What is the story about?
There's panic in the air as all electronic items stop working across the globe and humans lose their ability to sleep owing to a catastrophe. While scientists come together to find a cure for this mysterious insomnia, there are disastrous after-effects that threaten to end the human race. A former soldier Jill finds that her young daughter Matilda who surprisingly doesn't experience sleeplessness and her elder son Noah need to be protected at all costs, come what may. What's the price that Jill needs to pay for it?
Not for a single moment in Awake, you care to emotionally invest in the proceedings or pay heed to the plot. It's that pointless and painfully long, even at its 90-minute long runtime. The world losing its ability to sleep overnight is indeed a unique, scary premise to arrive at, but Awake is a perfect example of how one makes a horrible mess of a promising idea. The filmmaker fails to give any proper context to the global catastrophe, doesn't care to flesh out his characters or pay attention to interpersonal relationships.
Neither science nor emotions work. For a survival thriller, the thrills are far few and between. The proceedings are largely bereft of logic and imagination. The film has no head or tail and by the end of it, you wonder what was the point of it all? Sleeplessness is scary, yes but having to tolerate this film is scarier. Someone in the writing department just felt they had a cool idea to share and thought that would alone suffice to make a decent film. Wish filmmaking/storytelling was as simple honey!
Gina Rodriguez looks completely out of place in the film as a mother of two, who moves from pillar to post to save her kids. Like one of the characters in the film says, she is more than a handful when she holds a gun though there's not much to remember in this it about her acting chops. While it's good to see Atypical-fame Jennifer Jason Leigh in action, it's unfortunate that the role doesn't offer her much and she appears dull, donning an uninterested expression most of the time. The on-screen siblings, Ariana Greenblatt and Lucius Hoyos, surprisingly come up with the film's more impactful acts. The brief appearances of Finn Jones, Shamier Anderson and Frances Fisher don't hold much relevance in the narrative.
Music & Other Departments
Antonio Pinto's soundtrack is passable, yes, though what can it do to save a sinking ship? The film is otherwise shot well; the cinematographer Alan Poon does his best to lend a visual fillip to a dull narrative. The writing has no meat at all; it wouldn't have hurt to elaborated the plot and flesh out characters even if it would have made the narrative longer by 30-minutes. The film is a not-so-bad example to showcase the insanity of human behaviour when they are pushed to the brink, but there's an effort to give a larger meaning to the visuals.
- Unique premise
- Decent contributions from the technical team
- Pointless narration
- No meat in the writing or characters
- A terrible ending
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?