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An intelligently produced, average adaptation of a foreign thriller.
Talking about the film's production strategy first and the reason why I have called it an intelligently produced venture, WARNING is one of those very few films made in Hindi cinema, revolving around the sea and its under-water sequences. In 1982, it was SAMRAAT and then in the new millennium it was BLUE (2009), whereas both couldn't achieve any major success at the box office, mainly due to the costs involved (particularly in case of BLUE).
So taking a valuable clue from the same, producer Anubhav Sinha planned this 3D/2D film to be made in a very limited budget with a fresh star- cast, organizing its entire shooting in Fiji with the help of subsidies provided by the Fiji government. Following the same vision, he next hired all his equipment and technicians from countries hit by recession at a very low price (as mentioned in HT CITY's news) and then gave its direction to a new name Gurmmeet Singh, completing the film way below 5 crores quite intelligently. So studying it from that angle, WARNING is a pretty safe game played by Anubhav Sinha which is in fact the need of the hour too, looking at the current scenario of Hindi Cinema mostly dependent upon and being run by 'The STARS'.
Now coming to the project presented before the audience after taking care of all the backstage precautions and budgeting, WARNING more or less remains an average to good watch depending upon the time, money and place you are watching the film in. To be clearer, watching it in a multiplex might give you a feeling of getting less satisfied or entertained compared to the resources spent. But watching it on a channel or DVD you probably are going to rate it as a good watch due to its fresh and engaging plot. The film does have strong merits in few of its well conceived sequences but at the same time also becomes a bit droning and less impactful in absence of that required thrill, fear or excitement promised initially. Revolving around 7 friends, caught in a difficult, life threatening situation in the middle of a sea, WARNING starts of in a cool style introducing them all and then moves on to its main plot slowly. At first, the tricky trap they all fall in, excites you well. But post intermission the amount of excitement doesn't reach the next level and one misses all those chilling, nail biting or frightening moments in the narration as desired. No doubt a few sequences do make you sit straight and feel the anguish too. Like the rope making act, the dog taking a jump, the child crying on the bed all alone and those moments when few of them are just close to their end, expressing it differently. Yet, neither the fear of that shark moving around freely makes you shiver (like in JAWS), nor the cracks appearing in their friendship involves you emotionally. Moreover a song 'Bebasi' doesn't get well after being used again and again in the narration followed by a weak climax leaving the viewers in a baffling mode. Also released in 3D format, WARNING doesn't have those 'coming on to you' scenes too, which should ideally be there in a 3D movie to make you jump out of your seat. And that does become a major drawback if one has specifically gone there to watch it with the magic glasses.
In technical terms, director Gurmmet Singh shows his competent skills in few well conceived sequences in the first hour. But the repetitive feature of his screenplay, doesn't let him deliver the best and the audience connect gets lost in the second half. Background score could have added a lot more to its scary moments and it was really sad to see a fine, innovative & well shot song of Sonu Nigam being wasted in the end credits. However one of the key achievements of the film remains it Cinematography which surely makes you feel the nausea or fatigue felt in the sea waters, strongly.
As the performers, Manjari Fadnis plays the lead well being the helpless mother and a loving wife. Jitin Gulati, Sumit Suri and Suzana Rodrigues also play it fine along with Madhurima Tuli providing the forced-in skin show confidently. Varun Sharma is good but not as entertaining as we remember him watching in FUKREY (Choocha). But it was Bakshi's (Santosh Barmola) careless act and strong screen presence which turned out to be more impressive for me right from his first scene. Talking about its inspired status, WARNING might make you recall the recent LIFE OF PI (due to its similar caught in the waters theme) or few old English films too like JAWS. But in reality its reportedly (as it is said) an official adaptation of OPEN WATER 2 : ADRIFT (2006) which is supposed to be based on some true events. The makers stay religiously close to the original (scene wise) but honestly I am quite doubtful that how much percentage of our Indian audience would be actually familiar with a Private Yacht and its height dimensions which basically cause the whole problem in the film.
Nevertheless, despite its shortcomings, the project needs to be appreciated as it does provide the much desired change in our Hindi films as far as their subjects are concerned. Hence in totality WARNING remains a well attempted, fresh yet uneven adventure-thriller, which is sure going to impress you more while watching it on your TV sets instead of theaters. So do give it a chance when it will be aired soon on any famous cable channel in the coming months.
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