Drowning lessons

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Arul Mani

FILM » BLUE
DIRECTOR » ANTHONY D’SOUZA
STARRING » SANJAY DUTT, AKSHAY KUMAR, LARA DUTTA, ZAYED KHAN
RATING » * * * * *

SAGAR’S IDYLLIC LIFE in the Caribbean, which is organised around sparring with good friend Aarav (Akshay Kumar) and cavorting with Mona (Lara Dutta), is rudely interrupted by the arrival of younger brother Samir (Zayed Khan) from Bangkok. Samir has hopped continents after managing to lose $50 million, and inevitably the action follows him; Sagar (Sanjay Dutt) dives into yet another sagar looking for treasure

Anthony Lane once asked himself this question while reading The Da Vinci Code: “If a person of sound mind begins reading the book at 10 o’clock in the morning, at what time will he or she come to the realisation that it is unmitigated junk?” The answer, in that instance, was three minutes. Blue elegantly lops a whole minute off that record. After several seconds of nationally geographic ocean shots, a rectangular box arrives out of nowhere into that ocean, fish troop into it dutifully, a disembodied voice makes a smartass comment about what connects women, money and fish, you surface along with the camera to gaze at the marinated muscle-work on Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt, and then it happens. A flash of silver, a hint of fin, an arterial clogging in the soundtrack, and the men are in the water, one tearing at the fish-trap to free the shark that has wandered thereabouts. Munnabhai meets marine life, and the result, is Ahimsa Jaws.

We could choose to see Blue as intelligent film-making but you, dear reader, would first have to swallow this back-story — that cast, crew and debutant director landed in the Bahamas, realised that they had no script and decided, after many pina coladas, to do without that irritating vestigial organ. What we thus have is a film whose narrative structure breaks down neatly into Location I, followed by lifestyle-porn, Location II, more lifestyle-porn, and so on to infinity.

There is just this one moment when the smugness drops to let somebody look like they are actually experiencing desire for another human being — and that is when the camera stops chiggy-wiggying to find Lara Dutta making goo-goo eyes at Kylie Minogue.

Every now and then there ambles into view a film that can be fixed with one word. In this case, the word is bleh.

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