Production: Irfan Malik | Cast: Kishore, Metro Shirish, Priya Bhavani Shankar | Direction : arjun KM | Screenplay: Sarjun KM | Story: Sarjun KM | Distribution: Zee5
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Blood Money is a film written by Sankar Dass and directed by KM Sarjun. It has Priya Bhavani Shankar in the lead role while Metro Shirish, Kishore, Subbu Panchu and others star in crucial supporting roles. The film is presented by Irfan Malik, and is streaming on the OTT Platform Zee 5.Rachel (played by Priya Bhavani Shankar) is a sub-editor journalist in a News channel. On the first day of taking up her new responsibility, she gets a Whatsapp video where an elderly woman and her granddaughter seek help to save two of their family members who are going to get hanged in Kuwait for a crime they didn’t commit.
Whether they save the two prisoners or not, and the hurdles they face form the rest of the story.There is a young girl who hasn’t seen her father’s face properly since he went to Kuwait many years back. She asks her grandmother when he’ll be back and she keeps giving false reassurances, as the truth is he may never return. This is how the film Blood Money begins. And every now and then, we see this girl ask the same question to a point where it becomes redundant.
Rachel heads to Sri Lanka to ensure that these two men are not hanged. She faces some hurdles as she tries to uncover the truth and save the lives of two innocent men. Why does Rachel go to Sri Lanka? Will she succeed in saving the lives or end up losing her own? We find out by the end.
The concept of Blood Money is quite intriguing and can be covered in many ways. In the Zee5 film, writer Sankar Dass had an honest idea in his mind. The first 40 minutes hold your attention as we learn what’s going on. It is emotional and heartbreaking. Rachel as a character becomes likeable instantly, and you want to see how she carries out the mission. However, when the mission starts, the execution is clumsy. When the narrative shifts to Sri Lanka, it fails to astound you.
This could have been a film where the emotional base could have been the bond between the daughter and father, and it should have been used judiciously. However, the screenplay is all over the place, and the emotional angle looks like the pulp is already squeezed out. Another issue with the film is that the writing is extremely convenient. The hurdles don’t seem to affect Rachel and her team, and they get solved within the snap of a finger.
There is no grave danger posed to the reporters who are trying to save the prisoners from hanging. They almost get caught by a Coast Guard, but the Coast Guards are shown to be corrupt. The CEO of their news channel asks them to drop the case, but they decide to go against him. Political parties call and threaten them, but the film doesn’t show even a single frame involving them after that. All these, coupled with logical loopholes pull down the film’s weight.
Priya Bhavani Shankar is convincing as Rachel, and Kishore as Kaliyappan, one of the prisoners stands out. His performance in a phone call scene is a testament to his acting skills. It might even end up moving you to tears. Priya’s experience as a journalist certainly adds up here and she knows what she is doing. The rest of the cast too play out their roles well.
The film’s camerawork is satisfying for most parts, however, certain portions look dreamy and fantasy-like, while there is danger lurking around the corner. The cinematography therefore at few places misses out to capture the right emotions. The music by Satish Ragunathan is effective and complements the narrative well. The songs too don’t break the film’s flow. The 90 minute run time also helps the film’s cause, keeping it fairly engaging.
Overall, the film should have worked well as a thriller drama if the emotional angle between the father and the daughter hadn’t been overstretched. While this is technically not the best, one can also not discard it as poor. The cinematography and the screenplay could have been better. In the rest of the film, there is not much to complain about, and the film can be given a watch for the interesting premise it carries.
Blood Money Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, the Zee5 thriller is an honest attempt to show the reality that is not limited to just people in India. But it takes us to a “terrifying” world where problems are solved without greater challenges. Considering the topic they highlight, that’s not how it works. Actor Priya has done a good job, but the film fails to leave a good impression.