|Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Rahul Dev, Zayed Khan, Katrina Kaif|
Let me keep it short - you haven't watched anything like this on the Hindi screen before. Never ever!
It requires courage, willpower, fortitude, vision and, of course, the financial backing to accomplish a project of this magnitude. And debutante director Anthony D'Souza puts his skills and the financial resources to best use. Blue is not merely a stunning looking film, it's also a well-structured film. Most importantly, it's a solid entertainer that packs in so much in those 1.58 hours.
Blue is set in the sun-soaked white sand beaches of Bahamas. Sagar [Sanjay Dutt] is a simpleton, while his friend Aarav [Akshay Kumar] is a rich, ambitious businessman.
Sagar's brother Sameer aka Sam [Zayed Khan] has inadvertently managed to rankle the mafia in Bangkok [Rahul Dev]. He flees Bangkok and arrives in Bahamas. But the dangerous men reach Bahamas, too. Sagar is the sole person who can bail him out from this crisis, but to save his brother, Sagar has to wrestle with the ghost of his dead father.
If you're a die-hard moviegoer, you'd draw parallels with a lot of international projects [especially The Deep] that were set in the ocean. In Bollywood, flashes of the Dharmendra-Jeetendra starrer Samraat cross your mind instantaneously, but comparing the two is akin to comparing chalk and cheese.
Blue grabs your attention from its opening titles itself. The marine life, which you may've watched on National Geographic Channel or Animal Planet, comes alive in all splendour at the start itself.
The story is uncomplicated and Anthony D'Souza garnishes it beautifully. If the aquatic life keeps your eyes wide open, the action sequences are sure to make your jaws drop to your knees. The bike chase at the start, yet another chase subsequently, the chase soon after the interval [atop a running train] is simply astounding.
Anthony's expertise comes to the fore in several sequences. One sequence that needs to be singled out is when Sanju narrates the tragic past, how he was responsible for his father's death. It's simply incredible!
Major portions of the film have been filmed in the ocean and you can't stop admiring and appreciating the enormous contribution of the underwater cinematographer [Pete Zuccarini]. The lighting in those sequences deserves special mention. Also, the underwater sequences, which feature aquatic life like puffer fish, stingrays and sharks, hold tremendous appeal. Cinematography [Laxman Utekar] is gorgeous.
On the flip side, the climax could've had more impact. The villain's track looks clichéd, but you tend to overlook the minor aberration since the film never falls prey to mediocrity.
Anthony D'Souza is a director to watch. This film has style as well as substance. Also, it requires courage and conviction to think out of the box and most importantly, execute the material with panache. There's not much scope for music in an action thriller, yet A.R. Rahman's score suits the requirements. The Kylie Minogue track, Chiggy Wiggy, is already popular. Sanju and Lara's romantic track, Aaj Dil, is sensuous. The song at the end credits, Fiqrana, has a lot of energy.
Sound design [Resul Pookutty] is fantastic. Action scenes [James D Bomalick and R P Yadav] are a treat and, in fact, one of the mainstays of the film. Dialogues [Mayur Puri] are effective, while the screenplay [Anthony D'Souza and Jasmine D'Souza] is well thought-out, especially towards the second hour.
Sanjay Dutt carries his part well, although he looks very well-fed in some scenes. Akshay Kumar steals the show with a sterling performance. This would easily classify amongst his best works. Zayed Khan is highly competent. This, despite the fact that he's sharing the screen space with two hugely experienced actors.
Lara Dutta has never looked so good before. Though the story revolves around the guys, you can't overlook Lara's small but significant contribution to the film. Katrina Kaif [special appearance] looks gorgeous and performs exceedingly well. The feminine charm [at the start specifically] would send the youth into a frenzy. Rahul Dev is first-rate. Kabir Bedi is hardly there.
On the whole, Blue has style as well as substance. The film has everything going in its favour, right from its incredible star cast to the superb action scenes to the hitherto unseen marine life to the tremendous hype and hoopla. At the box-office, Blue will strike like a hurricane in the festive week. It should set new benchmarks in days to come.
Final word? Go, grab a ticket, if you haven't booked one yet. This under-sea treasure hunt is a kickass film. A must-see for all those who love adventure flicks.
Rating: Four out of five stars