Eros International, Alumbra Entertainment and Benaras Mediaworks’ Warning (UA) is a thriller. Anshul (Varun Sharma), Gunjan (Madhurima Tuli), Aman (Sumit Suri) and Sabrina (Manjari Phadnis) are old friends who accept an invitation from their common friend, Taran Bakshi (Santosh Barmola), to visit him at Fiji Islands. All of them reach Fiji together and Sabrina (the only married one among them) is accompanied by her husband, Deepak (Jitin Gulati), and little baby, Sarah.
In Fiji, Taran takes them in the sea on a yacht and they are all having a lot of fun on board. One by one, they jump into the sea for a swim. Sabrina has haunting memories of a childhood water accident and is, therefore, petrified of water. She, nevertheless, forces her husband to enjoy himself with her friends while she waits on board with her baby. Soon, Taran Bakshi, who used to be in love with Sabrina, dives into the sea and literally carries her too, without announcing that she would be accompanying him in the sea waters, after her baby goes to sleep. His logic in catching her unawares is that this was the only way for her to get over her water phobia. Enjoying with his other friends in the water is also Taran’s French friend (Suzana Rodrigues). Sabrina is scared stiff but her husband and friends calm her; she has also worn a life jacket and, therefore, regains part composure.
Suddenly, the friends realise to their horror that the staircase which would lead them back on board the yacht, is not accessible to them due to an error on Taran Bakshi’s part. They try to get Taran’s dog, Yeti, to press the button of the staircase but, as bad luck would have it, the dog also jumps into the sea instead of helping them.
So now, there are seven friends and a dog stranded right near their yacht with no way to get back on it, and the unattended baby alone on board. Tension mounts when the friends realise, they could die there because they are right in the middle of the sea, far far away from the shore, with nothing else in sight. To add to their horror story, a shark is roaming in the vicinity. To make matters worse, baby Sarah wakes up after a while and begins to wail. Her cries can be heard by her parents and the others in the group. Tension mounts.
What happens thereafter? Do all the friends survive the nightmarish ordeal or do they die one by one? Does their friendship develop cracks because of the situation they find themselves in? How do they cope with and conduct themselves in the death-defying situation?
The film is a remake of Hollywood film Open Water 2. The story is exciting and offers edge-of-the-seat thrills and chills. The screenplay, written by Tejpal Singh Rawat and Rajesh Chawla, keeps the audience engrossed and involved right from the word ‘go’. The element of fear is brought out very well so that the audience has many moments of horror, scare and heart-wrenching agony. Yes, the pace does dip in the latter part of the post-interval portion but picks up again after a while. The climax, like a good part of the film, is nail-biting. The background score (by John Stewart), the crisp dialogues (penned by the two writers) and the extraordinary camerawork (by Franz Pagot) add to the thrill and fear. The film has been shot in 3D, which greatly enhances the visual impact of the drama.
Varun Sharma acts with effortless ease. Santosh Barmola is very good. Sumit Suri also does a fine job. Madhurima Tuli is pretty impressive and also exudes oomph. Manjari Phadnis is first-rate and gets her emotions perfectly right. As her husband, Jitin Gulati also lives his role and uses the right amount of restraint required for his character. Suzana Rodrigues is quite good. Dog Yeti and the little baby serve to add the right amount of emotions in the chilling drama.
Gurmmeet Singh does an excellent job of the narration. His direction is wonderful as he succeeds in keeping the audience involved throughout the drama in spite of not having the support of a saleable star cast. The songs are good and come at the appropriate places. Sharib-Toshi, Meet Bros. Anjjan and John Stewart have done a truly good job of the music. Song picturisations (Rajeev Surti) are nice. Kumaar and Irfan Siddique’s lyrics are effective. Background score (John Stewart) is lovely. Dave Judge’s stunts are both, exciting and realistic. Vintee Bansal’s sets are of a good standard. Cheragh Todiwala’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, Warning has the merits to do well at the ticket windows but it will need a sustained publicity campaign to increase awareness among the public. Without a renewed promotional campaign, the film will go largely unnoticed in spite of merits. While its poor initial is a dampener, its 3D effects and positive mouth publicity are the plus points.
Opening in the cinemas was frighteningly poor everywhere.