Sonntag, 3. Januar 2010

Blue (2009) – Review in English

About the story: In the Bahamas, the rich businessman Aarav (Akshay Kumar) befriended the fisherman and experienced scuba diver Sagar (Sanjay Dutt) who, together with his wife Mona (Lara Dutta), lives a simple and modest life. Several times Aarav mentions the "Lady In Blue" to Sagar – a ship loaded with treasures which decades ago foundered off the coast and which Aarav wants to find. But Sagar always plays down this issue and doesn't want to have anything to do with it. Only when his younger brother Sam (Zayed Khan) and Mona get into a life-threatening situation because Sam in Bangkok has run into high debts with the dubious Gulshan (Rahul Dev), Sagar overcomes his qualms concerning the "Lady In Blue" despite the traumatic experiences from his past linked with that ship...

Blue was one of the most expected Hindi films in 2009. Director Anthony D'Souza who learnt his trade in Hollywood gathered an expert crew around him, headed by action director James Bomalick, underwater cameraman Pete Zuccarini and composer AR Rahman, and provoked curiosity and finally hype by his announciation of underwater scenes as never seen before in Hindi cinema, by a high budget and by a cast including stars like Katrina Kaif and Kabir Bedi even for minor roles plus Australian pop star Kylie Minogue. After the world premiere at the MEIFF in Abu Dhabi on October 14, 2009, Blue saw a fabulous opening weekend in India, but soon the attendance decreased as it became clear that Blue didn't live up to the expectations the hype had created.

Well, it wasn't the fault of the underwater scenes. They were indeed impressive and fabulously shot. Even the action scenes clearly showed that they were made by experts, though for my taste it was at least one motorbike chase too much. This movie's main problem was the script respectively the lack of a thrilling and stringent story. The basic idea was good – the ship full of treasures from India the British in an act of good-will wanted to return which, however, sank in July 1949 – but the story's developing lacked a bit of inspiration. Maybe Anthony D'Souza counted too much on the visual and technical aspects of his film; but these things can never replace a well-told story.

This also reflects in the actors' performances; obviously they had most fun with the scenes which usually don't belong to their daily routine – diving round the ship wreck together with some dozens of sharks, plus water sports and swimming tours with dolphins in the sea. But all in all, no one really excels. Having had just a few months' interval after the nerve-wrecking final phase of his court case and his incarceration, Sanjay Dutt was, in spite of intense training, far away from his best form but could at least score in his emotional scenes, be it with Zayed Khan (likeable and not really as cool as intended) or with Lara Dutta who literally cut a fine (bikini) figure and harmonised well with Sanjay – together they radiated a warm-hearted familiarness which makes you forget their age difference, particularly as they played a happily married couple.

Akshay Kumar delivers an experienced performance as the macho and womanizer. Rahul Dev as Gulshan rises to the position of the film's hidden star. At his side, Katrina Kaif as Nikki hasn't got much to do, and Kabir Bedi as the captain of the foundered "Lady In Blue" even less; you just can't believe how a star of his calibre can be as underutilized as Kabir in Blue. The Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue openly declared that with her first appearance in a Bollywood film a dream had come true for her, and her "Chiggy Wiggy" is quite a nice clip; however, in case she wants to return to B-town again I'd wish her a song better integrated into the story and a far better make-up man.

Sanjay allegedly has mentioned his regrets about that Blue wasn't made one year later when he definitely was in a far better shape than in 2008. But in my opinion this wouldn't have improved the film very much. You can watch it and enjoy the beautiful nature pictures, but you won't get more than just a bit of nice entertainment. For those who desire to see Sanjay and Akshay together in a movie I recommend Amaanat which was shot fifteen years earlier – okay, there's hardly any water in it but definitely more fun.

Produced by Dhilin Mehta; Directed by Anthony D'Souza
116 Min.; DVD: Shemaroo, English Subtitles (including songs); Special Features: Making of the Film, Making of Songs
© Diwali

Official Website
Interview with James Bomalick / Press Conference (Video)
All you wanted to know about Blue

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