Directly or indirectly, terrorism has influenced the lives of all and sundry. The issue has been portrayed in numerous motion pictures. Yet another film on terrorism may seem tedious, which is why, I presume, Karan Razdan must have added an unexpected twist to the story of his new film THE WARNING. Replicating the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai at the very commencement, the writer-director merges supernatural and the concept of karma in the plotline of his new endeavor. What happens to the terrorist in his afterlife? That's a first for a Bollywood film.
However, let me add, the emphasis in THE WARNING isn't on terrorism alone, but supernatural as well. Souls don't dieÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã‚Â¦ People communicate with the deadÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã‚Â¦ At the same time, THE WARNING doesn't make you shriek, like most films that tackle the issue of supernatural do, since it's only towards the finale that the identity of the spirit is revealed. An interesting concept, indeed!
But not all interesting concepts transform into fascinating films. Sure, the concept of THE WARNING had the potential to strike a chord, but what unveils on screen fails to register an impact. While the issue of terrorism tries to borrow from real life, the supernatural element could've been the USP of this enterprise. Unfortunately, it's half-baked!
A boatman Ramsharan [Karan Razdan] is captured on high seas by the mujahideen. His trawler is taken over. Men working under him are killed. The course of his trawler is altered. Azaan Khan [Atul Kulkarni], who is the leader of the jihadis, is on a mission to get into India and kill innocent people. A fight takes place whereby Ramsharan is shot dead by Azaan.
Ramsharan's family in the village consisting of his father [Satish Kaushik], mother [Ila Arun], wife [Rituparna Sengupta] and daughter Muskaan [Jannat] grieve the death of Ramsharan. Muskaan has a lot of innocent questions to ask about her father's death. In fact, the concept of death is alien to her.
A spirit begins to haunt Muskaan. The dead are trying to reach out to her. A maulana [Anang Desai] tries to help the family. He introduces them to Peer Jammatuddin Shah Baba [Anupam Kher]. A strange thing happens one night. The spirit attacks. It writes something on the wall. Whose spirit is it? What is it trying to say or do?
When you have an interesting plot on hand, it's a responsibility, in fact a task, to deliver a film that leaves a stunning impression on the viewer. In this case, since it combines terrorism and supernatural, it ought to thrill and scare you during the course of the journey, which, regrettably, it doesn't. THE WARNING succeeds in bits and spurts. The finale, when the spirit communicates with the family, is a redeeming aspect. But the path undertaken by the screenplay to reach the finale leaves a lot to be desired. Also, the sequences involving Zakir Hussain and the ones involving Govind Namdeo are an absolute letdown. The effects are of the run of the mill variety.
Director Karan Razdan had a wonderful premise on hand, but the screenplay, penned by him, doesn't do justice to a refreshing thought. Cinematography is alright, although the locations are eye-catching.
Anupam Kher enacts his part with fervor. Satish Kaushik, Ila Arun and Rituparna Sengupta are talented actors all, but the characters don't give them scope to rise beyond a point. Besides, making the characters deliver lines in Gujarati appears odd. Jannat is strictly okay. Atul Kulkarni is hardly there. Zakir Hussain doesn't impress. Ditto for Govind Namdeo. Anang Desai and Karan Razdan are passable. Suhas Khandke gets no scope.
On the whole, THE WARNING is a good opportunity gone astray.