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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Movie Review : Phoonk


Phoonk (horror)
Cast: Sudeep, Amruta Khanvikar, Ahsaas Channa
Direction: Ram Gopal Varma 


FIRST of all, it's hard to believe a post modern filmmaker like Ram Gopal Varma could actually make a film that ends up upholding mumbo-jumbo. The rationalist engineer (Sudeep) ends up chasing shamans and witch doctors to save his possessed daughter (Ahsaas Channa), even as the doctors fail to cure her of her demons with their psychological fundas.

The film ends up as a warning to all you scientific non-believers out there who scoff at black magic, voodoo and the mysterious lemoo (lemon). The next time you see bones in your backyard or a crow staring down at you from the overhead tree, don't take it lightly....Oh, really!

But he doesn't only get the premise wrong. The film fails to create a single scare, even though the camera does slide into strange places, focusing on all the stuffed toys and the ugly artefacts in the house and the soundtrack gets dizzy with ominous sounds.

Technically speaking, there's only one `jump' moment, when Sudeep moves but his mirror image doesn't move. The rest of the chills are ekdum thanda , as the story traces the attempts of a young couple to cure their daughter of the mysterious ailment that seems to have stricken her. From a happy-go-lucky kid, she's now a girl who grunts in a man's voice and flies up to the ceiling, a la Exorcist .

All said and done, Bhoot was the bigger scare than Phoonk.  

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