Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Bhoot

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 5, 2009 – 00:00 IST

RGV returns with Phoonk 2

Maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is ready with the sequel of Phoonk, titled Phoonk 2. The film has been directed by Milind Gadagkar, who had written the original version.

Launching the first look of the film, RGV Said, “When Milind Gadagkar the writer of Phoonk came up with the idea of Phoonk 2, the opening sequence itself made me jump up in my seat. The moment I read the entire script I was convinced that he should direct the film as I was amazed at the clarity he had in detailing of the story.”

Comparisons between the two films are inevitable, to which he replies, “In spite of Phoonk’s hit status quite a few people say that it’s not a scary film and there is a reason for that. Scare can be of two kinds, where one is of a kind which scares you due to a completely helpless situation you catch yourself in, and the other which just plain scares your senses. Bhoot falls in the 2nd category whereas Phoonk falls in the 1st one. Phoonk 2 also falls in the 2nd category where its intention is as plain and simple – to just scare the audience’s pants off.”

On choosing the horror genre for his first film, debutante director Milind Gadagkar says, “Ever since I can remember, I have always been a huge fan of the horror genre and the psychosis of fear. Fear is such a strong emotion that it defies all logic. As small children we are scared of entering a dark room; somewhere further in life, we rather try and avoid isolated roads with no street lights.”

“It is not just ghosts that we are scared of but there are times in our lives when a strange and inexplicable incident also scares the hell out of us. Studying this phenomenon of fear has always intrigued me. All said and done, I am really thrilled that inspite of me not having liked Phoonk, Ramu liked Phoonk 2,” Milind concludes.

When asked if he was satisfied with Milind’s treatment of the film, RGV said, “When I saw the 1st cut of what Milind showed me of the film, I told him that it’s not only far better than Phoonk but I think it is the scariest film Bollywood has ever made and it is miles above all my so-called scary films like Bhoot, etc and I mean every word of it from my spine onwards….. Chilling!”

RGV even lets out a bit of the story, “If the entire Phoonk story was about how this evil woman who practices black magic was bent upon torturing and killing a little girl in order to make her father suffer and how the father after desperately trying every measure manages to get a tantrik who kills the evil woman, Phoonk-2 starts off with the spirit of the evil woman coming back from the dead and brutally murdering the tantrik.”

The film has been made in three languages, Hindi, Tamil (Bommai-2) and Telugu (Aavaham). Looks like audiences can await one chilly ride with Phoonk 2.


By Taran Adarsh, August 7, 2009 – 10:39 IST

Ramgopal Varma thinks differently. This time too the maverick film-maker defies the stereotype and takes to the dense forests of Sri Lanka to meet an ‘unknown’ force.

But let’s clear the misconception at the very start. AGYAAT is no supernatural thriller [like PHOONK] or a horror fest [like BHOOT]. This one’s more of an adventure thriller that doesn’t scare you at all, but makes you a participant in a pulse-pounding journey.

For any movie to succeed, it ought to keep the viewer engrossed first and foremost. AGYAAT succeeds in doing that, especially towards the second hour. You haven’t witnessed a journey like the one in AGYAAT on the Hindi screen before. In the West, the most memorable film I can think of is THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.


AGYAAT works for several factors. The dense jungle blows your mind away, the sound design and the background score are easily at par with international films, the camera movement is spectacular and of course, RGV’s execution of the material is just right for a film of this genre.

But, at the same time, the culmination to the film is debatable. Of course, one would be doing gross injustice to the film by revealing the end, but it’s bound to have its share of advocates and adversaries. It might bring a smile on your face or a smirk, but the fact remains that the reactions would be in extremes.

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Final word? Take a trip!

A film unit goes for a shoot deep into a forest. They settle at a place with bare minimal facilities run by a strange and quirky man called Setu [Joy Fernandes]. The hero of the film, Sharman [Gautam Rode], is a completely self-obsessed man with no other concern except for his muscles and the leading lady, Aasha [Priyanka Kothari].

The team consists of the director [Howard Rosemeyer], producer [Ishrat Ali], the superstar’s spot boy [Ishteyak], cinematographer [Kali Prasad Mukherjee], action director [Ravi Kale], second assistant [Rasika Duggal] and an assistant director [Nitin Reddy].

It all begins when the camera conks off… They have two days waiting for the replacement to arrive and with no form of entertainment or communication, when Setu suggests a camping trip into the forest, they jump at the opportunity. As they settle near a pond for the night, Setu hears a strange sound. He goes to investigate and never returns. After a desperate search, they discover his dead body.

Panic sets in among the unit members and they jump into the vehicle, but they being unfamiliar with the terrain results in an accident. Completely lost and trapped in the jungle as Setu, the only guy who knows the way out, is dead, they don’t know which way to move to get out of the forest.

The first 25 minutes of AGYAAT are very unlike an RGV film. In a majority of his films, RGV comes to the point at the very start, but AGYAAT begins with a dream song [so unlike RGV] and the next 20 minutes are devoted to introducing the characters.

The film actually takes off when the unit decides to penetrate into the jungles and Setu is murdered. From that point onwards, the by-now-famous RGV stamp is visible in several sequences. The two deaths before the interval [Joy Fernandes and Ishrat Ali] are brilliantly executed, especially Ishrat’s murder at the interval point.

AGYAAT becomes an adventure ride in the post-interval portions. Though it rests on a thin story, it’s the adventure element that drives the film to its destination. There are deaths galore, but it’s not blood or gore that puts you off. The murders are depicted very, very differently, leaving a lot to your imagination.

RGV experiments again, this time attempting an all-new genre. It must’ve been extremely difficult to shoot in the forests, that’s the first thought that crosses your mind. As mentioned at the very outset, the sound design [Dwarak Warrier], background score [Amar Mohile] and cinematography [Surjodeep Ghosh] are top notch. Thee three names contribute enormously to RGV’s vision.

Now to the actors! Nitin Reddy [a star in Telugu films] makes a first-rate debut in Hindi films. He dances exceptionally well [the film begins with a dance] and his confident performance make him an actor to watch out for. Priyanka Kothari shows vast improvement over her previous works. She’s good this time. Gautam Rode enacts the hot-headed superstar with conviction.

Every actor in the film makes an impression, but Ishteyak, Kali Prasad Mukherjee and Rasika Duggal stand out.

On the whole, AGYAAT has an absorbing second half, but the culmination to the film would meet with diverse reactions. At the box-office, the distributors have recovered a substantial chunk of their investment from its dubbed Telugu rights and the remainder should be recovered given its aggressive promotional campaign and extensive release [700 + screens in Hindi belt]. The low-cost film, therefore, should prove to be a profitable venture on the strength of its economics!

By Joginder Tuteja, July 29, 2009 – 14:11 IST


Till yesterday evening, the team of Agyaat was worried if Censor board would come down heavily on the film. Other than the fact that the film is an adventure thriller (that’s the way Ramu insists on calling the film rather than slotting it as a ‘supernatural thriller’ or a ‘horror flick’ or a ‘slasher drama’), what further worried Agyaat team was the rundown that it had with the Censor board around the controversial number in Rann.

However, there was nothing untoward that happened once the film was shown to Censors as they happily passed it with just two minor cuts. Not just that, they also granted the film a U/A certificate, something that is a good reason to celebrate. Reason being that Ramu’s earlier horror/thriller films like Raat, Bhoot, Kaun and Phoonk have all been handed over an ‘A’ certificate.

The two cuts which have been made though are from the song ‘Shiv Shambhu‘. Picturised on Priyanka Kothari, the song has a few shots featuring a ‘chillam’ with the leading lady getting into a ‘dum maaro’ act.

Says a source attached to the film, “Censors felt that depicting such shots from the film would go against their anti-smoking stance. As per them, the song would have been better off if these two shots were cut. We also complied and didn’t complain much. Yes, we do feel though that it would have been better had the song remained as it is since it’s a part of a film being shot within a film. But then, it’s ok.”

How about the gore factor? The film belonging to such genre is bound to be embellished with gory elements, isn’t it? So how did Censors agree to that? “First and foremost let this be clarified that the film isn’t gory by any means”, the source adds, “Ramu has his own ways of invoking fear and showing gore belonging to Ramsays brand doesn’t fit in well with his kind of storytelling.”

Ramu has the final word here, “You don’t always require horrible looking/distorted faces to get the message across. Sometimes, the challenge lies in the very fact that you have to scare audiences with just the right sound effects, background and camera effects. This is what you will get to see in Agyaat as well.”

The film releases next Friday i.e. 7th August.



Phoonk is not flawless, but still it deserves the highest praise. A film with no known star cast and made on a budget of just Rs. 3 crores manages to attract audiences and achieve the ‘Hit’ status-a very big achievement, considering the fact that nowadays even multi-starrers and films starring superstars fail miserably. I had missed this film in theatres. 2 months back, I won its VCD after I participated in an online survey! And now that I am free, I finally saw this film last week. As mentioned earlier, the film has some minuses but overall, it manages to entertain, thrill and scare a bit too!

The story of the movie: Rajiv (Sudeep) is a rich and successful construction engineer, living in a posh duplex house in Mumbai. He has a lovely wife Aarti (Amruta Khanvilkar), adorable children, Raksha (Ahsaas Channa) and Rohan (Shrey Bawa) and a god-fearing mother (Jyothi Subhash). Rajiv is an atheist and doesn’t believe even in the existence of God or evil forces. But one day, his daughter Raksha gets falls into the trap of demonic forces and this compels Rajiv to get out of his beliefs and take necessary action against it. But how would Rajiv do it? And who is behind these evil acts? Watch Phoonk to find out!

Many may not like Phoonk but one can’t deny the fact that the film engrosses the viewer right from the first scene and keeps everyone glued to the screen till the end. The film doesn’t send the chill down the spine but there are ample thrilling moments in the film which makes it interesting. The intro scenes, when the titles roll, set the mood. Rajiv’s outburst at the party and the villains making their evil plan were too good. But Raksha being possessed by evil powers takes the film to a high (especially the school scene-fantastic!).

What doesn’t work is that Phoonk doesn’t scare at all. The film was publicized as a total horror film and many expected it to be scarier than RGV’s Bhoot. And due to these high expectations, many were disappointed with the film. What also bewilders is that how come Rajiv became an atheist, when his mother was a staunch believer in God? No light was thrown on Rajiv’s past regarding this. And the climax could have been shot better.


The best performance in the film is undoubtedly given by Ahsaas Channa! The girl, who has always acted as boy before (‘she’ was seen as ‘he’ in Vaastu Shastra, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna etc!) does an extraordinary job. It was a very difficult task in her hands but she came out with flying colours. And it’s really shocking to see that her performance was never considered during awards. When preparing a list of best child artistes of 2008, everyone remembered only Aman Siddiqui (Bhoothnath), Purav Bhandare (Tahaan), Dwij Yadav (Heroes) and Manjit Singh (‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’). Not a single award even nominated her for any award. Very unfortunate!

Sudeep was rocking and a powerful performer. He’ll be seen next in RGV’s forthcoming Rann as Amitabh Bachchan’s son. Amruta Khanvilkar also delivers a fantastic performance. Lileete Dubey as Dr Seema was excellent and it was great to see her after a long time! Ashwini Kaleskar shines in her over-the-top performance! K K Raina looked every inch a doctor. Zakir Hussain and Jyothi Subhash surprise with their powerful performance. Ganesh Yadav lent able support. Others were good.

A ‘horror’ flick of Ram Gopal Verma is bound to have flawless cinematography and background score. Sure enough, background score (Amar Mohile) was perfect, providing the thrills at the precise scary moments. Savita Singh’s cinematography was raw and unusual and does total justice to the setting in the film. But she falters in the climax.

Milnd Gadagkar wrote the story and screenplay of the film which without a shred of doubt fantastic! Kudos to him for writing a plot based on superstition and tantra-mantra stuff (how many times has it been attempted before?)! Screenplay is top notch and the magical Ram Gopal Verma touches helps to make things better. They could have done a better job in the climax but nevertheless, a great effort by the entire team!

Some of the best scenes:
1.   The intro scene
2.   Madhu (Ashwini Kalsekar) at Rajiv’s house
3.   The party scene
4.   Raksha suddenly goes missing
5.   Bones and lemon found at Rajiv’s place!
6.   Raksha at the school (marvelous scene!)
7.   The docs treating Raksha at home
8.   Murtaza (Zakir Hussain) at Rajiv’s home

On the whole, Phoonk is a nice timepass entertainer. It is definitely not horrifying as it was promoted and has some flaws too. But still, it works and can easily be seen once on a lazy Sunday afternoon!

My rating-*** ½ out of 5!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Phoonk-167504-1.html