’s peculiar cleverness and introduction make it a joy ride.

Verdict: Irrfan gives a solid performance as the average office guy who can’t stand up to his boss, nor to his unfaithful wife. He brings an air of helplessness to his character and keeps a straight face even when he’s plotting and planning the blackmail. There’s a degree of uncertainty in his actions which comes from his goodness – and that’s what adds to the hilarity of it all. Divya Dutta as Ranjit’s drunken and dominating wife adds to the amusement. Also, Kriti Kulhari is decent in her part as the philandering wife.

The plot of Blackmail is its legend and it figures out how to strike a decent harmony amongst dim and amusing. Characters are a knock-off, yet the film never loses its vein of simple, dark funniness.


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