Review - Phoonk: Not blown away...at all
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So, Ram Gopal Varma wanted to scare and make us question our beliefs. Well neither happened. What did happen though was discovery of RGV, the deliverer of a 1000 laughs. Ok, we are fair around here - about 700 hundred of those cackles came in the first half. The rest were interspersed between a couple very strong scenes post-interval.
Just in case you haven’t guessed yet, there’s nothing remotely scary about Phoonk. Unless of course, ogling crows, out-of-focus soft toys and wooden artifacts getting predictably into the limelight give you jitters. Then there’s the heavily made-up Ashwini Kalsekar who has a fetish for charcoaled eyes. Unfortunately, even the 45 degree tilt in her head doesn’t manage to evoke the fear factor. The spooky background music might have succeeded in some kind of horror, had it been used a little less than the entire 120 minute run-time.
The entire duration is also a mechanical collage of one event following the other. The individual scenes too are a collection of random shots cut and pasted together. Had there been even an average amount of flow, maybe the plot and sub-plots thereof would have been coherent enough to touch my belief system.
Yeah too many ifs and buts. But it was possible. Because, being a non-superstitious person, I had completely surrendered myself to a movie about black magic. Without such submission there was no hope of enjoying this one. But, that didn’t work either.
Baby Ahsaas’ act though, is really moving. She has very clearly exhausted herself in exhibiting what her character went through, and done really well too. My heart went out as much to her character as to the child artiste herself. On humanitarian grounds, is it really fair to have a 10-11 year old child go through the enactment of such torture? It’s the same question I had when I saw The Sixth Sense.
It’s truly not the question of whether or not one believes in the premise of black magic. It’s how believably it’s put forth. Such an issue should have ideally made me think of how I’d react if something like this happened in my family. But, as audience I’m kept at such a distance from the procedures that it’s almost as if the makers don’t want to get me involved. Employing the standard techniques used for the horror genre neither terrified me nor made me think about the topic at hand.
* * *
Ps. Yay! I actually managed this one without mentioning Aag. Damn it! No…failed yet again…
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Loads of black magic
- Sexual content: None
- Concept: Very dark
- General Look and Feel: Spooky for children, I guess.
Phoonk - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Zed 3 Pictures
- Producer: Azam Khan
- Director: Ram Gopal Varma
- Lead Cast: Sudeep, Amruta Kanvilkar, Ashaas Channa, Shrey Bawa
- Supporting Cast: Jyoti Subhash, Ashwini Kalsekar, Kenny Desai, Ganesh Yadav, Lilette Dubey
- Story: Milind Gadagkar
- Screenplay: Milind Gadagkar
- Dialogues: Milind Gadagkar
- Cinematography: Savita Singh, Savita Singh
- Editor: Amit Parmar, Nipun Ashok Gupta
- Background Score: Kumar Bapi , Tutul
- Action Choreography: Allan Ameen
- Music Director: Amar Mohile
- Lyrics: Sandeep Nath, Prashant Pandey
- Costume Designer: Naahid Shah
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 120 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India