'Blood Money' review: Bold concept, middling execution

'Blood Money' movie review: Bold concept, middling execution

'Blood Money' would have been a winner had the writing been up to the mark

The official poster of 'Blood Money'. Credit: IMDb

Cast: Priya Bhavani Shankar, Kishore and Shirish

Director: Sarjun K M

Platform: Zee5

Rating: 2.5/5

Language: Tamil

Director Sarjun K M's latest movie Blood Money is a mediocre thriller that fails to do justice to its promising premise. The film revolves around what happens when a journalist decides to move heaven and earth to save two brothers from Tamil Nadu, from being executed in Kuwait for 'murdering' a woman. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that there is more to the incident than what meets the eyes.

Shades of Visaranai

Blood Money is a bit similar to Vetrimaaran's  Visaranai as both movies have socio-political undertones and revolve around what happens when the protagonists find themselves at the mercy of a system. Moreover, they deal with characters who are a long way from home. Blood Money, however, is not able to emerge as another Visaranai as the execution is not as compelling as expected.

What went wrong?

Vetrimaaran's film reached its potential as the director managed to construct the film's world through a series of dark and disturbing sequences, which highlighted police brutality. This never happens in Sarjun's movie. Blood Money opens with a scene that highlights the dangerous situation that the brothers have landed in because of a twist of fate. The action soon shifts to Rachel, a young and idealistic journalist, who takes up a new assignment. The writer tries to draw parallels between the journeys of the brothers and that of the female protagonist, projecting them as 'outsiders'. While the effort is commendable, the results aren't. The two tracks kind of dilute each other, making it difficult for the viewer to invest in the reel action. The character development needed more depth.

Spreading too thin?

This is Sarjun's second major release of the year. He garnered attention with Thunintha Pin, his segment from the Netflix anthology Navarasa, The short film revolved around the tense equation between a military man and a 'naxal' and piqued the curiosity of fans with its setting. A section of the audience, however, felt that the core theme lend itself to more detailed exploration. Blood Money's climax too, leaves one with a similar feeling as it deals with a sensitive issue.

Kishore, Priya shine

That said, Blood Money is not a lost cause by any stretch of the imagination. Kishore impresses in a key scene involving his reel daughter. His expressions and eyes convey his helplessness quite effectively. This character would have made a stronger, impact had the flashback sequence packed a punch. Blood Money, either way, is a better outing for him than Erida. The actor, who played negative roles in films such as Kabali and PSV Garuda Vega, sank his teeth into a character that is as vulnerable as can be. Shirish, unfortunately, does not get enough scope to show his mettle. It is, however, Priya Bhavani Shankar who proves to be the film's surprise package. Her sincerity is hard to miss.

Sarjun also needs to be lauded for steering clear of unnecessary commercial elements such as songs and a romantic track as this decision makes the film more hard-hitting. The editing is commendable as the film does not drag.

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