One of the most eagerly awaited movies this year and the first of the three biggies to hit the theatres this Diwali – Blue – has many things that can be said to be its advantages. Two A-listers as the main protagonists, a successful production house behind it, the music of A.R.Rahman, adrenaline-pumping action and above all, the novelty factor of an underwater thriller. In spite of this, the movie borders on mediocrity coz it lacks something that is the backbone of every successful movie – a coherent storyline and a strong script!
Aarav Malhotra (Akshay Kumar) runs what is presumably a fishing business in Bahamas with Sagar Seth (Sanjay Dutt) as his main employee, presumably as a paunchy diver! Sagar’s lady love is Mona who stammers something about conservation and museums so we’ll presume that’s her job. Aarav has one deep-rooted desire: to delve into the blue oceans of Bahamas and retrieve the treasure of a sunken ship – Lady in Blue – and for that he keeps nagging Sagar coz he’s the only one who knows where it is but he steadfastly refuses. Cut to Bangkok and Sagar’s pesky li’l bro Sameer a.k.a. Sam (Zayed Khan) plays Fast and the Furious Bangkok Drift on the streets and cavorts chin-pierced Nikki (Katrina Kaif, Spl. appearance) but ultimately runs into trouble with Gulshan (Rahul Dev) who’s presumably a most dangerous man. Sam escapes into the arms of big bro but events unfold such that the trio have to dive into the blue in search of gold to get out of the red!
As I’ve noted above, there’re too many presumptions in this one and not one character is well-defined and developed properly. Some of the dialogues are authored so as to provide some explanations but that’s sketchy at best. The first half drags on for like eternity and though some action scenes pepper up the narrative, it all starts going downhill. The underwater scenes pose a great challenge in that there can be no dialogues to supplement the happenings and most of the time the viewer is left admiring the marine life – which we’ve seen many a times thanks to Discovery/Nat Geo/Animal Planet – whilst being clueless as to why the lead actors are swimming about a sunken ship! Its hard to emote with an oxygen mask on your face and a tank on your back and most often, the actors have to resort to tacky body language to convey their expressions.
The visuals and locales are the most stunning part in the movie and so is Lara Dutta but I’d have dearly loved for her to switch roles with Katrina Kaif! Sanjay Dutt is clearly past his prime for action roles and the costumes he dons can barely hide his paunch (notice how he’s positioned in the movie promo poster). Akshay Kumar would have been bearable if it weren’t for the corny dialogues he mouths and his clearly lackadaisical attitude & a done-to-death motive for finding the sunken ship. Zayed Khan has as much footage and scope to perform as the Sharks that are seen in the movie. Rahul Dev is ordinary and the fact that he and Akshay utter the same “risk” dialogue gives away a huge chunk of the suspense in the movie!
The action scenes though good, seem too contrived and unwontedly bombastic. Any vehicle that topples over or crashes just erupts in a big ball of flame for no apparent reason. Then there’s a sequence where people are stacking loads of boxes, presumably for loading onto a train that doesn’t even stop! Then there’s a bike chase n’ blast scene in what looks like a dense forest abutting a railroad. I’m not too sure but from the little geography that I know, Bahamas is supposed to be an island! And the climax too has few wtf! moments – something to do with still-glimmering treasure and a dirt bike & its air-in-the-tyres! Few of the scenes seem to me as being “inspired” from other movies. The whole sparring & boxing between Aarav & Sagar is straight out of Broken Arrow whereas the denouement closely resembles Ajnabee. Plus, there are several flaws in the narrative…I have four words for the whole flashback sequence: are you kidding me?
The music has little or no effect on the narrative with the two best songs Rehnuma and Fiqrana bookending the movie as the opening and closing credits pieces and Aaj dil gustaakh being a playful love song. Chiggy Wiggy is more of an item number and Bhoola tujhe is relegated to the background. Cinematography is top notch and of the highest standards. The chase scenes across Bangkok and Bahamas as well as the underwater scenes have been well picturized and presented. This is director Anthony D’Souza’s first movie and he’s also credited for the story penning. He deserves some brownie points for the direction but should’ve done better with the story.
For a movie touted to be an action thriller, Blue has some of the former but lacks in the latter. Let’s face it, an underwater treasure hunt is somewhat of a clichéd theme and moreso given a save-my-family-honour type of a motive, there’s always the fear of it slipping into mediocrity. Something that the National Treasure franchise has well-avoided with the clever usage of puzzles and mysteries. Blue doesn’t have them and the overtly sentimental hangover is also a ball-and-chain for the movie’s success.