Phobia: Be On Your Guard!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Pavan Kriplani’s film Phobia reminds me about an old adage – ‘A ship may be safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are for’. Pavan after his Ragini MMS and Darr @ The Mall has dished out a spine-chilling and spooky plot hovering around a girl who suffers of Agoraphobia (anxiety disorder that make one feel avoiding what’s outside is what protects them).
Mahek (Radhika Apte) an artiste becomes the prisoner of her own imagination which she manifests in reality around her because of a taxi ride she took on a fateful night after her painting exhibition. This unfortunate incident triggers an already anxiety driven Mahek into a dreadful mental abyss which she only is aware of. Worried by her anxiety syndromes and her forgetfulness and eerie behavior, her sibling Anusha (Nivedita Bhattacharya) wants her to be admitted to a medical institution to be taken care off but then Mahek finds this demand as a denial of her right and equal ownership on the house she shares with her sister. To avoid an unpleasant showdown, Shaan (Satyadeep Mishra) a family friend who also has a liking for Mahek shifts her to an empty flat.
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Phobia becomes horrifying and scary then on. Mahek coming across a personal diary supposedly written by an ex tenant Jiah who has actually gone missing intensify the whole unpleasant happenings in this apartment. Mahek’s encounter with an overly friendly next-door architect Mannu (Ankur Vikal) and her coming to know that he is behind the mysterious disappearance of the girl, leads her to suspect a possible murder mystery behind the whole happenings around her.
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To add to her woes there is a young bubbly neighbor Nikki (Yashashvini Dayama) who also believes in spirits and joins her in sketching the sinister Mannu and his apartment.
Phobia is definitely a film that is successful in bringing a kind of freshness in story telling under this genre. Moreover, Radhika Apte, the much talented actress as Mahek lives the character on screen with jaw-dropping viewers watch her stunning performance as an Agoraphobic patient. Radhika Apte’s riveting act makes the viewers to overlook a couple of flaws in the script like – why leave an agoraphobic patient alone to fend her fears? What keeps Mahek’s sister not visit her even once? Why Mahek’s psychic capabilities to see what is in store in the future is left unexplored? Why doesn’t Mahek’s Doctor visit her even once at her new apartment? The filmmaker and his team should have taken care of the script so that it doesn’t appear botched.
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Nevertheless, Pawan Kripalani has reignited the lost interest among viewers to watch films under this genre in Bollywood. He is to a great extent successful in delivering an engrossing and compelling narrative which keeps the viewers glued to their seats. Satyadeep Mishra, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Ankur Vikal and Yashashvini Dayama has put their best foot forward to keep the film gripping and intense. The only song Roke na Ruke is too good and has a peppy music.
In short, if you want to look beneath your bed before you sleep and listen to someone who tries to reach you through your bathroom’s drainage pipe then go and watch Phobia with your eyes wide open to see the horror unravel before you!
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.25/5
Cast: Radhika Apte (Mahek), Satyadeep Mishra (Shaan), Ankur Vikal (Mannu), Yashashvini Dayama (Nikki), Nivedita Bhattacharya (Anu)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Director: Pawan Kripalani
Producer: Viki Rajani
Written by: Pawan Kripalani, Pooja Ladha Surti, Arun Sukumar
Screenplay: Pawan Kripalani, Pooja Ladha Surti, Arun Sukumar
Music by: Daniel George; Background Score: Karan Gaur
Lyrics: Jay Shankar Prasad
Cinematography: Jayakrishna Gummadi
Edited by: Pooja Ladha Surti
Production: Eros International, Next Gen Films
Distributor: Pixel Digital Studios
Release Date: 27th May, 2016
Duration: 99 Minutes