Thrillers seems to have carved their own niche in the Hindi film industry lately, and Taapsee Pannu‘s reign in the genre continues undisputed. Her latest OTT release, Blurr, which also happens to be her first as a producer, is a psychological thriller that is cleverly written, but most importantly, brilliantly shot. With terrific camera work, thrilling background score laced with jump-scares, Blurr — official Hindi remake of Spanish film Julia’s Eyes — somewhat manages to prove an exciting whodunnit. (Also read: Dobaaraa movie review: An engaging and complex brain teaser)
Set in the hills of Uttarakhand, the plot follows Gayatri (Taapsee Pannu), who is trying to find the person who killed her twin sister Gautami (also Taapsee), and the reason behind what she believes is a murder. While cops are convinced Gautami died by suicide after suffering from depression due to her visual impairment (the twins suffer from degenerative sight condition), Gayatri isn’t ready to let them close this case. Her husband Neil (Gulshan Devaiah) does accompany her in the journey, but his evident reluctance makes him an obvious suspect.
As a producer, Taapsee definitely showed courage backing a project like this, which has its own niche audiences and sometimes doesn’t make for a family watch. And as an actor portraying twins, she blends multiple emotions and balances them off extremely well. Though in parts where she starts to lose her eyesight, I found those scenes a bit patchy and imperfect, but Taapsee manages to let you look past that. For most part of the film, I felt like I was watching an extension of Taapsee from Badla, Game Over, Haseen Dillruba, Loop Lapeta and Dobaara. Clearly, she has found her own footing in this genre.
Being the fine actor that Gulshan is, he manages to complement Taapsee well in the limited part he has. There’s one scene where he gets to shine while scaring you, but I would have expected a lot more from his character. In a crucial cameo, Kruttika Desai tries to deliver but her half-baked character doesn’t leave a lasting impact. Abhilash Thapliyal, in a key role, is truly a revelation. Showing his never-seen-before side onscreen, he completely aces the part, looks convincing and makes the maximum impact.
With psychological thrillers, what I particularly enjoy and like watching is the build-up to the big reveal and also the climax. In Blurr, too, writer-director Ajay Bahl introduces several twists that unfold along with the story, and truths that Gayatri unearths as she is investigating her sister’s murder. However, the story has too many loose ends and questions that nobody bothers to answer. For instance, though we are told about the equation the twins shared, it never is clear as to what really conspired between the two to have reached this fate. And while there are many characters that we’re introduced to throughout the story with much promise, not all are written well enough to live up to the potential.
Ajay’s story is gripping and moves at a fast pace. It goes off track at some places but soon resumes the flow. In parts, I felt, Ajay goes overboard with his characters and how they emote. A bit of a restraint would have not harmed. That being said, Sudhir K. Chaudhary’s cinematography gets full marks for creating a near-perfect setting in the hills, and capturing each element in a manner that it stays in sync with the storyline.
Without being too preachy, Blurr very subtly manages to address mental health issues, societal pressure and the fear of rejection that often push a person to extreme acts. Those underlined messages are quite relevant and are well-placed in the script. Overall, Blurr keeps you engaged right from the word go, and dives straight into being a dark, edgy thriller. The film is now streaming on Zee5.