Indian film “Blurr,” written and directed by Ajay Bahl, is an official remake of Spanish thriller film “Julia’s Eyes,” released in 2010. It features Taapsee Pannu as the twin sisters Gayatri and Gautami. Gayatri lives in the city with her husband, Neil, and works as a researcher in the field of anthropology. Gautami, who is blind, lives alone in the hills. The movie opens with Gautami deciding to die by suicide while also being coerced to do so by an unseen figure. As a twin, Gayatri senses something is wrong and rushes to Gayatri’s house with her husband, only to find her dead. This obviously starts an investigation. And while the police and Neil keep claiming that Gautami died by suicide, Gayatri is convinced that she was murdered. If you think this movie is about a woman’s inability to come to terms with the fact that depression was the reason behind her sister’s death, let me tell you, it’s not. It basically takes a long-winded path to say, “introverted men with anxiety and mommy issues become Jack the Ripper,” while looking and sounding like one of the cheapest movies ever made. So, please, manage your expectations.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Is Gautami And Gayatri’s Blindness Natural Or Induced By The Killer?
When we meet Gautami, she is completely blind. In Gayatri’s case, she is prone to becoming blind if she gets stressed. That’s why, as soon as she starts to live in Gautami’s home, poring through every detail that she thinks is a hint towards unpacking the murder mystery, her vision starts to dwindle. The next time Gayatri realizes that she’s losing her ability to see is when she learns from Mrs. Radha Solanki that Gautami used to go to a wellness center for her blindness. There she learns about Gautami’s romantic relationship with some dude but also finds out that the supposed killer is following her. She chases him down and corners him. So, he hits her with the blinding light of his camera and runs away. And when Gayatri tries to go after him again, her eyesight completely fails her. Her blindness continues to increase as she goes to the hotel (with Neil) to learn more about Gautami, meets an old man who tells her about the CCTV footage that shows Gautami going around with the mysterious killer, and when Neil goes missing and is later found to be dead.
Here’s the weirdest part, though. In “Julia’s Eyes,” after Julia goes through the same ordeal and loses her eyesight, there’s a scene showing her signing a document to get her eyes replaced. In order to help her recuperate, a man named Iván comes to take care of her and then damages her eyes for reasons we’ll get into later. However, in “Blurr,” there’s no such scene that explicitly states that Gayatri has undergone a major eye surgery, and that’s why she has to wear a blindfold. She goes blind before what’s clearly meant to be the intermission break. And then you see her with the blindfold on, learning about the fact that Neil was having an affair with Gautami, and then talking to the doctor about recuperating at home instead of the hospital. The killer in the original, as well as the remake, enters the protagonist’s home under the garb of helping them recuperate and prevents them from knowing how far they are into the recovery process. But the act of not revealing that Gayatri has undergone surgery makes the scene where she starts to see again feel like an inexplicable miracle (not in a good way), and it kind of ruins the ending too.
Was Neil Having An Extra-marital Affair With Gautami?
Throughout the first half of “Blurr,” Gayatri keeps chasing Gautami’s mysterious boyfriend, with whom she seems to have gone everywhere. Yet, there’s no physical proof of their time together. We see an image of Gayatri, Gautami, and Neil in Gautami’s home. Neil even happens to be privy to the information that Gautami underwent eye surgery, but it wasn’t successful. Dr. Aman told him about this, but he didn’t think it was important to relay it to Gayatri. When Gayatri does get to know about this, she pulls her hand out of Neil’s, and the camera lingers on Neil’s ring finger. By doing so, the movie leads the audience to believe that Neil is the one who was having an affair with Gautami. These suspicions are then taken to their maximum when Gayatri receives Neil’s “suicide note,” in which he admits that he romanced Gautami behind her back to apparently find that sense of love he had lost throughout his relationship with Gayatri.
After some misdirection in the form of Ira and her father (who turns out to be some sleazy guy trying to grope Gayatri), Gayatri learns from Ira that her nurse (who is going by the name of Deepak) is the actual killer. He has apparently killed Gautami. He has been feeding Gayatri medicines that give her nightmares. And he has probably been preventing Gayatri from realizing that she can, in fact, see. When Ira urges Gayatri to remove her blindfold and take the key (that Gautami gave to the old man, who then gave it to Gayatri, which was then stolen by Ira and then returned to Gayatri) and use it in the nurse’s house, she realizes that Neil didn’t die by suicide. Because the red room in the nurse’s house is filled with polaroids of Gayatri, Gautami, and Neil, with the last two’s last moments available in photographic form. Hence, it becomes clear that the nurse/killer forced Neil to record that false suicide note and then killed him, thereby confirming that Neil didn’t actually cheat on Gayatri with Gautami.
‘Blurr’ Ending Explained: Is The Killer Arrested? Does The Ending Deviate From The ‘Julia’s Eyes’?
Given how it’s a remake of a movie from 2010, the trope that some loner, introverted, anxiety-prone man has mommy issues and is a killer is understandable. Back then, filmmakers used to think that those kinds of guys were the biggest danger to society. But in the last decade or so, it has been proven that men who fall into that category are mostly keyboard warriors who will suffer a massive stroke if they are confronted. Going as far as killing people is probably not their forte. So, to see that trope used in a 2022 film is just tiring, especially when it’s explained so bluntly. The killer, after revealing that he has killed the real Deepak and is actually Chander, literally looks at the camera and states how overlooked, afraid, and insecure he is. He thinks that those who can’t see are the only ones who can be more accepting of him. That’s why he went after Gautami. And now that he has her replica in the form of Gayatri, he wants to blind her too and spend the rest of his life with her.
Just to make things more cliche, after Gayatri runs away from Chander and goes to Solanki for help, she turns out to be Chander’s estranged mother. She had mentioned earlier that her husband and her son had bailed on her and never returned. When Solanki goes into exposition mode and explains her life story to Chander (her son, FYI), it becomes clear that she was abusive towards him and still blames him for her professional shortcomings as an actor. Anyway, Chander kills his mother and then gives Gayatri the option to either kill herself or live with him as a blind woman. Gayatri initially chooses the noose but then tricks Chander into thinking that she actually wants him. They eventually get into a strobe-induced fight sequence, which ends with Gayatri calling the police and then shining all the light on Chander. This apparently increases Chander’s anxiety because he isn’t used to all that attention. That’s why he uses a knife to slit his throat and dies while Gayatri and the police look on. All this is just like the original. However, Bahl and Soni take a wild turn after that.
In “Julia’s Eyes,” Julia’s altercation with Ángel (the killer) severely damages her eyes. When the police arrive at her rescue, she uses her heightened hearing ability to locate Ángel and shine the light on him. There are a lot of extreme close-ups of the police officers’ eyes, which are cut together with Ángel pleading for them to look away. When Ángel dies, Julia doesn’t get to see it, which is tragic but in keeping with the theme of Julia not seeing deaths because of her blindness. Later on, Julia gets to know that, by dawn, she is going to become completely blind. That’s why she asks the doctor to take her to Isaac (her husband) so that she can see her one last time. She learns that his eyes were given to her when he died, and she lost her eyesight in the first place (i.e., her eyes were operated upon only once). The movie ends with Julia becoming blind and remembering how Isaac talked about seeing the universe in her eyes, the camera zooming into her eye and then transitioning into a shot of the galaxy. It’s dark, it’s poetic, and with the help of Belén Rueda’s performance, it all lands in a solid fashion.
In “Blurr,” not only does Gayatri see Chander die (because her eye issues apparently aren’t that severe at that moment), she also gets yet another eye surgery, which completely fixes all her problems. How do I know that this is the second eye surgery? Because during a scene involving Chander and his knife, she requests that he take her to a doctor because the surgery has “gone wrong.” This means that after going blind before Neil’s death, she was admitted to the hospital for her first eye transplant (which came from some random donor, I suppose). And just because Chander has damaged these new eyes, the doctors pluck them out too, and give her the ones that Neil donated. Bahl and Soni try to do the whole “universe in the eye thing,” but it feels so cheap because of Pannu’s performance and how they treat Gayatri’s eye socket like a toy. There’s no weight to the whole drama because if eye surgeries can be that easy, then what’s the point of it all? Yes, you can give the film points for not copying the original, but the mere act of making changes doesn’t necessarily make it worthy of appreciation.
“Blurr” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Ajay Bahl.