Reportedly Blue is the Hindi film industry`s most expensive film - here`s what you didn`t know: it`s also one of the densest. It`s curious how money spent on a film sometimes turns inversely proportional to the substance in it.
There are so many such examples. The most recent ones that come to mind are Love Story 2050, Drona and Kambakkht Ishq. In an interview, one read ad filmmaker-turned-director Anthony D`Souza talking about how much money was spent shooting Blue in the Bahamas (the perfect location for shooting underwater) and importing food and drink from Florida.
Such money and effort on finding the right location for shooting live sharks and getting a stellar cast; and both wasted.
Spectacularly foolish and devoid of a cohesive story, the filmmakers of Blue expect the viewer to buy the ticket, munch on popcorn and be happy watching some Dhoom-type bike chases, sharks swimming indifferently and Lara Dutta in a bikini.
Shockingly, whatever plot this film revolves around does not start until after intermission. What happens till then? Stock bike chases shot without imagination or novelty; things getting blown up; a man getting shot in the eye; the close-up of a skirt flying to reveal a woman`s inner wear; Lara Dutta`s introduction shot in lingerie; Akshay Kumar in a Jacuzzi with two foreign ladies.
Lara Dutta`s character Mona is Sanjay Dutt`s girlfriend who, in this film, looks like her grandfather. All of them are friends. Sanjay Dutt`s younger brother (Zayed Khan) is in some sort of trouble and also in love with a girl (Katrina Kaif) he met a minute ago.
At a nightclub, Akshay Kumar teaches Zayed how to “uthao” (pick) an exclusive girl at an exclusive nightclub. This girl turns out to be Kylie Minogue who then proceeds to sing Chiggy Wiggy with Kumar.
To get his brother out of trouble, Dutt agrees to reveal the location of a hidden treasure in the sea. There`s a tiresome backstory to that. With about 30 minutes of running time remaining, the film finally starts.
We wait now for some real action to commence as the three go underwater to find the treasure, diving in the deep seas with sharks for company. The fish keep swimming around minding their own business, not bothering with our characters. Heck, even the rubber shark scene in Luck (by the same production house) was more exciting.
Next, you see Discovery channel-type shots of the marine life comprising mainly of sting ray, sting ray and more sting ray. Soon enough, the story is wrapped up and the film ends on a bizarre note.
It`s commendable that the makers decided to try something new - that`s what has the audience excited as well. To be fair to the film, it is technically well-executed. The portion where the film comes alive is the one where the characters are having the time of their life while diving underwater.
Naturally the underwater cinematography is most interesting, but god, you get tired of seeing the repetitive marine-life shots.
While the idea of a secret treasure hunt sounds like perfect fodder for an action film, there is a need to develop this into an arresting story that can sustain itself over the film`s running time. D`Souza`s storytelling is the major flaw here in its refusal to get into the story for too long.
Another sore point is the dialogue (Mayur Puri - Love Story 2050, Om Shanti Om). Here`s one example: while recounting a story, a character says, “Us ship par toofan nahin aaya tha, toofan ship ke captain ki neeyat par aaya tha (the storm did not attack the ship; the storm attacked the intentions of the ship`s captain)." Also the characters keep saying, "Zindagi ka sabse bada nasha – risk” without any context to the situation.
Akshay Kumar reprises his chauvinistic playboy act from Kambakkht Ishq, even as he tells a woman `Can I ride you`, and then says `I meant, can I give you a ride`. Despite the chalky characterisation, Kumar still manages to put in a sincere performance.
Sanjay Dutt looks upset and grumpy. Zayed Khan rides his bikes. Lara Dutta wears her swimsuits. Katrina appears and disappears abruptly. Rahul Dev makes for a formidable villain.
Honestly, this AXN-meets-Discovery channel formula is fully damp (forgive the pun). You might as well watch the channels for more entertainment.
Verdict: One and a half stars