Blackout review: Vikrant Massey runs amok in a fleetingly funny caper

Full of contrivances, gags, and one-liners, this is a fun and engaging film, but in mostly scattered moments.

BySwaroop Kodur

Published:Jun 07, 2024

Devang Shashin Bhavsar's directorial Blackout

Blackout (HIndi)

07-06-2024, Drama/Thriller, 1 hour 56 minutes U/A 13+
  • Main Cast:Vikrant Massey, Sunil Grover, Mouni Roy, Jisshu Sengupta, Karan Sudhakar Sonawane, Saurabh Dilip Ghadge, Ruhani Sharma, Anantvijay Joshi, Prasad Oak, Chhaya Raghunath Kadam, Sooraj Pops, and Kelly Dorji
  • Director:Devang Shashin Bhavsar
  • Producer:Jyoti Deshpande
  • Music Director:Vishal Mishra and John Stewart Eduri (BGM)
  • Cinematography:Anubhav Bansal



Devesh Bhavsar’s Blackout is so dead set on barraging entertainment at the viewer that it ends up mistaking its intent for a well-thought-out film.

Sticking fiercely to the After Hours (1985) template wherein a yuppie—in this case, a young crime reporter with a weird skill for sting operations—gets into mad trouble for seeking a kind of forbidden pleasure, Blackout has Hindi cinema’s dependable boy Vikrant Massey running quite the riot but mostly aimlessly.

He has the company of a huge buffet of characters ranging from a pretty wife, a drunken shayar, and a thieving duo (that’s hungry for Insta clout and reels) to a damsel in distress, a belligerent private eye, cops themselves and so many more, who seem as confused, if not more, as the next guy in the film.

Massey’s Lenny D’Souza, the lanky yuppie, finds himself in the centre of a comical mayhem that unfolds through a night when the city of Pune is blacked out with no electricity, and everything he touches turns to shit right in front of his eyes.

Full of contrivances, gags, one-liners, and whatnot, Blackout is a film that’s fun and engaging while in the moment but has very little going for itself if one were to step back a little and try to place everything together.

Putting it differently, a lot of things in Blackout don’t make sense but for a good chunk of the film, we don’t care about that because the jokes land (mainly because of the comedy duo Karan Sonawane and Saurabh Ghadge) and the execution—the cinematography, the action choreography, the music, and so on— is quite neat to its credit.

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Quite a chaos!

'Blackout' is streaming on Jio Cinema. (X)

‘Blackout’ is streaming on Jio Cinema. (X)

But the problem starts to inflate when you don’t see any of the devices on the makers’ part lending themselves to the narrative.

Blackout begins with an elaborate jewellery heist including a few masked men who may or may not be fully relevant to the film. Lenny indulges in a crime himself but he may or may not have a solid reason to justify what he does.

New characters, essayed by Chhaya Kadam, Jisshu Sengupta, Mouni Roy, and other well-known faces, enter the fray and promise to shake things up a little. But they, too, may or may not be of much significance in the long run.

Even Anil Kapoor’s voiceover that introduces each character with a bombast might not have any role to play except for being another distraction.

Blackout has strong resemblances with countless films of the black-comedy subgenre—including Madgaon Express (2024)—in that, the ante must remain up throughout and nothing must go according to the plan.

While the film wholeheartedly submits itself to this convention, it doesn’t fully grasp the need for an emotional justification for the chaos. I mean, why must we care for Lenny at all when we don’t know who the guy is?

The semblance of an answer to that comes as a small series of flashbacks.

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Blackout is a comedy thriller

‘Blackout’ is a comedy thriller. (X)

Lenny loves to disguise himself—sometimes as a bar-handle-moustached businessman and sometimes as a bumbling Sardar —and his victims are often cops or politicians, but these scenes are only employed as buffers that come in handy when the film has tried everything else and possibly not succeeded at any of it.

And although Vikrant Massey, having delivered a breakthrough success with 12th Fail (2023) about six months ago, seems to have set out to have some fun and try out a new genre while at it, he doesn’t get to do much here because his Lenny D’Souza packs very little punch.

Instead, it is Sunil Grover who gets the vibrancy to his name.

As the alcoholic, touched-by-life poet, the talented actor scores points for elevating the material with his screen presence. He also gets the best character arcs in the film and if the concluding moments indicate anything, then we might see more of him in the future.

The same finale sequence of Blackout also summarises the whole idea behind its making.

Writer-director Devesh Bhavsar wants his film to be unabashedly screwball and silly and though he has the right ingredients for that to happen, the audience’s investment in the story is likely to be frail and wobbly.


A few scattered laughs and an engaging cast make Blackout somewhat worthwhile but it is best advised not to carry a lot of expectations before watching.

It is streaming on Jio Cinema.

(Views expressed here are personal.)