The 120 minutes of Blue cost Rs 120 crore. Thats one crore for every minute of screen time. But why is it that more than the screen, you keep an eye on the time. Exactly what Kylie Minogue says, when Akshay asks why she is looking at him: Theres a giant clock in that direction... Baby, I was just keeping time.
Blue can be the costliest film coming out of Bollywood but it is also not very short of being one of the worst films to have come out of the industry. Ever since Yash Raj Films did it, in fact twice over, every big-budget movie tries to orchestrate a dhoom.
Now, both D and D:2 had a script and Blue obviously doesnt. First-time director Anthony DSouza should have rather credited himself as a project designer. A boxing match, a fast and furious bike race, a lingerie commercial, he tries to pack it all in.
Director: Anthony D’Souza
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Lara Dutta, Zayed Khan, Rahul Dev, Katrina Kaif
But what the first half actually becomes is a lousy apology to justify that everyone in the film needs money — and loads of it. Aarav (Akshay) needs it for kicks, Sam (Zayed) needs it to ward off the baddies, Sagar (Sanjay) needs it for his brother Sam. And even Mona (Lara) needs the sona for some marine school. So, if you go in expecting an underwater film, be warned: the blue you see in the promos is just a fraction (in the second half) of a boring, bland film.
The treasure hunt itself is a joke, really. As Akshay says with all sincerity: Humein samundar mein jaake khazana le aana chahiye. Like getting some elish from the market for the shorshe maachh at dinner. In fact, even thats harder to get this festive season compared to how they just stroll into the sea and straight into the treasure.
The sharks seem least bothered. They are worse than the plastic snakes in those old Hindi movies guarding the khazana. You dont see their jaws even once and they just roam around the area with their high tails. Scary? You got to be kidding.
Blue, in fact, could have been a really funny spoof film. But given the talent on display, if they had tried to be intentionally funny, it could have very well turned out to be a tragedy for us. Theres this scene where the three men go under water. Now, Akshay and Zayed are bare-bodied — Sanju Baba obviously cant afford that, given his paunch — and so they kind of stroke each other up while Lara in a bikini stands alone on the boat in a Titanic pose. Its just Laugh Out Loud (for all the wrong reasons).
As widely publicised, Blue has a couple of Oscar winners in its credit line-up. Given how precious little time is spent in the sea and even most of that is drowned in songs, its difficult to understand why star sound man Resul Pookutty had to take so much trouble. Maybe he was just justifying his fat pay cheque.
Earlier in the week, A.R. Rahman told t2 about new directors — Sometimes they are great and sometimes they let you down. His choice of words was telling. He had obviously seen Blue — you have to, if you are also doing the background score — and he was saying it all, Rahman-understated-style.
This is clearly a disinterested score from the maestro. Chiggy Wiggy is fun till the bhangra beats come crashing, Aaj dil gustaakh hai too has some zing but the rest dont stick. Especially Fiqrana, which comes with the credits, has a huge Guzarish (Ghajini) hangover. And what can you say about the theme? We understand they want to shout Blueeeeeeeeeeee but what we hear is something like Buuuuluuuuuu.
The cast goes completely undirected. Its like that first narration with the actors, when everyone delivers lines without any purpose, just reading them off the page. And when you have people like Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan doing that, it can be very bad news.
Rahul Devs flat speech can work for a no-nonsense baddie but if the leading men cannot add an iota of emotion to their dialogues, what are they doing there? Seriously, if you have so much money at your disposal couldnt you afford someone with a flatter stomach or someone who can keep his eyes open properly.
The underwater cinematography (Peter Zuccarini) is okay. Nothing you havent seen on Discovery or Nat Geo, and with really no dramatic purpose in the proceedings, its not much different from watching marine life on the small screen.
As Dutts Sethji tells everyone very wisely in the film: Yeh kahaani jhoothi hai aur iss jhoothi kahaani ke liye bahut logon ki jaanein gayee hain. Aur Blue se jhoothi film ho hi nahin sakti and in all probability yeh jhoothi film ke liye bahut logon ka dimaag aur paisa jaayega.
Now you have to decide whether you want to spend Diwali high and dry or get wet and waste your money in the Blue charity fund.
P.S. Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be the only happy man around. He is no longer the only guy who delivered a blue blooper on Diwali.