Movie Review: Phobia

Phobia: A Phobia which thrills

Phobia Movie ReviewPsychological thrillers are not that common in Bollywood, the last psychological thriller which made some impact was “404” directed by Prawal Raman in 2011…post which there has not been any psychological thriller in true sense in Bollywood until “Phobia” now…

“Phobia” tells us the story of Mahek (Radhika Apte) an artist who after an unfortunate incident suffers from Agoraphobia which starts affecting her life and near & dear ones… so she starts living alone in a flat, where she starts experiencing and seeing weird things…is it some kind of ghost or is it her imagination…well this is what the movie explores…

Written by Viki Rajani, the movie explores the darker side of human psyche and the story borderlines between a horror and a psychological thriller, well hats off to Viki who balances it well. There are enough twists and turns and surprise elements which will make you glued to the seats. The characters are also quite interesting like the weird neighbour Mannu (Ankur Vikal) or the full of life teenager Nikki (Yashaswani Dayama). Viki uses all the elements which can be used for a horror movie to scare you, but slightly falls short. But the movie keeps you guessing right till the end..The main issue with “Phobia” is its wafer thin plot and a climax that is too abstract. There are many questions which remain unanswered or not explored well…In short the movie fails to tie up all the loose end at the end…But it was a brilliant attempt nevertheless…

It is the performances which make the movie a worth watch, beginning with Radhika Apte who plays the title role of Mehak, she does an outstanding job and it is her performance which is responsible keeping the viewers glued till the end. It is a complex character no doubt but Radhika Apte’s effortless performance just makes it realistic. Satyadeep Mishra who plays Mehak’s boyfriend Shaan, plays the perfect foil to Radhika’s complex portrayal. His performance is honest and to top it all believable. Another good performance is by Ankur Vikal who plays the weird neighbour Mannu, his portrayal is so apt that you will keep on guessing his real intentions…Nikki played superbly by Yashaswani Dayama brings the much needed breath of fresh air to the otherwise tense narration, the newcomer does impress and how…Nivedita Bhattacharya as Anu, Mehak’s sister is a brief role but she does complete justice to her character with a performance.. Overall the main highlight of the movie is its performances…

Pawan Kripalani does a decent job for a psychological thriller, which is not a mean task to make to begin with…full marks to him for not going the mundane way and sticking to the concept and format of Psychological thriller. Kripalani creates the necessary tension required in a thriller quite well, but I still think his “Ragini MMS” was his best till date….

“Phobia” is a Radhika Apte show all the way and she will not disappoint you even for a minute…I will go with three stars…

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

Movie Review : Hunterr

Hunterr: A true Sex comedy of Bollywood which is not cheap or crass

Bollywood has been shying away from the genre of “Sex Comedy” for quite some time. Literally the first being “Grand Masti” in 2013, but it was crass and extremely irritating in the name of comedy.Hunterrr-Movie-Poster

But “Hunterr” tries to break the shackles of an arch typical Bollywood format of this genre and makes it more realistic and yet funny. Harsvardhan Kulkarni explores this genre through his Hunterr Mandar Pongshe (Gulshan Devaiah) who is a compulsive “Vasu” or in other words a person who has this compulsive urge to make love to any woman. The story explores Mandar’s journey right from his childhood when he first learnt of birds & bees to early thirties when he going to get married to Tripti (Radhika Apte). The story explores his escapades with women in his life and how his conscience awakes forms the rest of the story…..

Writer & Director Harshvardhan Kulkarni tries to make his debut as a director through a story and script which if not handled with care may derail and become crassly. But Harshvardhan successfully makes it realistic and refrains from being crassly with double meaning dialogues. The main issue is with the narration when the story switches from his childhood to his present day to a few months earlier which majorly disrupts the overall narration. Other issue of the movie is its climax which happens almost abruptly. The characters are very well written and all the female characters are shown as strong individuals who do not have any inhibitions to do what they want like the two main characters Tripti & Jyotsna.

The sequences are very realistic and a lot of people will actually identify with their adolescent days, especially men. The dialogues act as a beautiful wrapper on the script and does not sound crassly and double meaning. Rather the dialogues are very blunt and on your face.

Gulshan Devaiah as Mandar is so convincing that you may think that he is “Vaasu” in real life as well. Gulshan depicts the various ages of Mandar with élan, in short he is brilliant and the real spark of the movie. Radhika Apte as Tripti gives another power packed performance of a woman of today who knows and is aware for her needs. Sai Tamhankar portrays Jyotsna, Mandar’s neighbor with such brilliance that you sympathize with her at the end even after her having an extra marital affair with Mandar. Veera Saxena as Parul is the only weak portrayal in the movie but she somehow manages. In a brief role Rachel D’Souza as Shobha creates an impact. Other cast like Neena Kulkarni, Sagar Deshmukh, Suraj Jagan also give a stellar performances.

Music by Khamosh Shah is worth mentioning. The soundtrack has a lot of variety in genres, so you have “Hunter 303” in 80’s style disco mode sung by Bappi Lahiri which has become an instant hit, the romantic “Naina” & “Chori Chori” is equally hummable and the cherry on the cake is Altaf Raja rendered “Dil Lagana” which transports you to the 90’s. Overall the songs do not pose as hindrance but blends well with the narration.

Harshvardhan creates an impact with his debut, it is the narration which makes it less than brilliant. But I must say an impressive debut by Harshvardhan Kulkarni. I will go with 3 stars….

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)