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“It’s Hard To Make A Comedy That Doesn’t Depend On Slapstick,” Abhinay Deo Has Done It

Blackmail

Arguably, Blackmail is the funniest film of the year.With its tongue  firmly in  its cheek the plot takes us on a rollercoaster ride that involves an unfaithful wife(read: anti-heroine), a blackmailing  husband(read anti-hero),a henpecked toy boy , his domineering wealthy sluttish wife, an officegoing go-getting  woman who will stop at nothing to  extort money from  her senior, a boss who is obsessed with stopping the  water supply in Mumbai so he can promote his brand  of  toilet paper and a bewigged detective who refers to himself throughout the  film in  the third person…

These are  only some of the wacked out characters  in Abhinay Deo’s Blackmail, plus  of course a hero who  likes to  visit the  office toilet  with pictures  of  other  people’s wives stolen from their desks.

Laughs Abhinay Deo, “It was  a gambit. Nobody would think of putting money into something so outlandish and  outrageous. But my producers did, knowing  fully well that this  kind of comedy  does not  necessarily  appeal to the audience  that favours the more conventional comedies.”

 Abhinay’s most triumphant moment  so far was at  Censor Board . “The entire panel  said they were  thoroughly entertained  by  the film. They sent me  off with  ‘UA’ certificate and lots of encouraging laughter,And mind you, the  film’s theme is  adultery, and sex forms  a very important  part  of  the  plot. But yes, there is no profanity.”

Abhinay recalls  with a shudder the  ordeal that his Delhi Belly went through. Even after  being cleared  by the censor board there were endless debates  and discussions  on  the  verbal excesses  of  the dialogues.

“Here we  were not given  any opportunity to feel victimized.There  is a sense  of  vindication about being able to  tell my story the way I want to,” says Abhinay as he wonders at  the laughter challenge ahead.

“The audience is  habituated  to being spoonfed  a certain kind of comedy. It is those comedies that make the big bucks at  theboxoffice.My biggest victory as far as Blackmail is concerned is when my humour is seen  to carry forward the tradition of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s cinema,” says Abhinay whose parents veteran actors Ramesh Deo and Seema Deo are to this day remembered  for their presence in  Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand.

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“It’s Hard To Make A Comedy That Doesn’t Depend On Slapstick,” Abhinay Deo Has Done It