Sea adventure is a fascinating genre. It holds a lot of intrigue. The West has attempted several movies on the subject, which have tremendous recall value — 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, JAWS, TITANIC, LIFE OF PI and many, many more. The Hindi film industry has also had its share of movies that depicted the escapades and exploits at the sea/ocean, which includes SAMRAT and BLUE. Now Anubhav Sinha’s WARNING, helmed by Gurmmeet Singh, attempts to catch the fancy of the spectator with a theme that’s seldom explored here.
WARNING is more of a survival story that’s set in the middle of the ocean. How a group of friends cope with situations in perilous and precarious circumstances. With no hope of rescue or miracles. Just the newborn baby is aboard… Does it ring a bell? Filmed in Fiji, WARNING does emit fresh vibes to spectators of Hindi films, but the fact of the matter is that the film brings back memories of OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT .
It was a reunion of a group of friends. It was a joy ride on a luxury yacht through the middle of a beautiful ocean. It was time to remember the good old times. It was time to catch up on the lost years. It was time to come face to face with unrequited love. It was Sara’s first birthday. It was time for champagne. It was time for a swim. It was time for a disaster to strike…
Seven friends. Neck deep in water, miles away from land with no way to get back on to the yacht, while little Sara cries incessantly on board…
One expects WARNING to be a scarefest, since the plotline does have potential for several nerve-racking and edge-of-the-seat moments. However, the genre is not tapped to the fullest. There are hardly any nail-biting moments in the first half, although a few episodes in the post-interval portions do make you anxious. What dilutes the impact, however, is the song ‘Bebasi’ that keeps cropping up sporadically.
The writing has its share of highs and lows. For instance, the escapades with the shark should’ve evoked fear, making you panicky, but it doesn’t. On the other hand, the episode featuring the friends using their bathing suits to make a rope is attention-grabbing. In addition, the conflict that ensues between two girls over the cell phone catches your eye. But, again, the culmination sends out confusing signals, since one assumes that the lover would get saved, while the husband, who’s profusely bleeding by now, would be eaten raw by the shark. One is surprised to see who eventually survives!
Since WARNING is in 3D, one expects objects [and sharks] to leap off the screen, straight on to your face. A few shots have been filmed proficiently, but you do feel that the director could’ve used the 3D gimmickry even more efficiently to justify the theme and format of the film.
Gurmmeet knows the grammar of storytelling right and this is evident in more than a few sequences. Nonetheless, the screenplay could’ve been tighter. Besides, a film like this should’ve been a songless affair, although the song filmed on Sonu Nigam, which features in the end credits, is classy. The background score adds that extra layer to the atmosphere, either easing you or raising the pulse depending on the on-screen circumstances. Cinematography is top notch. The sound mix is absolutely perfect.
Manjari Fadnis, who suffers from aquaphobia, is effectual enough. Santosh Barmola [as the lover] gets ample scope and so does Jitin Gulati [the husband]. Both act their parts well. Sumit Suri is confident. Suzana Rodrigues flaunts her beach body fluently and so does Madhurima Tuli. Varun Sharma, who made a striking impact in FUKREY, is strictly okay.
On the whole, WARNING has some nail-biting moments, but they are few and far between. Average!
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