KUNAL KADAM, the protagonist of our film, is an ambitious young man with dreams and aspirations reflective of young India. Having been orphaned at a tender age, he even delivered pizzas and worked part-time jobs to pay the college fees to complete his MBA. Being as ambitious as he is, he has always dreamt of working in the abroad and making it big there.
Blood Money starts with Kunal bagging his dream job. TRINITY DIAMONDS has offered him a job in their Trading Dept., in return for a six-figure salary, a fancy house, a car and the opportunity to move to Cape Town, South Africa. Kunal jumps at the offer and knows that he is now on his way to realizing all his dreams!
We cut to the exterior of a small nursery school in Madh Island. We see Kunal with a box of chocolates stand outside the nursery, which we learn is where Arzoo, his high school sweet heart, teaches. Arzoo, a nursery school teacher by profession, is the kind of girl every man would want to marry and take home to his mother. She is a traditional girl by personality and has a very Indian core value system. As she sees Kunal, she realizes that her day at work has now come to an end. We see Kunal throw chocolates in the air and as the children jump up for them, Kunal pulls Arzoo out of the nursery.
Kunal, holding her face, then tells her about his job offer. We see her expressions suddenly change, as her female intuition kicks in. We notice that she is a little skeptical of moving abroad and this job offer. She tells him how they are happy in their own country and how he could get a job in Mumbai itself, but Kunal tells her of how he has always dreamt of going abroad and making a life there. He goes onto tell her how he feels that there is only so much opportunity for growth in India, and that he has stellar aspirations. Finally Arzoo gives in to his desires and agrees. They get married and move to Cape Town.
We transition to a shot of an aircraft landing in Cape Town, and as the newly wed couple walk out of the airport, they are greeted by a chauffeur of a stretch limo. The chauffeur is to drive them straight to his new office building. As the car navigates through the streets of Cape Town, we see the couple soak in the beauty and opulence that surrounds them. As they reach the office building, Kunal is completely awestruck by the grandeur of this firm. He stands there, hand in hand with his wife, in a plush lobby, with a high ceiling and a massive sparkling chandelier. They are whisked away to Kunal’s new boss, Dinesh, who welcomes them to Cape Town, as he hands them their new house keys and some settling in money. We see Kunal now brimming with joy as he is told that he has a week to settle in and report to work.
We cut to the couple trying to settle into their new lives, shopping for new clothes and furniture for the house, and see how Kunal feels for the first time that he is able to provide for his love. They walk about the cobbled streets of Cape Town, dine at fancy riverside cafes, laze around in lush green parks and visit tourist hotspots as the intoxicating beauty of this country adds to the romance in the air.
We cut to Kunal starting his job, and see how eager he is to prove himself. On his first day of work he enters the office only to find a very surreal and gloomy atmosphere. One of the seniors in the company has died in a car crash with his family, and we see how a deal is now stuck in limbo. Kunal, seeing an opportunity asks to be assigned this deal and we see how his street smart past of being a sales person helps him swing the deal around, buying a big assignment of diamonds at a throw away rate. We see how he is serenaded at the office and how he is now assigned to the acquisitions department, where he cracks deal after deal, enabling him to grow rapidly in the hierarchy of the firm. DHARMESH ZAVERI, the owner of the company spots talent in Kunal and takes him under his wings. He starts grooming Kunal. It leads to Kunal spending more time at office and ignoring Arzoo altogether. Kunal’s dreams start coming true but at the same time he is slowly getting trapped into the world of wealth, money and exotic lifestyle. As he runs after the materialistic pleasures, Kunal makes a fatal mistake that could prove costly to his marital life.
Simultaneously we see Arzoo now spending endless nights home alone as Kunal works away at the office. We see how Arzoo tries to mingle with other firm wives, but, is unable to fit in with their champagne and spa lifestyles. Finally we see cracks start to form in their relationship and we see Arzoo starting to become a lonely wreck.
Growing as rapidly as he has, Kunal is now exposed to the inner operations of the company, and he starts to notice things that don’t add up. Sometimes the inventory of diamonds is far greater than supposed to be and other times values of invoices are manipulated. This is when he questions his boss, and Mr. Zaveri, reveals to him the dark secret, that this firm, isn’t only a diamond trading company but also a front for the mafia to launder their illegal money. Their modus operandi is that the firm buys illicit blood diamonds from Africa with hard cash made from drugs and guns trafficking, and then mixes them with licit diamonds, selling them at manipulated prices, in effect laundering illegal money. Mr. Zaveri goes onto say how he has been watching Kunal and is happy with his work, and if he carried on working the way he has, he could make much more money than he ever has dreamt of. However, he also reminds him that now that he is in the inner sanctum, there is no leaving the firm.
We see Kunal who now comes home to his wife and confides in her. Shocked she tells him how all she has ever wanted was to be with him, and that they could simply just disappear and go back to India. This is when Kunal’s past resonates with him and he realizes that by doing nothing, he would be supporting the mafia and creating more orphans just like him.
In the final act, we see how Kunal decides to take on the company, and works with the authorities to gather evidence against the guilty, putting his own life and his wife’s life in danger. In a pulsating, high-energy climax, we see Kunal chased through the back alleys of Cape Town as he struggles to get the evidence to the authorities and finally coming out victorious.
To summarize the film, the director wants the audience to come away from the film seeing the journey of a man who seeks external wealth, but through the process of life, comes out a richer man from the inside.
BLOOD MONEY is about a young man’s journey back to his love and redemption after his dreams turn into nightmares.