Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blue: Code Level Neutral

I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is this – “Did Blue live up to the expectations of the Akshay No. 1 Ladies Fan Club?”

The answer – “Kind of.”

You see, Blue had plenty of this (points up) and lots of fun action scenes but there was no emotional narrative a la Dhoom 2 to make me want to watch it again.

Blue is the story of Aarav, a guy so egotistical that he tattoos his own name on his back (making good use of Akshay’s real “Aarav” – his son – tattoo). Aarav has lots of money and a thing for riding around all day in his big fancy yacht. Accompanying him in this venture is Sagar (Sanjay Dutt, whose girth varied from scene to scene – I couldn’t tell if he started the movie fat and then lost weight or the other way around).

Sagar has a dopey girlfriend (Lara Dutta, whose main qualification for the job was a thin frame and her willingness to wear a bikini) and some secret angst that we are helpfully cued to by cuts to sharks and a sunken ship. Let’s get one thing straight here – Sanjay Dutt brought his C game to Blue. I think we’re lucky he’s standing up in some of these scenes – he seems completely uninterested in “acting” and watching him paw Lara Dutta was really, really gross. Sanju-baba, I love you but it’s time to hang up the Hero hat. Suniel Shetty would have a much better choice for this role. Producers, how about from now on, when you think “Sanjay” just replace it with “Suniel” and we’ll all be happier.

Actually, let’s get two things straight, Lara Dutta is pretty but she is not an “actress” in the strictest sense of the word. She poses very nicely and is willing to wear skimpy outfits but – honestly – both Kylie AND Katrina (in a small cameo that I will get to) command the screen in way that she just can’t. But, to be fair, this was kind of a non-role and Lara is adequately qualified to be Bikini Girlfriend, even if I'd rather watch somebody with more personality... like Riya Sen or Sophie Chaudhary.

Oh, Katrina, my Katrina! I don’t know when I started loving her so much. Oh, wait! Yes, I do - Yuvvraaj. Katrina shows up as the business associate of gangster Rahul Dev. I loved her punk rock avatar and that accented Hindi… Mmmm… Katrina! (What? You know she’s the most popular actress among children in India, right? I never said my taste was “sophisticated” in any way.)

And Rahul Dev!! I love seeing him in films and I wish he got more work as an onscreen heavy, since he’s so good at being both menacing and attractive. He’s the sexy bad boy gangster who is terrorizing Samir (Zayed Khan).

Sam is a talented motorcyclist but when Rahul Dev blows up his bike, he flees for the Bahamas and brother… Sagar! And let me spare just a couple of words of praise for Zayed Khan, who was obviously putting all he had into this. Zayed, yaar, you were great! You little lisp is adorable and somehow you are looking more like John Abraham. I approve.

So, the story, right? Terrible. The plot is really, really dumb – I’m talking dumber than Race or Dhoom. There isn’t even any comic relief track or romance track to distract us. Blue is straight action – beautifully shot action – but still, just action. Thrill junkies will love this. The camera work is so fluid and the editing is clean. Unlike Transformers or some recent Hollywood films, Blue doesn’t have that feeling of visual vomit, where you don’t know what’s happening or who is doing what – the camera takes you along with the stunt.

One thing I thought was kind of unusual was that most of the stunts were done on vehicles of some sort. There were a couple of underwater sequences – much slicker than Prabhas wresting the shark in Chatrapathi - but the rest were on motorcycle. The human element that I usually associate with Akshay Kumar movies was missing. I don’t know what the reasoning for that was.

Another point I thought I would mention is that the songs were not “sung” – they were picturized over montages, with the exception of “Chiggy Wiggy.”

(Go, Kylie!! You are so CUTE!)

I had been unimpressed with the songs beforehand but they were better with the montages – it’s still a mediocre effort from A.R. Rahman. I expected better from him. More interesting was the background score, which borrowed from James Bond and other Hollywood action films.

In short, I think if you are going to see Blue, see it in the theatres so that the stunts are really big and exciting. The audience I saw this with was mostly chatting during the non-stunt parts and there were no wolf whistles for Lara and the biggest laugh came from the Klondike Bar commercial before the show.


hemanthology said...

nice review...i would rather stay away from this film..:)

Filmi Girl said...

Yeah - I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this unless, like me, one is a big Akshay Kumar fan. It would perfect to watch on an airplane or something... :)

rhilex said...

On an airplane, wear you don't really need to listen and just do the 'oooh's and 'ah's and 'oh, pretty!'s? :p

But I'm happy to hear that you think Zayed did well. I know I may not have much back-up of my opinion of him as I've only ever seen him in MHN, but I still have a rather soft-spot for him. I call it Lucky Syndrome. :p

simran said...

Hmmm...I guess you didn't like Blue so much but I am positive that I'll love it :D I am a die hard fan of good action sequences and wherever there's Zayed Khan , you can find me in the front seat :P Akki and Sanju are an amazing bonus and I'm super glad Rahul Dev is back in action .. :D Can't wait to watch it!! I only wish I could drive so I could get a chance to see every movie in the theatre lol

Ellie said...

You know, I think Lara Dutta is a genuine actress. I can't speak to this film, which honestly holds nothing for me, but I enjoyed her enormously in "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom" (which maybe you hated, a lot of people did) and also in "Billu." I was all set to hate her as a Miss World wannabe-actress but actually I thought her performances there were as good as any I have seen Bips or Katrina turn in. I am sure that she often gets cast as Bikini Girlfriend, but I wouldn't write her off completely.

Anonymous said...

I like Lara but I'll be honest she has no screen presence. Lara just does not stand out on screen even as a glam doll. I think she should do small movies that focus on her performance.

She takes great pictures but comes across as flat on screen for some reason.

Blue looked like a crap movie from the promos so I'm not surprised by this review. It is a very expensive movie and can only be a hit if it does amazing business like Ghajini which is not going to happen.

LOL - there are Zayed Khan fans after all.

Filmi Girl said...

@Rhilex - exactly! And I while I don't think Zayed has it in him to be a solo hero, he's good at the secondary hero stuff...

@simran Oh, it's not that I didn' t like it but more that it didn't really make an impression on me. I like action but I prefer when there is some reason for it and Blue basically has no story. I certainly enjoyed parts of Blue but it's nothing I feel compelled to see again.

@Ellie I hated Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and have been very unimpressed with her in everything thing else I've seen her in. Katrina and Bips may not be Great Actresses like Madhubala was but they are good heroines and have distinct on-screen presence, which is why Katrina Kaif is the number one most popular actress right now and Lara Dutta is still playing Bikini Girlfriend even though their talents may be similar.

@Anon I agree about Lara - she just doesn't come across onscreen at all. I almost never remember that she was even in a film.

About 75% of Blue was a waste of time and the audience I saw this with - all young people at a late night show - was mostly bored and chatting.

I keep hoping that BW producers will learn from past mistakes but somehow, they never do. We can add Blue to the pile of HW financed/influenced expensive flops.

Ameya said...

Hmm, i love Lara & everyone i've shown a movie to with her in it has too. I think she's good with the subtle sort of acting without looking like you're trying (so many heroines are so obviously trying at all times), but she certainly does lack good roles. But i also think that of Aishwarya. I can't stand her personally (x1000), but i think she does well when she's given a good role. I don't like her in fluff movies like Dhoom 2, though, i think she does terrible. Katrina, while i personally don't dislike her for any good reason, could easily be switched with any other actress in the world in any of the films i've seen her in and i wouldn't bat an eye.

Oh, and i'm sorta glad to hear Sanjay wasn't impressive in this movie. The one i talked to who worked on this said he had a real God-complex and she was shocked at how he behaved, but my bollywood love made me a bit defensive. If he wasn't very good in this, it just makes it easier to not like him instead.

I will see this movie eventually for Akshay/Lara/my cousin, but otherwise, it didn't look very good.

The Chiggy Wiggy song makes me want to comitt some sort of mass murder, though, seriously. o_o I had no opinion of kylie minogue before but now i hate her (music). D:

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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