Starring: Kunal Kemmu, Amrita Puri
Directed by Vishal S. Mahadkar
Blood Money feels like a rerun of Vishesh Films’ Jannat. Only, the backdrop of match-fixing is replaced by diamond trading, with a facile take on terrorism and arms dealing shoved in. The story is much the same. Set in Cape Town, with a brief stopover in Angola, it’s about how a young Indian man goes abroad to pursue his dreams and is corrupted. How he becomes captive to his ambition. The company he works for is a Hotel California-like trap, one he can enter but can’t ever leave. He can opt for either truth or happiness. He chooses the latter but does he really find that oh-so elusive contentment?
Cliches abound. The clingy, whiny Indian wife, who seems to have no life of her own, is the proverbial good woman, while a fair foreigner fits neatly in the straitjacket of the seductress. Some fairytale mumbo-jumbo is tossed in—how the young couple lives in a Hansel and Gretel-like dream house, unaware that there is a witch inside sullying the peace. There’s a sudden twist in the climax, more childish and sloppy than thrilling. By then, you don’t care anyway. Bright spot: Kunal Kemmu shows sincerity and effort, but Blood Money is much too insipid for him to register a strong impact.