Blackmail and the Monster in Every Aam Aadmi


Blackmail and the Monster in Every Aam Aadmi

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


here’s an important scene in Abhinay Deo’s Blackmail that sets the tone for the rest of the messy revenge comedy suffering from an acute Delhi Belly hangover. While drinking after work at a neon-lit dive bar, a lascivious Anand sits stupefied after listening to his colleague Dev’s (Irrfan Khan) plan of blackmailing his wife’s lover instead of confronting her about cheating on him. As Dev disguises his risky revenge plot as a joke, Anand foreshadows the former’s fate by warning him that in the movies, it’s normal people like Dev who eventually turn out to be serial killers.

Dev’s immediate reaction to his colleague’s gloomy prognosis is unbridled laughter. After all, how much havoc can a meek, middle-aged, and married employee of a toilet paper manufacturing company like him cause? Turns out, a lot, if the bloated 139-minute-long runtime of Blackmail is any indication.