Source: Sify

By: By Taran Adarsh

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 28 January 2005

Movie Title



Star Cast

An oft-repeated Bollywood formula flick in a new avatar is what BLACKMAIL is all about. Only the characters of yore are replaced with the new leaders of Bollywood with a strong dose of laudable Devgan action.

Sadly, the storyline, despite all its thrills, due to its age-old formula, makes one see answers before the questions are asked. And therein lies the problem.

Shekhar [Ajay Devgan] is car-racer who he uses his skills to help prisoners flee from jails. To him, the Himalayan rally and the Mumbai roads seem the same when it comes to displaying his driving skills - he is unstoppable.

ACP Abhay Rathod [Suneil Shetty] is leading a content life with his wife [Priyanka Chopra] and son Chirag [Parth Dave]. Their dream world collapses when Chhota [Mukesh Rishi] hires Shekhar to settle scores with Abhay.

Besides, Shekhar has a score to settle with Abhay as well. The cop, in his bid to nab Shekhar at some point in time, was indirectly responsible for the death of Shekhar's wife [Dia Mirza] in an accident. And as time flies, Devgan also has Devgan's child with him kept someplace!

BLACKMAIL takes inspiration from the Hollywood flick RANSOM [1996; Mel Gibson]. Come to think of it, BLACKMAIL has two factors going in its favour - the emotional moments and competent actors - and is also garnished with some excellent stunts. But the film is not without its share of blemishes...

The problem is, BLACKMAIL doesn't take a lot of risks. It follows the mundane predictable path and the effort gets diluted in the process.

To be honest, BLACKMAIL could've been a taut, compelling, heart-wrenching thriller, but is ruined by an oft-repeated plot. The writers have packaged the routine formulae and presented it in a new garb. Besides some brilliantly executed action scenes, there's nothing that really arrests your attention.

Director Anil Devgan has made a slick product, but he ought to realize that it's the story that does the talking. After an interesting start, the graph of the film starts going downhill primarily because predictability seeps in at this juncture.

The action, backed by the right sound and editing, makes for some interesting moments. In fact, the action portions are the mainstay of the film. The music [Himesh Reshammiya] is a disappointment simply because the songs are out of place and have not been weaved into the story. Even the item song looks completely forced. If deleted, it might help in perking up the goings-on. Cinematography is quite good.

BLACKMAIL belongs to Ajay Devgan completely. The actor puts his best foot forward and delivers a striking performance. Suniel Shetty is adequate, while Dia Mirza stands out in her scenes. Priyanka Chopra does not have much to do. Parth Dave is convincing. Mukesh Rishi is as usual.

On the whole, BLACKMAIL is not as gripping as one would've expected it to be. At the box-office, nothing to rave or rant about!

Rating:- * ?.

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