Once again Ram Gopal Varma treads one of his favourite territories – horror. His movie Phoonk doesn’t spook you as much as it intrigues you with its black magic theme and its unexpected conclusion.
Not that the story’s conclusion is unconventional or novel. Rather, it’s somewhat hackneyed. But what surprises you is that a man like Varma would endorse such a climax to his story where superstition holds a sway over scientific logic.
Every frame of ‘Phoonk’ has an unmistakable Varma stamp over it. The dimly lit rooms, the uncanny characters, the lingering shots of props like toys or statues or even crows or cats, the camera angles and the background music – all mesh together to give an eerie look to the movie. However, after a while, it becomes a tad too repetitive.
The movie tells the story of Rajeev ( Sudeep ), a builder and a staunch atheist with a family comprising of a loving wife ( Amrita Khanvilkar ), two kids Raksha ( Ahsaas Chana ) and Rohan (Shrey), and a religious mother.
A non-believer in God or Devil, Rajiv’s world and his belief system goes topsy-turvy when an evil is let loose in his house and the most affected is his daughter Raksha who begins behaving in strange ways.
The doctors say Raksha suffers from “psycho dissassociative disorder” but offer no conclusive cure. Not long before it’s clear that a black magic spell has been cast on Rajeev’s family by some malicious ill-wishers. It’s a spell that only an exorcist can break.
Unlike any pulpy horror flick, ‘Phoonk’ doesn’t scare you with its gory details but by gradually building up your anticipation regarding what would unfold on the screen. Varma’s technical prowess does come handy to this effect but there are a couple of scenes where the filmmaker overindulges in this style.
However, Ramu does manage to extract good performances from the cast – particularly from Sudeep and Ahsaas Chana. Sudeep is convincing as a man whose mind is muddled because all his non-beliefs turn out wrong one by one. Ahsaas Chana is excellent as a child possessed by an evil spirit. Amrita Khanvilkar gives a restrained performance while Zakir Hussain (as exorcist) is a bit over the top.
All in all, ‘Phoonk’ is an average horror flick that shakes and stirs you at times but doesn’t blow you away
Last edited by ~*jia*~; 25-08-2008 at 01:43 PM.