According to media reports, Blue cost between Rs 80-100 crore and is the most expensive Hindi film ever made. The crew includes two Oscar winners--composer AR Rahman and sound designer Resul Pookutty; pop star Kylie Minogue; Pete Zucarini, the underwater director of photography from Pirates of the Caribbean; and a host of stars including Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Zayed Khan and Lara Dutta.
So, what is the end result of all this money and talent? An incredibly dim-witted underwater thriller that has the most unintentionally hilarious climax since Imran Khan survived a bullet to the chest in Luck because his heart happened to be on the right side instead of the left. The underwater thriller is a formula that Hollywood has been mining for decades.
Think The Deep in 1977 or the more recent Into The Blue. You combine the dangers of the deep sea with untold riches lying beneath the shifting sands with women in various stages of undress and men who will kill to get their hands on the gold. This isn’t rocket science but debutant director Anthony D’Souza just can’t seem to get his hands around it.
Anthony has a drop-dead gorgeous location, the Bahamas; some beautiful underwater shots; nicely done motor-cycle chases; and Lara Dutta looking like a million bucks but none of this hangs together because he doesn’t have a script. Sanjay plays Sagar, a skilled diver with a laughably large paunch, who lives in the Bahamas. He befriends Aarav, played by Akshay, who is rich and obsessed with finding the treasure lying in a sunken ship called Lady in Blue.
Sagar looks lethargic and grossly unfit but he is apparently the only diver in the world who can unearth the treasure. He refuses to do so because his father died in a diving accident on the ship. However when his younger brother gets entangled with some bad guys in Bangkok, Sagar has to reconsider his decision and retrieve the treasure. In the first 15 minutes of the film, Anthony establishes that all his heroes are Alpha Males – Aarav and Sagar wrestle a shark and the younger brother burns up the Bangkok roads on his bike. And just in case you still don’t get the super-cool attitude, Aarav declares: Duniya ka sabse bada nasha: risk. But the whole first half of the film is just the set up.
Nobody goes near the ship. And when they eventually do, they find the treasure with such ease, that you wonder why nobody else did it before them. Incidentally the chest has been lying underwater for over 50 years but the gold is still strikingly shiny.
The film’s absolute lack of logic is compounded by the low IQ dialogue. In the middle of a murderous gun battle, Lara Dutta screams at Sanjay: Kya Kar Rahe Ho. Baat Cheet Se Har Baat Solve Ho Sakti Hai. The actors supposedly went through intensive training for the under-water sequences but on ground, they seem to be on a paid vacation. Akshay, sporting a grey goatee, grins madly but at least he is in shape.
Sanjay sleep-walks through the role, perhaps hoping that viewers won’t notice the bulge beneath the wetsuit. Zayed spends a lot of time with his face hidden behind a motorcycle helmet, which is just as well because his emoting needs serious work. Clearly Anthony D’Souza has ambition. He set out to give Indian audiences a new type of exotic thriller. But he got so busy orchestrating the king-sized stars, the equally big sharks and the blinding bling of the film that he forgot the basic connective tissue: the script.
Blue is all washed up. See it if you must.