‘Blurr’ movie review: Taapsee Pannu shines in a taut, gripping psychological thriller


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Anuj Kumar

Taapsee Pannu in a still from ‘Blurr’

Taapsee Pannu in a still from ‘Blurr’
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Socially and physically disabled are often invisible in the stories of our films and life. Society may show obligatory empathy, but do we really care to know or understand them? The relationship is seldom that of two equals. What would happen if one socially inept outlier turns into a sociopath, seeking to blur the line between the able-bodied and the disabled, to make the world see what it loves to ignore? In Blurr, writer-director Ajay Bahl explores the chilling thought through a gripping tale drawn from the Spanish film Julia’s Eyes (2010).

A nightmare about her twin sister Gautami compels Gayatri (Taapsee Pannu), an anthropologist living in Delhi with her husband Neel (Gulshan Devaiah), to travel to the hills of Uttarakhand. The police investigation reveals that she had died by suicide, but Gayatri’s gut feeling says that her musician sister wouldn’t have ended her life.

Blurr (Hindi)

Director: Ajay Bahl

Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhilash Thapliyal, Kruttika Desai, S.M. Zaheer

Runtime: 126 minutes

Storyline: Gayatri and her husband Neil come to a hill station only to learn that Gayatri’s visually impaired twin sister Gautami has died by suicide. Growing suspicious over her sister’s untimely death, Gayatri begins to investigate. However, in sudden turn of events, she begins to lose her sight

Not for the weak hearts, the psychological thriller, with hues of horror, is dotted with alarming possibilities and the setting is competently exploited by cinematographer Sudhir Chaudhary and production designer Nilesh Wagh. Set in the hills, the elements of nature and the design of Gautami’s house add to the dread that Bahl and co-writer Pawn Sony have imagined on paper.

Known for looking beyond the obvious and navigating the blurred line between right and wrong, the underrated Bahl, known for B.A. Pass and Section 375, once again succeeds in keeping us hooked to a twisted tale whose goal is to scare us with the ordinary. Here is a thriller that talks of a social experiment! Not all the questions are nailed, and not all the gaps are filled with logical explanations, but for the most part, Blurr lives up to its title.

Gayatri’s progressive vision loss becomes a metaphor for a society that chooses not to see the old and the infirm around it. The narrative progressively fuzzes the conscience and stirs our imagination as it looks at the dangers of not being seen and not being able to see.

After Dobaraa, Taapsee has headlined another intriguing and taut thriller adapted from a Spanish film. Like the Anurag Kashyap film, the world is not believing Gayatri’s truth and she has to cross a psychological minefield to prove her point. Striking the right balance between the strength and vulnerability of the character, Taapsee, who has co-produced the film, makes the growing upheaval inside Gayatri absolutely relatable.

It is heartening to see competent actors Kruttika Desai and S.M. Zaheer, who are seldom considered by new-age casting directors, back on screen with small but crucial roles. Abhilash Thapliyal is convincing as the boy fighting the shadows of obscurity and insignificance.

The subtitling related to suicide references could have been better, and the OTT platform should warn audiences about the triggers. But overall, Bahl delivers a solid thriller around a grim social reality.

Blurr is currently streaming on ZEE 5

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