Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Blurr: A Gruesome-thrilling entertainer

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Amartya Smaran

Zee5’s Blurr, based on Spanish horror and psychological thriller Julia’s eye marks Taapsee Pannu’s debut as a film producer. Helmed by director Ajay Bahl, written by Pawan Sony and Ajay Bahl, the adaptation stars Taapsee Pannu in a dual role while Abhilash Thapliyal, Abhilash Thapliyal, Sorabh Chauhan, Kritika Desai, et al can be seen playing other important roles.

The movie starts with Gautami(played by Taapsee Pannu), a blind woman seemingly in a distributed state questioning in a high pitch with rap music overlapping her speech. We can sense that something is wrong and then the camera cuts to the nooze. The story is about twin sisters Gayatri and Gautami; both struggle from a degenerative eye disease and while the opening scene plays out the narrative shifts to a heated conversation between Neel and Gayatri. Whilst the latter argues that she needs to go see her twin sister, her partner Neel calms her down.

The couple reach Gautami’s residence and find her dead. Even here, Neel unflinchingly asks her to calm down, a trait which occurs on multiple occasions. While the cops reassure that Gautami’s demise is due to suicide and not a planned murder, Gayatri sets out her own journey to solve the mystery despite her progressive vision loss catching up.

Kudos to cinematographer (Sudhir K Chaudhary) for enhancing the overall viewing experience of the film. As the camera lurks and lingers around the actors, sometimes slowly pushing in to reflect the inner state of the characters and at other times hanging around to reveal the claustrophobic eerie locations and rooms. The intentional use of a grim colour palette works really well in the context of the story while the sleek editing ramps up the pace at the right moments. Director and writer Ajay Bahl structures the narrative rather interestingly by informing the audience about the deceased sister through Gayatri’ inquisitiveness to solve the puzzle. The point of view shots play out really well in showing Gayatri’s gradual vision loss.

One of the most spine chilling scenes plays out in the first act of the film in a centre for the visually impaired where Gayatri is caught eavesdropping on the blind women. The patients creepily surround her and after finding out who she is, they warn her of the presence of another man in the room. From this moment on, it’s a constant classic cat and mouse chase between the known and unknown.

When she completely loses her vision, some of Gayatri’ nightmares metaphorically give us a hint of her separation anxiety. When Gayatri suspects someone might have entered the house, her caretaker says, “Maybe some animal must have entered!”. The dialogues cleverly keep us guessing throughout the film. You can’t help but empathise with her character. You want her to naturally triumph over evil. Taapsee plays the character with utmost conviction and the restrictive narrative device used by the director allows her performance to come through in the best way possible. Abhilash Thapliyal as the caring nurse of Gayatri charms you like a snake with his performance.

As the story unfolds, the music intensifies and so does our anxiety. The art and sound departments deserve a special shoutout for making the immersive experience worth the time. The film delivers what it promises, the thrilling elements find their way in the most unusual ways and loom over us long after the film ends. If you are a sucker for thrillers of any kind, Blurr is for you. Remember to watch it on a bright Saturday afternoon. I say afternoon because if you watch it at night, those creepy chills are guaranteed. The film has a lot of gruesome sequences, jump scares, twists and turns, and above all, Blurr is technically sound with some extraordinary performances from the lead cast.

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