Cast: Santosh Barmola, Manjari Fadnis, Suzana Rodrigues and other unknown entities
Director: Gurmeet Singh
Rating: 1 star
Every once in a while, a film critic finds out what ‘the illusion of choice’ really means. Last Friday, for instance, several movies made at a budget of less than Rs 10 crore, which likely will sink after having made less than Rs 10 lakh, released in the theatres. The most promising of these was a film titled Prague, with a young scruffy man staring soulfully out of posters featuring European arches. Having put myself through it, though, I decided I’d rather write about the ominously titled Warning 3D – it looked like the sort of film where people get bludgeoned to death just when you want them to.
I should have taken heed of the fact that there were fewer people waiting to enter the auditorium where Warning was playing than the one showing the two-week old Grand Masti – the latter being a film whose deceptive font had led me and a friend to think a tawdry homoerotic film had made its way to Indian theatres.
Right, so having worn the nose-ache-inducing 3D glasses, I subjected myself to Warning. A bunch of school friends, some of whom have interbred and produced babies, decide to have a reunion on a yacht, and then sail off to Fiji. Among them are an infant, a dog, and a girl who’s afraid of the water. Also among them is a guy who claims he owns the yacht and aggrandises himself so much and so often that we know there will be a moment in the story when he breaks down and confesses that he made all this up, because he’s just so insecure. Aww.
What we don’t expect is for this moment to come when they’re all in mortal danger. Sigh. So, let’s start at the beginning. Boat-owner guy is accompanied by a girlfriend (Suzana Rodrigues), who fittingly sashays in topless. Among his friends is another hotter-than-hotness chick, who’s determined to use her body to get ahead in life. Then, of course, there’s the bikini babe who’s scared of water. And the Hot Mama, who’s already got herself into shape and can’t wait to prove it to the world. Then, there’s the rich spoilt brat, and the large pleasant guy. And they’re all meeting for the first time after school – except, of course, the ones who’ve been making babies. What can go wrong, right?
Now, it’s not entirely the filmmakers’ fault. The Hollywood film they chose to plagiarise almost scene-by-scene isn’t quite Oscar material either. That film is Adrift, and what sets its Bollywood counterpart apart is a recurring, painful song called Bebasi. I’m not quite sure what the song is supposed to make us feel. Anyway, there’s the song, the language and the fact that nobody’s Caucasian. Except for these departures, which must seem substantial to the directors and producers (because they don’t bother mentioning anywhere that this film is even ‘inspired’ by another), Warning is practically a dubbed version of Adrift.
[quote]It looked like the sort of film where people get bludgeoned to death just when you want them to[/quote]
The film is supposed to be some sort of thriller. It ends up becoming a humungous bore, tragicomic at its best moments and mind-numbing through the rest. Among its memorable parts is the one where this entire group of nincompoops, having jumped off the yacht, figures out that no one has lowered the ladder – their only way back on board. And then, they decide to send the dog into a frenzy, in the vague hope that it will be prudent enough to press the button that lowers the ladder. Need I really get into how that works out?
The Hollywood film follows the stranded swimmers through one hare-brained ploy after another, and its desi version toes the line. All through, flesh-eating fish close in. Since this film has the additional responsibility of using 3D in the tackiest manner known to man, there are several scenes where dangerous things come dashing towards us.
You’d think people who have incurred injuries and are bleeding profusely in shark-infested waters would have more on their minds than what happened in high school. Not this lot. They feel compelled to revisit the most traumatic years of their adolescence and confront each other, as if they were all on some sort of awkward vacation at a seaside resort – you know, the kind where you run out of things to talk about, and decide to quarrel to pass the time instead.
Of the characters in the film, the most intriguing is the dog. He sees fit to jump in after his minders, but eventually abandons them and then gets back towards the end, looking at the waters as if to ask, “What did I miss?” How we envy him.