I’m writing this pun despite myself, but here’s a ‘warning’— the film is a spineless lift from Hollywood film Open Water 2 (2006), a typical Hollywood shark movie to begin with, but apparently, good enough to poach by our Bollywood directors.
It’s surprising that in this day and age, filmmakers have the gall to copy a film and pass it off to the Indian audience.
Warning 3D copies heavily— right from the ‘based on true events’ claim, to the plot of old friends re-uniting on a yacht, the characters stranded in the water, a baby alone on the yacht, a menacing shark, down to the dolphin float.
That’s the bad (not all of it), but there’s the good as well.
Debut director Gurmmeet Singh whips up (with generous help from Open Water 2), characters that are real and likeable. When they meet after decades, it’s all hugs and smiles. One of the friends (Manjari Phadnis) has come with her husband and baby.
The reunion is off to a great start, and some of them decide to take a dip in the water. That is when the trouble starts. The helplessness of the group stranded right below their glorious yacht, owing to a minor technical snafu, is palpable. And the song ‘Bebasi’ captures this helplessness beautifully.
Now, all of them are in the water, and have no option but to wait for help. There are simmering undercurrents of unspoken words and grudges that inevitably surface. And more so, when they are pushed to the edge and are fighting for survival. If there’s the sea, there’s got to be a shark right. And this one comes sniffing pretty quickly.
The build-up to the story is fraught with tension and thrills. The first-half is taut and will have you on the edge of your seat often. But the film loses steam thereon. An emotional monologue, the cliche of rain and thunder, and the recurring shark scenes become cumbersome. The finale is a big mess.
There’s a Honey Singh-type song in there somewhere that goes like this – ‘Koi to keemat hogi tere ishq ki. Baby, tell me how much, how much’. A loose translation would be, ‘There must be a price for your love. Tell me how much, how much.' Charming.
The film scores on the technical front. You have clean, underwater shots (Franz Pagot), a crisp sound design (Resul Pookutty), and a throbbing background score (John Stewart). Dialogue by Tejpal Rawat and Rajesh Chawla flows in a conversational, casual manner.
The performances are pretty good. Each character has a track, and often some personality traits surface only when they’re in trouble. Manjari Phadnis who has recently tasted success with Grand Masti, does very well. You’re likely to recognize Varun Sharma (Fukrey), Madhurima Tuli (Cigarette Ki Tarah), and a few other actors among the debutants.
For a thriller, this one has a great build-up, with a perplexingly tame second-half. The shark’s there, but there’s not much action that happens thereafter. There was so much potential for more thrills and chills.
So there you have it— an average film with limited thrills and a few good performances. Do the math.
Rating: Two and a half stars