Blood Money

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

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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Director: Vishal Mahadkar
Running time: 110 minutes
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- meeta, a part of the audience

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

32 reviewers(?) - 2 yays 3 so-so 27 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...The music is melodious to the extent that is carries the film through.... full review

Thumbs up, by K N GUpta, SmasHits.com : ...Music is good, thanks to its music director. Wish we had a bit more of music. ... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Having said that, I'd like to add that Vishal Mahadkar has executed a number of sequences dexterously. ... full review

So-So, Free Press Journal : ...the lack of depth in the scripting does not allow for a fulfilling narrative... full review

So-So, by Madhureeta Mukherjee, Times of India : .... A faster pace, more potent dialogues, not to add some more dum in Kunal's voice, and a better background score - would have had greater impact. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...What’s irritating about the film though is the trite manner in which the actress’ child-like countenance and minimal makeup are seemingly being used as a metaphor for the middle-class innocence of the lead couple’s background, to be contrasted with the situation that they’re currently mired in. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ... Thankfully, the leading actors, Kunal Khemu, Amrita Puri and Manish Chaudhari rise above the corny writing and deliver performances that make Blood Money a better film.... full review

Thumbs down, Daily Bhaskar : ...Blood Money is like old wine in a new bottle and can be easily given a miss... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Deccan Chronicle : ...theatre actor Sandip Sikand as the chief baddy’s busybody brother, overacts outrageously. Manish Chaudhary as the nasty piece of work is passable.... full review

Thumbs down, by Smita, Desi Martini : ...Save your money... full review

Thumbs down, by Kshitij, Desi Martini : ...BLOOD(y waste of)MONEY... full review

Thumbs down, by Aakanksha Naval Shetye, DNA : ...With a climax that mocks the audience’s intelligence even by filmi standards, you see yourself go between ‘What the #@#@ and Yeah, right!’... full review

Thumbs down, by Blessy Chettiar, DNA : ...The lead pair salvages the film to an extent, but a limited scope of the script binds them both from making it an entertaining trip. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...The rest of the cast is entirely unknown and inconsequential -- you are unlikely to see any of them again even in a Bhatt film. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Tweet Share on Tumblr Email Print Click to play video Cast: Kunal Khemu, Amrita Puri, Manish Chaudhary Director: Vishal Mahadkar 'Blood Money' stars Kunal Khemu as an MBA graduate who arrives in Cape Town with his wife (played by Amrita Puri of 'Aisha'), where he's accepted a job at a major diamond-trading firm. Even before he can change out of the clothes he flew in wearing, he's handed over the keys to a plush home, a swanky car, and some 'settling-in' cash. Like the character played by Tom Cruise in the 1993 thriller 'The Firm', from which 'Blood Money' is so clearly inspired, our hero is seduced by the lure of the new lifestyle that his job affords him. But when he stumbles upon the truth that his bosses are engaged in sinister businesses involving illegal trading, mafia funding, and murder, he must ask himself if he's comfortable living off such ill-gotten gains. Filmed indifferently, and without infusing the urgency that this kind of plot demands, first-time director Vishal Mahadkar delivers a bore-a-thon of a movie, complete with archaic dialogues and stereotypes for characters. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...And poor Amrita Puri who must squeak her way through one of the wimpiest of recent heroines on screen.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Like all Mahesh-Mukesh Bhatt ventures, ‘Blood Money’ has a story which starts off interesting but becomes familiar as it unspools, underwired with the usual flash. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Plus there are glitches galore. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mrigank Dhaniwala, koimoi : ...Kunal Kemmu does a convincing job as the young Kunal Kadam. He is very good in several scenes... full review

Thumbs down, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, Live Mint : ...Only Kunal Khemu comes out unscathed from ‘Blood Money’, a predictable story poorly executed... full review

Thumbs down, by Shaheen Parkar, MiD DAY : ...Mia has even less to do than what she wears.... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...though the film claims to be set against the backdrop of the diamond mafia industry, the director doesn't really go through the trouble to explain it in detail and more focus is given to the human drama factor.... full review

Thumbs down, by Karan Anshuman, Mumbai Mirror : ...Her character is asinine and Amrita Puri has no option but to play it that way.... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, NDTV : ...The screenwriters seem to have decided on piling on the predictable with no respite in sight. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...Known for their melodic numbers that have grown on music lovers, the tracks of Blood Money disappoint completely and sound a mishmash of Emraan Hashmi's songs. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...A disinterested, sleepy camerawork doesn't bother to zoom in and support the man's point. It sure as hell has no problem finding close-ups of Kunal's hot employee (Mia Uyeda) when she slips (strips) into a seductive avatar.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...A rare gem pops out, like the dialogue which says that most people are good, because they don’t get the opportunity to be bad. Highly debatable, this, but at least it’s an insight into the hero’s mind. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...Kunal Khemu tries really hard to shoulder the dilapidated and dying storyline but fails in holding the audience attention. His portions are very unbalanced with a few good scenes followed by few bad ones.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sudhish Kamath, The Hindu : ...Well Kunal, hope you know that the money you got paid for doing this film, that people around the country are paying to watch... Now, that's BLOOD MONEY! ... full review

Thumbs down, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...Soft porn - check. Plastic sidekicks - check. Overacting cast - check. Sexed up secretary - check. New director who depends on sufi style voices to hide his incompetency - check. Dumbed down plot written around exotic locations - Check. Emraan Hashmi - er... ... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India : ...Are you still reading this? Look up, even Kunal Khemu is pointing at the neighbouring screen where you could catch ‘Kahaani’ again instead.... full review

Thumbs down, by SpiceZee Bureau, ZEENEWS.COM : ...Puri speaks in the same way as her debut film, and leaves us to wonder whether she is the same behind cameras as well. ... full review

52 tweeters(?) - 13 yays 8 so-so 31 nays

zmilap: Blood Money-a well made, honest film! Terrific performances by Kunal Khemu n Manish Chaudhary! @vishalmahadkar shines as a 1st time director

pranaymusic: Blood Money has no 'filmigiri' as one wud say! The script is tight and it questions u and ur conscience ! Watch it to see yourself on screen

parry_an: Blood Money 3*+ Worth seeing movie

nikkesha1: All the best to the entire team of blood money! Soul touching music,great production value,superb ending! Chahaat♥♬@vishalmahadkar watch it!

MustafaZahid: I have tweeted this before and I won't stop !GO WATCH BLOOD MONEY! Please do or I'm not tweeting from tomorrow bas khatam dosti ap say phir

Lokesh_lvu: BLOOD MONEY SUPERB MOVIE

Keysonfrets: Blood Money is a really good movie! Excellent job done by @kunalkemmu ! Brilliant acting! :) #movie

IshqSufiyana: Blood Money is a Beautiful Cinema, it holds all the elements of Romance + Thriller. @vishalmahadkar knocks with a Superhit!

GidwaniMayurr: Blood Money... Bloody good!!

djsavyospin: Watched Blood Money Really a must see movie Guys...Do watch it...Really a nice effort by Vishal S. Mahadkar

dhruvjaani: Blood money.... Wow wt a movie my rating:3.5

BhattKesha: seeing blood money nice picure

AdeebAkhyar: Blood Money..a good watch...impressed by Kunal Kemmu!

vineetsharma240: Blood money ........ok movie!!my expectation was very high.

umeshahuja: Watched #Blood money,,not bad.....but not good as jannat...

Rahat_Ali_Khann: Blood Money Movie Review: An average film http://bit.ly/HoGW4A

pradx: Saw Blood Money. Not bad. 2.5/5 stars.

momminkazmi: Blood Money is a new thought but just not executed properly

maheshmanelkar: Blood Money Movie Review: An average movie | International Reporter http://www.internationalreporter.com/News-10320/blood-money-movie-review-an-average-film.html

editorbharathi: Kunal Khemu & Amrita Puri mke a fresh,cute pair wd sprklng chemistry,bt Blood Money fails 2 sprkle.Review http://bit.ly/HnMAT6 @_Amrita_Puri

bollywoodthree: Blood Money – Interesting Thriller http://www.bollywood3.com/reviews/review-blood-money-interesting-thriller.html

WickkedSoul: Went to watch 'Blood Money'. Waited for something to interest me in the movie. Finally that moment came, it was called THE END.

westabilife: "Blood Money" title is perfect for this movie...because it Boils ur Blood n waste ur Money..

VijayDhole: blood money... bloody stupid movie...

TheExtraMan: I'm at Blood Money movie & tweeting. Well... thats the review of the movie from me.

Srishti_Shetty: even the term 'reviews' will feel insulted.Forget.. “@shadymumbai: Heard the movie Blood Money is a super Flop. anyone else ?? reviews ??”

SoJenConnelly: BLOOD MONEY movie review: Mind-numbingly boring! - Bollywood Life: BLOOD MONEY movie review: M... http://bit.ly/Hne0Hm #JenniferConnelly

Sadhogopal: BLOOD MONEY: A Gastronomical Fart http://nblo.gs/vOboH

rohan9007: 'Blood Money' is dull and formulaic!: He lands a job in a diamond trading company. With his unflagging zeal he q... http://bit.ly/Hvgwy0

RituKapadia: Bloody waste of time and Money! Talk about, Blood Money :P Hahaha @davinadsouza01 @C_Rashmi

RantingIndian: Blood Money sucks like Mahesh Bhatt does. Ha!

patelprince1992: Blood money--totaly fucking movie...minus 1 star#moviereview

parda_phash: Mahesh Bhatt's Blood Money disappoints http://bit.ly/H4qVUi

onemsahil: Blood money nothing but waste of money..

Nealpatel799: BLOOD MONEY. bakwas yarrrrrr

nakedcricket: Pls don't dispose the pop corn bucket during Blood Money screenings #barfbag

MinorityReview: Review of #BloodMoney – Thinner than water - Minority Review http://www.minority-review.com/blood-money-thinner-than-water

meet_prats: One of those days when u habe nothing better to do and u decide 2 watch Blood Money 2 pass d day...n realize dat..sitting at home was better

LMK_LEO86: Blood Money movie review http://lmkmoviemaniac.blogspot.com/2012/03/blood-money-movie-review.html Nothing special, worth raving about.

kool_dude1: blood money - bloody money waste :(

khushiramdahiya: Blood money is very flop movie..

kgulechha: Blood Money = Blood sucking money waste movie :(

kaushiksaha1982: Blood money - loss of hard earned money, gain of high blood pressure

KamathGurudutt: BLOOD MONEY: Worth avoiding. Gisa-pita story of conflict/blood diamonds. Not enough substance. Movie will suck your blood and your money.

its_me_abyss: I dont know what the director of blood money was thinking abt while directing the movie its inspired by lorn of war and blood diamond

getcinemas: Blood Money is a poor Cant Watch! Review at http://www.getcinemas.com/blood-money-review #bloodmoney #bollywood #hindimovies

Dagr8mohit: Blood Money is a disgraceful attempt at presenting the dark side of illegal diamond trading.

cutynish: please try to see the positive in every movie you watch, even if it is as intolerable as Blood Money :P

Chocoholic_213: Watched blood money yet? No? Good, don't. Wastage of time and money. :/

ankitind: People with sweat money should not go for the movie 'Blood Money'

ALLinDOON: Blood Money releases in Dehradun today. We gave the movie two out of five stars. For Reviews and Showtimes -... http://fb.me/1i2Z8uvI1

123makingmoney: Review: 'Blood Money' is insipid, absurd! http://bit.ly/Hwrnqs

No readers have rated this movie yet.

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Ambitious and honest, Kunal Kadam (Kunal Khemu) moves to South Africa to a work with a diamond company. Except that the diamond company might be dealing with more than just diamonds, the type of business that once one enters is fatal to get out of.

What Worked

  • The way Arzoo, Kunal's wife (Amrita Puri) reacts to the huge bungalow.
  • The idea to use the Hansel-Gretel (right up to the cherry on the ceiling) analogy in the said situation.
  • The reasons why Kunal could crack the business deal with the Shahs. Not just the superstitions part, but the part that they weren't looking at selling the diamond they bought.
  • The restaurant scene just before the interval except for Manish Chaudhary's acting, but is made up for by Kunal Khemu's performance.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Zakaria's Mumbaiyya-tapori language when he gets into "killer" mode.
  • What kind of office administration takes a new employee directly from an international flight to the office, spouse in tow!
  • The inspector choosing to advise Kunal at first meeting.
  • The cute, fun couple things that the Kadams do. Candy-floss fight instead of pillow fight?! Really?
  • The way Amrita Puri narrates the Hansel-Gretel story. Would put anyone off!
  • The number 'four thousand fifty-eight hundred' is used somewhere. How much is that supposed to be? 9800 or 4058 hundreds? If the latter, it was too much in that context! This one distracted me for quite a while.
  • How can decrease in value of product that you are going to sell be a smart accounting move? Wouldn't it mean higher taxes than actually due. Also, why bring the illegal diamonds into the white books at all when they can all be dealt with in the black market? I guess the point is not in the details but in us as an audience knowing that there is some major dishonesty going on at this company.
  • Kunal Khemu's monologue explaining his position just around the interval.

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:
Story:
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Blood Money - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
110 minutes
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