God bless Anthony D'Souza for making a film that makes the Dhooms of Bollywood look like student films. But despite Blue's Rs.100 crore budget, the only treasure chest we want to find underwater is Lara Dutta. Tragic, given how good the film looks and the level of technical brilliance that's on a par with The Fast and the Furious films. There's a cheeky nod in there when the bikes zip past girls in the shortest of skirts probably because Blue used the same action-choreographer. For all that hype and build-up of the thrilling underwater treasure hunt, it disappoints much that the promised hunt you had been waiting for turns out to be a simple deep-sea diving exercise with friendly fish swimming around. Finding Nemo had more thrills.

Seriously, what was all the talk about the colour of the sea being red with blood, how the treasure lies in the jaws of death and 'Qaatil Ada' opening credits when the guys get there without even a hint of the hyped-up danger. Yes, Sanjay Dutt looks fat enough to make you wonder if he could just sink but apart from that, there's no real threat.

To add to the lack of conflict, there's the moral ambiguity in the characterisation of Aarav (Akshay Kumar). Right from the first scene, Akshay does little to suggest, let alone convince us, that he's a good guy. So it's hardly any surprise that he turns out to be the mastermind. But then again, the makers don't want to make him all out evil because of his star image and this costs the film quite dearly.

The third act is the weakest we've seen in Hindi cinema. The flashback sequence supposed to explain why Sagar's (Sanjay Dutt) reluctance to go looking for the treasure involves a silly underwater accident where a beam falls on his dad who apparently tells his son in dumb charades not to tell anyone about the treasure. Unless the son got it wrong and what the charade actually meant was: "Son, go get help" or "Son, let my death not go in vain. Take the treasure chest." Then, there's that uneventful journey to the treasure. Didn't Akshay do more stunts to get his Thums Up? The death-defying stunt here includes jumping off the boat on a bike and using the air from its tyre to brave the storm and stay alive underwater! Even the cheesiest of Hollywood's adventure films would tell you about the need to create myths and monsters that protect the treasure and pose challenges to the heroes hunting for it.

Blue is a classic case study on the neglect of screenwriting in Hindi cinema. While AnthonyD'Souza packs promise as a spectacle film director, he could do with a lot of support in the writing department. What can you say about a good-looking cast mouthing cheesy lines with the required deadpan? Mr. D'Souza, why isn't Katrina Kaif in water? But let's look at the bright side. Blue's gorgeously shot with unbelievable action choreography guaranteed to give you a rush of adrenaline... if you are willing to forget the plot, that is.

All of the 1000-seater-Devi Paradise came alive with applause when A.R. Rahman's name flashed on the screen and while the composer does extremely well with the songs, the score is somewhat inconsistent.

Go for Blue. It's pleasing to the eye. And doesn't hurt a single brain cell.

Blue

Genre Action

Director Anthony D'Souza

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Zayed Khan, Katrina Kaif

Storyline: A fisherman is forced to go on a underwater treasure hunt after his brother runs into trouble with a dreaded gangster

Bottomline: Hundred crores and they couldn't spend on a script?