Blood Money - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

A strong middle hour sandwiched between twenty minutes of silliness at the beginning and an absurd last half hour, make Blood Money hanging between engaging and ridiculous. A clear indication that the writers didn't quite believe that they had it in them to give Blood Money a fair chance.

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Wogma Review

Blood Money reminded me of this incident in school from when I was about 14 years old. We were asked to write an autobiography of a soldier in Marathi. After about 6 pages of turmoil that my soldier went through as prisoner of war, he was suddenly set free because "The enemy got bored and frustrated with my silence." The teacher asked me, "Did the enemy get bored or you got bored of writing?" That's my question for Blood Money's writer Upendra Sidhaye.

After an intense and effective opening sequence, Blood Money falls into the regular zone of 'whatever' - things like, a fresh MBA gets a huge bungalow as a perk in South Africa; a not-so-warm bosses give a settling-in allowance. We have learnt to get over such discrepancies real quick. Especially since, soon enough, you have the wife not only have doubts about their good fortune but voice them too. Not too often do such logical things happen in Hindi films - a husband and wife who talk to each other about their insecurities.

That's when I started getting pulled in, despite the annoyingly distracting inane songs. A little surprisingly too, I must add. I didn't expect a film with Kunal Khemu and Amrita Puri to get my complete attention for even a bit. In fact, after a while, I noticed that I had forgotten all about taking notes and just wanted to watch what's going on. The one business deal shown in detail to express Kunal's (Kunal Khemu) aptitude, the way an honest man can get sucked into the unethical because of his ambition, the way he begins justifying his lapses with some excuse or the other.

Kunal Khemu does a fine job too of showing both his ambition and disappointment with himself. The audience understands and empathizes with him as they see that his dilemma never leaves him. You see when he's wrong too, but you know he just might mend his ways.

The rest of the cast though, are as superficial as can be. While the feminists can be disgusted with the portrayal of a housewife abroad, I liked the way she was shown dependent on her husband in all ways but was the only support he could have is in the strange land. Amrita Puri, though not quite the mannequin she is imagined as in one of the scenes, is not the most emotive either. When her character, Arzoo did have the chance to not sulk, Amrita ended up over-enacting.

The only reason Manish Chaudhary caused any scare that a villain ought to, was because of the opening sequence. His stiff dialogue delivery take away from the character, including the said scenes itself. Not to mention the annoying pet word assigned to him. They killed my theory that a pet word/phrase given to a character could work if it were short and from everyday language. Oh well.

And yet, I enjoyed how these three characters were written. All of them had a shade of gray, even the villain, Zaveri/Zakaria. He too gave people a chance before deciding that they needed to be put away. The handful other characters though added nothing to the plot. From Zaveri Jr. (Sandiip Sikcand) to Sean (Teeshay) to Nandini (Name?) to to the cop (Karan Mehra) - all seemed mere pawns for the writer to go from point A to point B in the film. While Sandiip and Nandini overacted, thus were annoying, Teeshay and Karan Mehra might have shown us their talent if they had something more to dig their heels into.

That brings me to the last half hour of the film. The part where the writers got bored with their job. From a calm potential for brilliant mind games between two intelligent people, it suddenly becomes an action film. It suddenly becomes a thriller. It suddenly gives birth to twists and turns. It immediately becomes material you'll laugh at. It's not that the twists were all bad. But it happens way too fast. I wonder how it'd work out if the same events played out in the even pace that the film ran with thus far. Oh well, that'd be another film.

It's always a great feeling to get pulled into enjoying a film that you had very little hope from. But, it is equally bad when the film takes you down with it in a spiral of preposterous stupidity. Then, you don't know whether to laugh at the makers or yourself for allowing yourself hope. Yet, Blood Money is watchable between ad breaks when it shows up on TV.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A strong opening sequence and fist/fights, chase in the climax.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One making out scene with liplocks; skimpily clad women throughout the film
  • Concept: An ambitious yet honest person ends up selling his soul. How does he redeem himself?
  • General Look and Feel: Neither bright nor dull. Not dark, despite grim subject.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 1.5
  • Lyrics: 1.5

Blood Money - Movie Details

Blood Money - Trailer

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