Sanctum poster


wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)

quick review:

Brilliant 3D shows the insides of the caves, their beauty and their wickedness. With a stereotypical plot, it says “never give up”. Based on true events, this is a movie that shows the risks that cave divers take.

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Director: Alister Grierson
Running time: 109 minutes
More Movie Info

What could possibly go wrong diving in caves?

You have to watch Sanctum to know. I was in a mood for survivor movies, after 127 Hours last week. Though Sanctum is about survival, it comes off more as a drama-heroic-adventure movie. And it says what all movies of this genre say - "never ever give up".

The film has simply superb 3D effects. I was never so impressed by 3D before, not even in Avatar or Tron Legacy.

After the brilliant scene with the ice cream in Chhota Chetan nostalgia, this is the only 3D movie where I felt like extending my hand to shove that bottle out of the way, and at times it felt like I was standing beside the crew all the time. I wanted to reach out and help. The narrow restrictions almost make you claustrophobic, and yet the vastness of the caves demands exhilaration. And unlike the other movies, this one has 3D all the time – like, even the rain was 3D. With all the breathtaking underwater scenes and that diffused light, it is sheer beauty.

Unfortunately, all you can say about screenplay is - same old, same old. Actually, I can make it sound more interesting to you here than it is to watch it. That will at least make the ineptitude of the story look less prominent and you can concentrate on the magnificence of the caves. But since this is "Without Giving the Movie Away", I’ll refrain :).

Yet I need to say this - why do they always have to add melodrama in the “inspired by true story” films? Bah, that puts me off every time. But on the other hand, I feel thankful it isn’t made to look like a video podcast on the Discovery Channel, even if I love those.

In spite of the predictable plot, it still leaves you wondering about man versus wild. Maybe it’s not completely convincing. Yet it’s an evil reminder. It says more about human instincts, how it can lead you to make choices you that wouldn’t have otherwise been made. And that you can do things, because you have to. But of course, it is shown so much more dramatically.

In spite of the terrible dialogues and mediocre acting, I’ll say go and watch Sanctum for the visuals. Thanks to the cinematography, I can totally understand why those divers would want to take terrible risks - to explore a place “where you can shine a light where no human’s been”.
Please note – I watched it in IMAX 3D and think that the awesome scenes that I wrote about probably won’t feel the same in regular 3D.

This review is by guest reviewer Shweta Karwa. Shweta is studying engineering in Chemical Technology at UDCT, Mumbai. You can find her on twitter as @intelshwets

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Two killings and a fist fight
  • Language: Too much use of the f-word
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Minimal
  • Concept: People killing others because they can’t help them survive
  • General Look and Feel: Dark but beautiful

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Sanctum - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
109 minutes

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