06 May, 2021

The Funny Bone Of Grey Matters

Delhi Belly to Blackmail, the verdict on ad man turned ­auteur, Abhinay Deo

Photograph by Apoorva Salkade
The Funny Bone Of Grey Matters

In a tense moment, seated in a sle­azy theatre, Kirti Kulhari and Arunoday Singh, ex-lovers who are having an affair while still married to their not-so-loving spouses (Irrfan and Divya Dutta) are discussing how to finance their blackmailer’s demands. Arunoday’s thoughts stray to a couple making out in the front row, and Kirti goes…“Focus!” He turns to show her a country-made rev­olver he has procured to kill the blackmailer. Exasperated, she asks, “Just to hide an affair, you’ll murder someone?” He replies in the affirmative. Not that she has a better idea. Then they go about executing their poorly laid plans in the worst of ways.

At this moment you realise you’ve been giggling pretty much the whole time, feeling neither sympathy nor hatred for the characters, nor fear for what is to unfold. And this tone is what the director manages to create and maintain—and use to extract a wonderful film out of a potentially dark script.

Actors who have worked with Abhinay Deo, director of...

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