<Review by: Tushar A Amin>
Directed by Vishal Mahadkar. Starring Kunal Khemu, Amrita Puri.
Amateurish and lacking the trademark Vishesh Films’ punch.
You might hate their films or like them for their street-smarts, but you could never call Vishesh Films’ productions boring. Over the years, they have developed a signature genre of sorts for themselves with their low-budget, racy thrillers that focus around moral dilemmas and ethical ambiguities. Most of the time, the movies hit the mark at the box office. The extent to which these films succeed due to some foreign film that serves as ‘inspiration’ for the script and a couple of chartbuster songs that fuel the pre-release publicity can be gauged only by the absence of these elements. And Blood Money proves a point on this count. Lacking a ‘source’ material to derive from and saddled with an unusually uninspired soundtrack, Blood Money bares the mediocrity of its makers.
This once, it is the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel that serves as inspiration. And since this is a film targeted at the masses and we do not have a Hansel and Gretel equivalent in Indian folklore, we are narrated the full length and breadth of the children’s story in the baby voice of the film’s leading lady Aarzoo (Amrita Puri) as she voices her suspicions to hubby Kunal (Kunal Kemmu). The two land in South Africa where Kunal has secured a plum job with Trinity Diamonds run by Zaveri (Manish Choudhari). Kunal is taken under his wing by Zaveri and rises to become his protégé only to learn the shocking truth about the seamier side of diamond trade. Caught in a moral dilemma, he chooses the sparkle over truth and gets caught in the web of money laundering. In the process, he alienates the wife and has an epiphany when a colleague is killed. He decides to right the wrong and turns the tables on the evil boss.
The film is as amateurish and boring as this description. The screenplay fails to exploit the moral dilemma at the centre of the story and there is an absolute lack of a dramatic graph. Kunal Kemmu pitches in another sincere performance but it seems the rest of the cast were given some other script. Especially the villain who keeps on harping he is both Zacharia as well as Zaveri… He seems to have been promised a prequel as there is no mention of Zacharia anywhere in the narrative except in his dialogue. The film seems like it has been shot by a dwarf or by a dwarf on a crane as most sequences are shot in either too low angle (for dramatic impact?!) or too wide. This films lacks any aspect worth commenting on. In a rare letdown, even the songs are below average, making this one of the most boring Vishesh Films production in a long time.