‘BLACKOUT’ REVIEW | 7 June, 2024

Jio Studios and 11:11 Productions’ Blackout is a thriller. It is the story of journalist Lenny D’Souza (Vikrant Massey) who is a sting operation expert. He lives in Pune with his wife, Roshni D’Souza (Ruhani Sharma). On a pitch dark night (because there is power failure in Pune), Lenny ventures out of his house in his car to buy something and knocks down a stranger (Kelly Dorji) because of the darkness. Before that, he steals a huge box from an overturned van and parks it in the boot of his car. Assuming that the box has tons of money, Lenny is happy to have laid his hands on a fortune. Anyway, Bewdya (Sunil Grover), a drunkard, blackmails him when he sees the body of the stranger lying on the road. Just so that he doesn’t complain to the police, Lenny takes Bewdya’s help to bury the dead body, promising to pay him a large sum of money to keep his lips sealed. Even while the two are digging a pit to bury the body, two young YouTubers — Thik (Karan Sudhakar Sonawane) and Thak (Saurabh Dilip Ghadge) — spot them. They also ask for their share to keep their mouths shut. While burying the body, the four realise that the stranger is alive.

On the run, the four get into one problem after another. They meet Shruti Mehra (Mouni Roy) on the way. Since her car has had a breakdown, they let her sit in Lenny’s car. They next meet another underworld don, Mugil Anna (Sooraj Pops). There’s also a detective, Arvind (Jisshu Sengupta), who gives Lenny a piece of news which shocks him. What is that news? Does Lenny get the money in the box? What happens to his sting operations?

Devang Shashin Bhavsar has written a kiddish story and an equally juvenile screenplay. Humorous scenes fail to evoke laughter. Several scenes are so lengthy that they test the audience’s patience. The drama keeps getting into flashbacks, which gets confusing at times. Also, several of the various tracks look contrived as they don’t create the desired impact. One such track is that of don Mugil Anna. The track of detective Arvind is interesting. Overall, the drama fails to engage or involve the viewers. Even the thrill quotient is low. Abbas Dalal and Hussain Dalal’s dialogues are no better than the story and screenplay.

Vikrant Massey acts well but he doesn’t suit the character. At times, his effort shows and he appears to also be going overboard. Mouni Roy does not have many substantive scenes but is, nevertheless, alright. Sunil Grover seems miscast in the role of a don. His performance, as Bewdya/Asgar is fair. Jisshu Sengupta looks handsome and acts effectively in the role of detective Arvind. Karan Sudhakar Sonawane and Saurabh Dilip Ghadge are average as Thik and Thak respectively. Their scenes are not of the kind that they could’ve shone. Rather, the jokes they crack are sometimes so kiddish that the duo ends up irritating the public. Ruhani Sharma lends ordinary support as Lenny’s wife, Roshni D’Souza. Anantvijay Joshi hardly gets any scope as Ravi, friend of Lenny. Prasad Oak stands his own as police inspector Patil. Chhaya Kadam makes her presence felt as MLA Anita Naik. Sooraj Pops is okay as Mugil Anna. Kelly Dorji has his moments as the stranger. Others lend routine support.

Devang Shashin Bhavsar’s direction is below the mark. Limited as it is by the script, his narration does not make the audience feel invested in the drama. Vishal Mishra’s music and lyrics are devoid of hit songs. John Stewart Eduri’s background music is okay. Anubhav Bansal’s cinematography is alright. Manohar Verma’s action and stunt scenes are quite okay. Priya Suhas’ production designing is average. Unnikrishnan P.P.’s editing ought to have been sharper.

On the whole, Blackout is too ordinary to impress the viewers. It is good that the film has not released in the cinemas because it would’ve flopped at the ticket windows.

Released on 7-6-’24 on JioCinema.