Thank God It Is Friday and a start of another blockbuster weekend that brings with it a fair share of some freshly brewed content. With that I finished watching the Hindi film Blurr starring Taapsee Pannu and streaming on Zee5. Blurr is the official Hindi Adaptation of the 2010 Spanish film Julia’s Eyes. Now I had watched the latter a very long time ago and I just remembered glimpses from it. It was a film that I had really liked back in the day but my biggest concern with Blurr was if the topic would still be relevant, considering the level of thrillers that are being churned up currently.
There was a recent Marathi adaptation Adrushya starring Manjari Fadnnis which was released earlier this year as well which made me think that perhaps the current generation may not have watched the original Spanish film with English Subtitles. The recent film Drishyam 2 was a timely reminder on how the audiences are still not used to watching the original films with English Subtitles which would eventually result in more remakes/adaptations doing the rounds(especially with original Hindi films not doing as well). But the smartest decision by the makers/studio was to have a direct digital release as far as Blurr was concerned. So now that I have finished watching Blurr, here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
An Official Hindi Adaptation of the Original Spanish Film Julia’s Eyes, Blurr follows the story of Gayatri who must find answers to the death of her twin sister as progressive blindness sets in for her. What is the mystery behind it? Now for those who have already watched Julia’s Eyes, this story will have zero novelty factor as it is more or less the same story. But there are a few surprises up its sleeve for people who haven’t watched the original. The screenplay standing at at a shade above 120 minutes does make for a brisk watch.
One thing that the drama gets right upfront is the ambience of the world where it is set in. With the right amount of fog setting in with a grim sense of lighting to the drama, the world building is definitely done right. The proceedings open with a supposed suicide but you do know that something is amyss. Soon you are introduced to the protagonist and her husband who travel to visit the former’s twin sister only to find her hanging from her ceiling at her house. Doubts creep in on whether this is a suicide or a planned murder and moreover if the protagonist is imagining a presence in the house.
The proceedings do start off on a slightly sluggish note as the drama does take sometime to settle in. I did feel that the grip in the narrative was missing at the beginning, something that was the opposite in the original that had a grip on the narrative from the beginning. But slowly but surely as the drama does settle in, things start to get better and more engaging with every passing scene. Slowly, the tension in the drama is built up as I found myself uncannily invested. The twists and turns would be interesting for those who haven’t watched the original but I was more interested in the execution part and here the original essence of the drama is maintained well.
The urgency levels kick in, in a sparkling second hour. Much like the original, the entire second hour is “seen” through the gaze of the protagonist who does undergo an eye operation. So her eyes are covered for most parts of the second hour. This feature does add a layer of mystery and intrigue to the drama as a ‘presence’ continues to haunt the protagonist. The psychological element does manage to keep you guessing on whether the protagonist is imagining stuff or if there really is a mysterious person who is entering her place. There are slight moments of horror too which are well executed.
In a dramatic turn of events, the entire sequence leading up to the grand reveal will send a shiver down your spine. Credit where due, the proceedings are shot really well. And here is when I had really hoped that the final act will be tweaked slightly as I wasn’t impressed by the final act of the original as well. There surely should have been an added layer of mystery to the drama considering that there were 20 odd minutes remaining at the time of the grand reveal. The next twist is half baked but here is the catch. The ending here is the same as the original and something that I did not quite approve of. It was underwhelming in many ways as well with a few loopholes too. But overall, the screenplay here is a pretty good adaptation of the original.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but quite impactful. The BGM here contributes to the ambience of the drama pretty well. The cinematography and lighting are the two unsung heroes of the film that create an atmosphere of mystery through the colouring and various frames. Director Ajay Behl does a pretty good job here especially in the middle where he is able to rise the levels of tension in the drama. However, he slightly stumbles in the opening act and the final act, especially in the latter that did have some scope of improvement from the original.
The performances are really good here. Nitya Mathur as Ira does have her moments to shine as does Krutika Desai Khan. Abhilash Thapliyal is the surprise package here with an act that is drastically different from the one in his show Aspirants. The man is on a role with twin releases this weekend and the first one here(that I got to) has impressed me a lot. Gulshan Devaiah as Neel may not be his best work till now attributing solely to the writing of his character that gave him little scope, he still is pretty good here and quite a natural in a few scenes.
Taapsee Pannu as Gayatri is phenomenal here in a towering act. Her strength as always been emoting and she utilizes it to her full potential here and comes out with flying colours. Also, the approach to her character was refreshingly different from the protagonist in the original who was more restrained and subdued. The spunk in her character was a good addition here!
Blurr is a faithful and good adaptation of the original Julia’s Eyes that can be watched once. Available on Zee5.