Critics' verdict: Blood Money fails to impress

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By Hindustan Times

For a movie that is set against the flourishing diamond industry and broaches on its grey zones, Vishesh Films' latest offering Blood Money is conspicuous by absence of detail and depiction. On the whole, this Kunal Khemu, Amrita Puri starrer is old wine with a brand new label.

"Unexpectedly, from a credible, plausible zone, the film deviates into a hard-to-absorb masala-ridden fare that relies on heroism and intrepidness to prove a point. A persuasive culmination, in keeping with the quintessence of the film, would've only enhanced the impact of the second hour. Wish the writer was consistent in keeping the viewer absorbed in the subsequent hour as well," writes Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama.

The execution of the film was not up to the mark. "Writer Upendra Sidhye’s story is believable but the execution barely rises above average. Director Vishal Mahadkar extracts decent performances from his cast. Kunal Khemu steals the show as a man caught in personal and professional conflict," feels Blessy Chettiar, DNA

The film also lacked research and detailing. "For a movie that is set against the flourishing diamond industry and broaches on its grey zones, Vishesh Films' latest offering is conspicuous by absence of detail and depiction. Devoid of any research it doesn't matter whether the story is set in South Africa or Surat," writes Sukanya Verma, Rediff.

"This one has all the toppings of a 'Bhatt shocker' - drama, emotion, tragedy and some sex. Once again they push the bedroom threshold - a semi-erotic, steamy scene between two women - every man's turn-on fantasy. Debutant director, (Vishal S Mahadkar), tells the story well, though some scenes are very stretched, and tries too hard to provoke a reaction. 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," says Madhureeta Mukherjee, TOI.

Direction
"Debutant director Vishal Mahadkar had a gripping premise on hand, but what comes across on screen is a potpourri. A few absorbing, attention grabbing moments… a few hackneyed, tried and tested formulaic material. Resultantly, Blood Money is neither riveting, nor absolutely undistinguished. It floats somewhere in between!" Writes Adarsh.

"Kunal Khemu and Amrita Puri are ideal in character roles, heroine’s sister or hero’s insipid sidekick. But in the lead, two strugglers can’t make a crippled film walk. While the story and screenplay do little to keep you seated throughout, the dialogues surely deserve a Ghanta nomination. Following a bitter argument, Arzoo’s friend consoles her, saying, 'Jhagde toh hote hi hain hone ke liye.' Then there are pearls of wisdom like, 'Har deal mein do party hoti hain, ek buyer aur ek seller.' Quite like the two parties in the hall playing ‘Blood Money’: the projectionist and the usher," writes Kunal Guha, Yahoo.

Performances
"Kunal Kemmu is super-confident and believable. The actor carries the movie on his shoulders, notwithstanding the discrepancies in the narrative. This should be a fresh beginning for this talented young man. Amrita Puri, who stood out with a fine performance in AISHA, is natural to the core. She delivers a power-packed performance and elevates even an ordinary scene with her splendid act," says Adarsh.

"Amrita Puri, for the first time in a lead role after her impressive Aisha stint, is strictly okay. You want to take her seriously but lines like “Tumhe mere saath Mumbai chalna hoga. Main yahaan se vidhwa hoke nahi jaana chahti” ruin it. May be a better script and we can see if she can work some magic on the big screen. Manish Choudhary as Zaveri/Zakharia is “superb”-ly annoying, while the actor playing his brother deserves to be shot for over-acting," feels Chettiar.

"Kunal Khemu displays none of the charisma, intensity or vulnerability that validates his transition from an pleasant go-getter to a compromised coward. The young man's needless huffing, puffing and folding lips in exasperation only draw attention to his inadequacies. Co-star Amrita Puri put up a delightful show in Aisha with her funny dialogue delivery. Turns out that is how she speaks. As the Devil in a Diamond baron's disguise, Manish Chaudhary does well with his analogies in a brief lunch scene but is limited to sporting a threatening frown for the rest of his role," avers Verma.

"Proving his acting calibre in Kalyug, Kunal Khemu has been a very promising actor so far. Khemu's earnest act in Blood Money can definitely fetch kudos for him. Amrita Puri though pleasant enough, does not get much scope in the movie," reports Oneindia.

Conclusion
"On the whole, Blood Money is old wine with a brand new label. A decent and absorbing first hour coupled with soulful music are its aces, although the mediocre, outmoded writing in the post-interval portions leave you a little miffed. At best, a fair attempt!" Concludes Adarsh.

"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. The out of sync sound in many scenes makes Blood Moneytechnically unstable. Add to all this innumerable songs," writes Chettiar.

"You don't have to be a diamond expert to tell a gem from a pebble. And so, unless stale stories, bad acting and bungled possibilities capture your fancy, Blood Money is much too sluggish, simplistic and boring to bother," says Verma.

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