Subhash K Jha speaks about Blue

By Subhash K. Jha Bollywood Hungama News Network

First things first. The villain of the show is not Akshay Kumar. It's the screenplay. What was the writer thinking when he wrote this underwater escapade with well-toned bodies posing against the breathtaking Bahamian backdrops?

The treasure-hunt could be straight out of Enid Blyton's Famous Five...The quintet here are from an altogether different age group from what Blyton had intended.

Samjay Dutt and Akshay Kumar are friends. We are made to believe they are in the fishery business, though we don't ever see them doing a day's work. All they do is soak their lips in the bubblies and their toes in the pristine-blue waters.

Oh yes, they also get into the boxing ring. But their pugnacious proclivities never get beyond the first chapter of Enid Bylton's 'Famous 4 Get Frisky'. If Enid never wrote it, then here it is. The screenplay writer doing the needful. The two grownup boys who relentlessly talk about undersea treasure.

This is Dhoom going thousands of feet under.

We get very little insight into what motivates these overgrown boys to think green -backs in their blue environment. Fast cars and furious wheels just don't make for a meaningful existence. But who's going to tell these people they are interesting only to themselves?

Interestingly the only rounded and remotely cohesive character is that played by Zayed Khan. We first see him as a brat in Bangkok racing mo'bikes and wooing the puckish and punky Katrina Kaif with bed roomy looks. Zayed penchant for the two wheels give us two very lengthy and very stylish chase sequences which are among the best we've ever seen in Hindi cinema.

But do skidding wheels and somersaulting cars constitute a substantial film? Often in the midst of the breath-taking stunts you look for relevance beyond the cosmetic confection that Blue so insouciantly throws in your face. The characters' single-minded obsession with self-preservation in the most superficial sense, keeps us guessing about the true reason for their existence. By the time they find the treasure we still don't have a clue as to what motivates them to skim the surface of existence.

Director Anthony D'Souza is completely in control of the characters outside world. The underwater sequences are truly a plunge that Hindi cinema has never taken. The camera follows the characters underwater with a masterly aplomb.

It's the world above sea level that leaves us hankering for oxygen. The world that these characters inhabit is utterly devoid of a third dimension. A multiplicity of cameras are used to capture their rapidly-moving world. But that essential peep into the characters' hearts and minds eludes the keen camera lenses.

Blame the writing. Lara Dutta looks wow in a bikini. But the cast could do with a serious crash course in how to have a whale of a time without getting in the way of the sharks.

Sanjay Dutt should have lost 20 kgs before getting into underwater gear. Oh yes that's Kylie Minogue doing jiggwiggy to A R Rahman's music. Does anyone really care? These are scuba-diving hedonists busy having a ball. We really don't want to intrude on their very private world of cars, cruiser boats and water sports.

At the end Akshay Kumar speeds into the ocean on his mo'bike. We don't blame him for forgetting the difference between earth and water. Blue blurs the line between water and land somewhere in the first two reels.

And then it's just a plot less journey into the heart of the ocean.

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