“Global hysteria ensues after a mysterious catastrophe wipes out all electronics and takes away humanity’s ability to sleep…” reads the description of the 2021 dystopian film ‘Awake’, directed by Mark Raso. Well, 2021 seems to be the year of the Covid19 pandemic and ‘end of the world’ scripts. Lot of viewers don’t mind watching the world going to hell on their screens, while their real lives have been tossed up by an actual virus whose origins are still a matter of global debate.
In ‘Awake’, we follow mom Jill Adams (Gina Rodriguez), who is an ex-army personnel, trying to get her kids to safety as everybody slowly starts losing their sanity due to lack of sleep. Jill’s daughter Matilda seems to be the only one who can still fall asleep. So Jill tries to ensure she doesn’t end up becoming a lab-rat for scientists trying to cure the insomnia-fueled catastrophe. Okay, Mark Rasso may have written this story after a few sleepless nights himself, because ‘Awake’ is so terribly scripted that even a kid can see the twists; which doesn’t make much sense by the way.
Jill and family encounter religious fanatics, naked cultists, prisoners running riot, blood-thirsty anarchists and finally – an army facility where everybody is losing their shit. The pace is fine and some of the action scenes are pretty good even, but the story just doesn’t stick. There is a very hurried and lousy explanation to why the ‘human brains have been rewired’. And the way to get past it is even sillier. It doesn’t help that the characters are shoddily written and superficial. Gina Rodriguez isn’t very convincing as the fierce bad-ass mom doing all she can to protect her cubs. Even the supporting cast is largely mediocre.
While some things are too convenient, there are other things that were quite silly. In the beginning of the film, all the satellites start to fall down, while I am no science whiz, my co-watcher explained how even if electricity is wiped off across the earth, satellites won’t just start falling and will continue to orbit in space. It will take years for orbital decay and yes, eventually they will crash; but just because there isn’t no electricity on earth, there won’t be a massive satellite shower.
Had the makers put in a little more effort into the story, ‘Awake’ could have been a more fun watch. It does have a lot of potential, some of the chaotic scenes in the second-half were entertaining enough, but the climax was too sentimental and disappointing. It’s a 5/10 from me.
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Listen to episode 29 for some fun movie recommendations.