“Blackmail”, starring Irrfan Khan an directed by Abhinay Deo, tries to be a dark comedy. Something like “Fargo” or most Coen brothers movies. But while the latter movies are coherent in terms of the tone or branding, I found “Blackmail” to be confusing.
At times it does the dark comedy well. But also feels like its trying to be cool and shocking and many other things as well. It’s difficult to put into words what I am trying to say here except that I found the message confusing. The movie started off trying to go with a shock/ comedy factor by showing our hero take photos of his colleague’s wives from their office desks to the bathroom so he can masturbate to them. Then it moved on to his unhappy marriage, and him trying to nice to her one day out of the blue by coming home early and discovering she has an affair. At this point it tries to be something else with the loud background music etc. Then it becomes dark with him trying to blackmail his wife’s lover and the subsequent events that happen as a result of that. But while a movie or TV show like “Fargo” sticks to that theme and shows how things can go wrong or the things people can do, that message doesn’t come across clearly in “Blackmail”. I think the writers and director wanted to put across that message but it got muddled with a few other things.
The music and background score were great – Amit Tridevi is unique and amazing as usual! – and yes while they matched the scenes and highlighted the feelings and emotions, I felt they too played a part in detracting from the main theme of “Blackmail”. Not the composer’s fault – I imagine that is what he was asked to provide (the mood I mean) and so he delivered.
Overall, a good movie, worth a watch – I’d give it a 3.5 or 4 /5, but it could easily have been a 5/5 if the mood or message part was sorted. I wish it had been a 5/5 – I had great hopes for it when I realized that after finding his wife having an affair our hero was going to blackmail the lover. So much potential, so many things that can go wrong (and they did) … amazing!