Clash of the water daddies
So the Rs100 crore film is out. And it’s no better than a second-rung Hollywood action flick. The crores have gone in to create some visual wizardry and thrilling stunts under water. Akshay Kumar wears some great shoes and clothes too. But Anthony D’Souza’s Blue lacks sorely in good writing, good performances and good storytelling, pretty much all the things that make a film crackerjack.
First, the very predictable story: Aarav (Akshay Kumar) is a shipping magnate somewhere in the Bahamas. Sagar (Sanjay Dutt), who Aarav calls “Sethji”, works for him. Mona (Lara Dutta) is Sagar’s lover and arm candy. Sam (Zayed Khan) is Sagar’s errant brother, who is fond of motorbikes and races. Nikki (Katrina Kaif) is the love interest of two of the leading men.
All is hunky-dory in the island where Aarav and Sagar live, except that the very mention of “the lady in blue” puts Sagar in a tizzy. Aarav is convinced Sagar is the only one who can navigate the deep sea and unearth the treasures from a ship that sank ages ago. Sagar has a tragic past related to the sunken ship. But circumstances eventually force him to go looking. There’s little suspense or intrigue as deceptions are revealed, and the film snowballs into a ludicrous climax. I was left wondering if some of the action was at all possible scientifically.
Ocean’s 4: The film’s cast swam with sharks in the Bahamas.
The actors have some really puerile lines, and some of the dialogues are sexist as well as racist. The film begins with Aarav boasting about his two hot recruits, Ebony and Ivory (the women recruits, his toys, wear skimpy sailor uniforms). In the middle of a blustering gun encounter between the villain (played by Rahul Dev) and Sagar inside Sagar’s house, Mona screams, “Stop it, stop it, everything can be solved by talking!” Mayur Puri, who has done the screenplay and dialogues, is a writer without imagination.
D’Souza, a debutant director, has said in interviews that he wanted to make a “never-seen-before film” and so it had to be shot under the ocean. Taken literally, he has achieved what he sought out to do. Visually, the underwater sequences of Blue are spectacular. Directed by James Bomalick, a Hollywood stunt director who has worked in some of the Die Hard films, in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Fast and Furious, the stunts are set against the cobalt blue water and multi-hued marine life, some at least 50ft in the water. Sharks abound in the sea too.
Kumar performs the stunts with amazing ease; he is undoubtedly the best action hero we have. He has the agility, attitude and confidence to take on physically demanding roles. But sadly, most Hindi movies in the genre are notches below the best of Hollywood, and Blue is no exception.
But because of its length—a tight 1 hour and 57 minutes— and if action movies are your thing, it’s worth a watch just for the marine spectacles.
Blue, All the Best and Main aurr Mrs Khanna released in theatres on Friday.
The two other Diwali releases
ALL THE BEST
Director Rohit Shetty has previously directed two box-office hits: ‘Golmaal’ (2006) and ‘Golmaal Returns’ (2008). Both were laugh riots in the genre of David Dhawan comedies. His new, ‘All the Best’, with Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Fardeen Khan and Mugdha Godse, is mindless, situational comedy. Devgan has also produced the film.
The story: Veer (Fardeen Khan) is a singer who gets pocket money from his step-brother Dharam (Sanjay Dutt) with the help of his friend Prem (Ajay Devgan), a concept car expert. Prem is married to Jhanvi (Bipasha Basu) and Veer is in love with Vidya (Mugdha Godse). The two friends end up with huge debts in their bid to get rich quick. There are cases of mistaken identity, some stunts, and lavishly produced and choreographed songs.
MAIN AURR MRS KHANNA
Jointly produced by UTV Films and Sohail Khan Productions, ‘Main aurr Mrs Khanna’ has Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan in the lead. Sohail Khan has a prominent role. A wrong decision sours the fairytale marriage between Sameer (Salman Khan) and Raina (Kareena Kapoor). Mrs Khanna then falls in love with Akash, who is very different from her husband. Shot partly in Australia, the film has the polish of a big-budget production. Preity Zinta does a cameo song-and-dance number. It is directed by Prem Soni, a first-time film-maker.