Review | Blurr – Filmmaking With A Hazy Vision

Blurr is directed by Ajay Bahl and produced by Zee Studios. The film features Taapsee Pannu and Gulshan Devaiah. It is now streaming on ZEE5.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

Filmmaking With A Hazy Vision

It’s a bit annoying when a filmmaker uses an isolated stand-alone house, low lighting, darkness and monstrous rains as overdone tropes for a thriller. These elements would’ve helped if there’d been a credible story to tell as well.

Based on the 2010 Spanish film Julia’s Eyes, writer-director Ajay Bahl makes effective use of atmospherics by placing blind Gautami (Taapsee Pannu) in a large, lonely bungalow all by herself and putting her head in a noose. The lighting, as per rule, is kept gloomy.

Feeling guilty about having left Gautami to her own devices, twin sister Gayatri (Taapsee again) drives down from Delhi with husband Neil (Gulshan Devaiah). While the cops rule it as a suicide, Gayatri senses that her sister’s been killed. A rap number on her sister’s music system and knowing that she’s being followed, firm up her belief that Gautami didn’t take her own life.

Bahl packs in a few creepy-looking neighbours. A disgruntled Mrs Solanki (Krrutika Desai) who still talks about having played Umrao Jaan on stage, a young girl and her father, and a Wellness Centre with a roomful of blind women who chatter like they’re in a beauty parlour. 

Despite Neil reminding her of the doctor’s warning that stress could lead her also to lose her eyesight, Gayatri goes sleuthing. 

The problem is that there are so many obvious ‘Why’ questions in the narration that all of Gayatri’s traumatic scariness look like self-manufactured inflictions on herself.   

When Neil and the police inspector are with her, why would Gayatri set off on her own, go through dark passages and try to nab her stalker? 

In the hotel scene, why does she once again go off without Neil to talk to an informant?

Why does Neil lie to her when he knew that her doctor would’ve exposed him within seconds?

Most of all, when she’s blindfolded after an eye surgery and she’s sure there’s a stalker-killer on the loose, why would Gayatri insist on going against the doctor’s advice and stay all by herself in the same lonely bungalow which just took two lives?

Therefore, when she stumbles around and calls for help, your heart neither goes out to her nor goes thumping. 

For sure, Bahl follows the Spanish script and brings in an obsessively deranged mother and son, strewing a few illogical red herrings here and there, like the male neighbour track. A scene with Gayatri and male nurse Deepak (Abhilash Thapliyal) also leaves you with questions like, why on earth would she get so familiar with hired help like him? Also, since when were patients allowed to down wine post-surgery when they’re still on meds? 

A blindfolded patient running all over the neighbourhood, finding the right door to a set of keys and rushing into a house that’s otherwise severely bolted, are all beyond credible. So very different from say, Audrey Hepburn’s Wait Until Dark which came way back in the 60s and was such a heart-stopping thriller.          

The impact is zero because you can’t help asking yourself again and again, why has Gayatri put herself in this situation?

Bahl’s ending too, after the perpetrator is unveiled, is long drawn out and exhausting.

Filled with Gayatri having nightmares which blur reality from what’s in her imagination, there are stereotypical characters at every turn. From the girl next door and the informer at the hotel to the male nurse, everybody’s got a problem about being faceless and being ignored by the rest of the world.

What’s wrong with Blurr is simple to see. When it doesn’t ring true, it doesn’t thrill. So while you cheer Taapsee for always being the pivot, you also wonder when she’ll develop a sense of screenplay. 

Frankly, I’m disappointed with Bahl. I’m sure you will be too.

Watch the trailer of Blurr:

Also Read: Review | Vadh – Sometimes, It’s Not Murder

Filmmaking With A Hazy VisionReview | Blurr - Filmmaking With A Hazy Vision