How this one Blue its chances…Sandy’s review of Blue

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Zayed Khan, Lara Dutta, Rahul Dev and Katrina Kaif (guest appearance)
Directed by: Anthony D’ Souza
Stars: **

See Blue and you’ll know how the film is symptomatic of what Hindi films suffer from today. High on ornamental value and low on substance, one has to rue how obscene amount of money gets spent on a film that no one would miss anything even if it hadn’t been made. Yes, the film has superb production values and is truly international in its look. But beyond that, it’s literally water going down the drain.

Blue turns out to be a very forgettable film, though it’s clear the makers have moved heaven and earth to make it an unforgettable one. Like an indulgent parent who stuffs too many fancy gifts into his spoiled kid’s hands, the producer here brings everything that money can buy for his debutant director, Anthony D’Souza. This has ensured some novelty and first time attractions of course. For starters, this is truly the first underwater thriller that Bollywood has attempted. And to make it convincingly, the makers have spent lavishly on international technicians and all kinds of gorgeous locations. Then there’s the Kylie Minogue item number for which the makers paid a bomb – the million dollar question is how many in the audience even recogonise her! Also, there’s no end to the number of cars that explode mid-air, bikes that burn or bullets that burst like bombs.

Aarav (Akshay Kumar) is a dashing young man, who owns a Fishery in the Bahamas. Sagar (Sanjay Dutt) works for him, and is also his confidant. Sagar’s life revolves around his girl friend Mona (Lara Dutta) and biker brother, Sam (Zayed Khan). The latter gets into trouble with a goon (Rahul Dev) who demands huge amounts of money to be returned back to him. Since Sam’s life is under threat, he joins his brother and Aarav in the Bahamas. Aarav has his sights set on a treasure that is hidden in a ship that lies underwater. Sagar is not willing to venture into the deep ocean for this purpose, but circumstances force all three of them to go there eventually.

The film is sleek and polished. The action sequences are well-shot and D’Souza goes about his business with a certain flair and style. There are also some funny punch lines at the start (thankfully understated) that serve the film well. The marine life and locations around Bahamas are breathtakingly captured.
All this would have amounted to something if the makers would have concentrated half as much on a script, which ends up being the only absent entity in this extravagantly mounted film. For almost close to one hour, the movie is nothing but a series of highlights ( the Kylie Minogue club number, motorbike race, the sensuous Dil Gustakh Hai number, Katrina Kaif’s entry and so on).
D’Souza is so consumed with shooting pulsating action sequences and adding style to every frame, that he would have been happy to do away with a plot if he could. Most of the film is about Dev chasing down Zayed Khan and it gets frustrating after point because the whole conflict, if one can call it that, is pretty senseless. Rahul Dev just lands up everywhere, shoots bullets at will…all leading to a suspense that most can see coming from a mile.

The water adventure is only in the last 25-30 minutes, where the three men get into the ocean. But with such a lame storyline and no feeling of connect with these characters, all you do as an audience is view their action with detached interest.

The film is quite short at one hour and fifty minutes, but in spite of it, tests your patience.

The performances are decent. Akshay Kumar seems to have a sense for everything (dressing, women, action), except a sense for scripts. Sanjay Dutt has put on tons of weight and looks weary for an action thriller of this kind. Zayed Khan plays the expected cool dude with an attitude. Lara Dutta is attractive, but once again reveals how poor an actress she is. Katrina Kaif shines in a sharp 12 minute cameo.

The music by A R Rahman is a mixed bag. The title track and Dil Gustakh Hai is a lovely composition, and very aesthetically picturised.
Ultimately, though, Blue with the kind of resources at hand, could have been a truly memorable adventure film only if someone would have cared to come up with a script. The way it stands, Blue’s distributors might just be in the red.

-Sandhya Iyer

32 Responses to “How this one Blue its chances…Sandy’s review of Blue”

  1. “Blue turns out to be a very forgettable film, though it’s clear the makers have moved heaven and earth to make it an unforgettable one.”

    Expected as much.

    The Kylie number is catchy BUT considering her popularity would have expected something much much better.

    I was never truly expecting much here anyway. Might check it out even still. The other two releases I think will be less enjoyable than this one.


  2. thanks Sandy.. can’t say I’m very surprised with the way this has turned out..


  3. ATB seems to be the best bet this week!!


  4. “Lara Dutta is attractive, but once again reveals how poor an actress she is. Katrina Kaif shines in a sharp 12 minute cameo.’

    Sandy, you have me believe that Katrina is a better actress than Lara. :D.


  5. All the Best seems to be winning the war and faring the best with the movie critics. Meanwhile MAMK and Blue are being right mangled and drubbed to death by the critics. The main consensus in the reviews regarding Blue and MAMK’s downfall seems to be that the two movies had no plausible stories, had badly written scripts, had dreadful dialogues, and uninspired acting from the casts of those movies. The script is king for any movie at the end of the day. A cream of the crop script with an engaging story that thoroughly entertains the audience makes all the difference for any movie. The vast majority of Bollywood writers need to learn script writing 101. It would be appreciated.


  6. masterpraz Says:

    Thanks Sandy! Ace review as always!


  7. masterpraz Says:

    Yes..Devgan is going to come out trumps this weekend!


  8. Try “All the best”. Nice comedy. First half hour is little slow but once the laughter starts, there is no stoppage.




  10. “Yes, the film has superb production values and is truly international in its look.”

    Sandy – You are being unnecessarily kind to this movie. BLUE is a movie, that should be HEAVILY pirated, and yet NO ONE should see it. Its producers and EVERYONE involved with the movie should lose the shirts of their backs. It insults the intelligence of human beings and should NEVER be spoken of again! I regret that 2 precious hours of my otherwise fairly inconsequential life, feel completely wasted and can never be recovered back!


  11. Jeremy Langmead, the Editor of Esquire magazine on Akshay Kumar

    October 21, 2009

    Akshay Kumar: the world’s worst-dressed man?

    Despite his outlandish wardrobe, Kylie’s Bollywood co-star is regarded as sex symbol. Is his taste so bad it’s good?

    Akshay Kumar, one of India’s most successful film stars, saw his latest movie, Blue — a tale set underwater, not under bedclothes — debut last week with much fanfare. Not only does the 42-year-old Bollywood action hero appear in the most expensive Hindi film yet made, but the movie also co-stars Kylie Minogue, whose main contribution to the storyline is performing a dubious musical number called Chiggy Wiggy. In case you wondered, Blue is not directed by Ken Loach.

    But more spectacular than the highoctane musical numbers, even more eye-popping than the sight of Minogue’s pert bottom wiggling wickedly to the bhangra beat, is Kumar’s taste-defying array of outfits — both on and off screen. Google Kumar and a picture gallery of some of the most unappetising outfits worn by modern man will unfold before your eyes: there’s oversized sunglasses that he appears to have borrowed from Mrs Beckham, day-glo hoodies stolen from Kanye West, slogan T-shirts à la Henry Holland, and lots of shiny, torso-revealing accessories that remind one just a little bit too much of Daffyd from Little Britain.

    To be fair, Kumar, a former model, is in very good shape for a fortysomething Bollywood veteran, and while this means that he can arguably get away with certain ensembles that many men his age would have to avoid at all costs, his enthusiasm for the latest fashions — particularly ones that involve shiny bits attached to them — sadly make him a strong contender for the world’s worst-dressed men list.

    Like many of his contemporaries in the West, Kumar likes to sport the latest looks shown on the catwalks of Paris and Milan; looks that are usually modelled by skinny prepubescents with no hips, wrinkles and zero body-fat. Styles that just about make the grade on teenagers in Hoxton or Berlin, but look, well, a teensy-bit Zoolander on anyone with a normal girth over the age of 18 — especially when, like Kumar, they are overly fond, and worrying good, at recreating Ben Stiller’s Blue Steel poses.

    Not that Kumar is big on irony. He may have swapped his action-hero roles for more comedy parts recently, but in interviews he takes himself and his profession very seriously, and however goaded he might be by his interviewers, refuses ever to utter anything controversial. Mystifyingly, his sense of style is never questioned.

    Nor has it put off the girls: Kumar dated a string of beauties, including the former Celebrity Big Brother contestant Shilpa Shetty, before settling down with his rather beautiful wife, aptly named Twinkle. The couple were once cautioned by the police after Twinkle was spotted undoing the fly of Kumar’s jeans at a fashion show. At the time, they were accused of lewd behaviour in public; in retrospect it was more likely that Twinkle was simply trying to get rid of the trousers.

    Of course, film stars have always felt the need to present an unattainable image of glamour and other-worldiness; to sell a dream that we can all aspire to. The Hollywood studios were perhaps the first to realise the advantage of presenting their stars as mythical, god-like creatures, and this filtered down to the music industry, where pop and rock stars would appear in fantastic creations that nobody in their right mind would dream of wearing to buy a pint of milk (think Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson). Today, the baton has been passed to our sports stars: just look at Cristiano Ronaldo, with his gold chains, fluorescent T-shirts and Tango orange tan.

    Over the past decade there has, of course, been something of a glamour backlash, with many of the younger generation of celebrities rejecting the whole glitz game. While they’ll still happily don black tie for events such as the Oscars, the rest of the time they try very hard to dress like us; actually, to dress like us on a Sunday morning with a bad hangover.

    How often do we see today’s stars — particularly the male ones — papped at airports and nightclubs looking unshaven, wearing dirty jeans, scruffy trainers and head-hiding hoodies? Even the young princes when photographed tripping out of Boujis, Mahiki or Whisky Mist at three in the morning are usually dressed down in baggy jeans, untucked cotton shirts and a garish friendship bracelet — a far cry from the days when Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon would be snapped leaving the Café de Paris in their evening finery.

    What we have today are two extremes with very little in between: we have the shiny, honed, pumped, primped, bling-bling brigade, such as Kumar or Victoria Beckham, who feel naked unless they are practically naked (save for the odd designer label, metallic accessory and layer of lip gloss), and the hobo clan, starring the Olsen twins and Josh Hartnett, who dress as if their main source of income is holding out a paper cup next to the local cash machine.

    So which look do we want from our stars today? Do we want aspirational glamour that for a few moments takes us away from the humdrum of our everyday lives, a turbulent economy and Kerry Katona’s mind-numbing antics, or do we want the satisfaction of knowing that Hollywood’s hotshots might earn a fortune and yet, bank balances aside, they still have to shave, deal with pimples and remember to wash’n’go?

    The trouble is that both these approaches are, in their own way, utterly contrived. And although they always were, we are now far more aware of the fact. Because of the plethora of celebrity weeklies and style monthlies we now know that the glamour set spend hours in the gym, fortunes on stylists and weeks in plastic surgery hospitals to achieve their oh-so-perfect look, which rather lessens its appeal. In the same vein, we know that the celebrity hobos buy their jeans ready “dirtied” from Harvey Nichols, that their hoodies cost a fortune in Japan and the vintage-look boots were a gift from Marc Jacobs.

    No, what we need today are more originals — people who don’t give a damn, characters who look a bit crazy not because they saw it in a window in Bond Street but that’s just what they like to wear. We want men and women who are dressed as they are, however peculiar they might look to the rest of us, because that’s what they saw and liked in the mirror that morning. It’s the true nonconformists, untamed by professional image-makers, we should admire.

    Just look at Mickey Rourke. His dress sense is incomprehensible: how on earth does he dream up those extraordinary mismatched ensembles? But hats off to him for doing so. The same with Nick Nolte, another Hollywood odd-bod, who’s fond of including pyjamas in his daily wardrobe; and full marks to Helena Bonham-Carter, who always looks as if she’s just escaped from the set of one of her director boyfriend Tim Burton’s movie sets.

    And if you pop down to Carnaby Street or Shoreditch in London these days, you will see a whole new generation who have decided to ignore convention, fashion diktats and peer pressure.

    Kumar, who is famous for performing many of the death-defying stunts in his films, is perhaps unaware that the bravest stunt he undertakes is the one when he opens his wardrobe each morning. Since neither you nor I would have the guts to step out of the door wearing what he does, we should applaud him for such valour.

    As Diana Vreeland, the legendary fashion editor of the Forties and Fifties, proclaimed: “I’m a great believer in vulgarity — if it’s got vitality… We all need a splash of bad taste — it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. No taste is what I’m against.”


  12. Akshay is certainly one of the worst dressed stars for sure.


  13. Kassam Says:
    October 24, 2009 at 9:01 AM e

    Rangan reviews the 3 releases

    Satyam Says:
    October 24, 2009 at 9:08 AM e

    lol, great stuff as always! love the opening line on Blue!


  14. I saw this yesterday. The biggest disappointment is one wonders where all the money went on the movie. I imagine Kylie pocketed a big sum. But barring a few of the last scenes, there is not much worth watching here. To put it kindly, films like Luck is the bar Blue is at. Akshay is the best of the lot again, Sanjay I heard was losing weight for this role (!) but he looked old and stodgy. Lara wasted. Zayed used too much.

    The Kylie moment was decent, but like Sandy points out, the movie does not even get going till the last 30mins. The treasure hunt is a letdown. I could go on. The good thing is its a short movie.

    Saw lots of new trailors; Kurbaan looked so similar to Fanaa. But looks a decent flick. DDD looks better and an upgrade from usual Akshay comedy. Adding Rawal to proceedings is always good. London Dreams looks so so. Ajay looks like having the show stealing role here though. And Pyaar Impossible looked autrocious. I really don’t want to see an Uday Chopra and Priyanka love story!


    • Neha Sharma Says:

      The year 2009 itself’s been such a cheat for viewers I’d say.All those films getting so much hype and craze and over the board promotions are nothing but actually damp squibs!See how the media blew news out of proportions about films like KI,Blue,CC2C,DBH etc but all of these are flops to average at most!Kaminey too got so hyped and though critically acclaimed,it’s not even a HIT!To think there’s so much hype and hoopla over a film for several months only to come down to nothing after the first week the film releases!Not just that,good films have been unable to make a deeper dent at BO only cuz of these hyped up mediocre films that ensued.Take for eg NEW YORK which would have been certainly a Super Hit if not KI ruined it’s 2nd week,same for WUS which took a heavy beating in its 3rd week cuz of BLUE and MAMK etc else this could have been a HIT who knows…now WUS regrettably has to be satisfied with an above average status!Duh!
      On new trailers,Kurbaan is a rehash of New York and Fanaa it seems,nothing new.DDD is that same hera pheri hangover.Rocket Singh was interesting but if wanna see a mind-blowing trailer,watch this I wonder why you ignore this upcoming film so much even though it looks so promising…

      On an ending note,I’d say that your BO reviews have been always a pleasure to read.Why don’t you start reviewing music as well?


  15. “Not just that,good films have been unable to make a deeper dent at BO only cuz of these hyped up mediocre films that ensued.”

    Actually thats a fair point. WUS especially fell hard. But expect it to do better this week.

    I just saw the Tum Mile trailor and it does look good. I love the title track. Not heard anything else. End of year looks better for movies. I’m hoping to watch London Dreams, APKGK, DDD, Kurbaan, Rocket Singh and 3i. The latter two look the best bets to be the best of the lot.


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