Star Cast: Radhika Apte, Satyadeep Mishra, Yashaswani Dayama, Ankur Vikal
Director: Pavan Kripalani
Good Points: The dexterous way of storytelling and obviously Radhika Apte’s mind-blowing performance are worthy enough to make this film a must-watch.
Good Points: Abstract climax and shortage of content have made this nerve racking story a waste.
Mehak Deo (Radhika Apta) is a talented artist who once faced a horrifying sexual assault and since then she is suffering from agoraphobia, a fear from the public spaces. To combat with her phobia, she stays with her sister who takes her to a psychologist. Since Mehak locked herself up in the house for several months and is now suffering from panic attack, she has some adjustment problem with her sister. Unconsciously, she is set off to another flat by the initiation of her close friend Shaan (Satyadeep Mishra).
In one hand, Mehak is already staying in a complex mental state, on the other hand, the new apartment is the perfect setting for a mysterious background. The owner of the apartment has been missing for some time and soon Mehak comes under the influence of the thought that she is already dead and has been murdered.
Then several strange incidents happen with her and till the climax the viewers are kept in vague whether all these incidents are her mind playing tricks or something else.
The script of Phobia is undoubtedly genius. And it is a tough job to focus on the film’s concept to convert it into a fine thriller. Right from the beginning, the tight screenplay keeps all the audience captivated with the screens. The first half of the film is quite horrifying and the director Pavan Kripalani has succeeded to keep the viewers in an overwhelming state since they cannot understand whether the film is based on a supernatural plot or psychological thriller.
However, the problem starts with the second half where everyone finds the absence of content. Even there are several haphazard moments in the plot that lead to such a shocking conclusion that many viewers will be unable to understand. Nevertheless, it is just because of the performance that keeps the film floating.
The comic elements are brilliantly used in the film since those are used in the right places as a comic relief after such scary situations.
Very few Bollywood movies show the guts to tough this genre of movie. In that sense, Phobia is a sense of achievement. There are many spine-chilling moments created in the film that are hard to consume especially for the weak-hearted viewers.
After performing in many minor roles, this time Radhika Apte has bagged a biggie for her and needless to say that she has done the mammoth of tasks. She has absorbed herself so much in the role that the viewers once start to identify themselves with her situation. Radhika has successfully carried out the story.
Satyadeep Mishra as Shaan has also played the role of lover and friend of Mehak perfectly by giving a touch of realism with his natural acting. Other supporting casts are also praiseworthy.
Direction & Music:
The director has perfectly utilized first half to establish the complicated plot with intelligent story-telling. In fact, the clever cinematography manages to create several offline references from the story. There are many subtle things where the director shows his talent for the supernatural and thriller themes.
Unfortunately, it is because of the agility of the second half plot where the film fails. Moving off from the first half’s point, it is carried away to an unpleasant manner. And this feeble second half affects the climax of the film as well.
Compared to those common types of Bollywood movies that we are habituated to see, a couple of scenes are impressively bold and gory with all blood and thankfully the sensor board overlooked them.
The background score is the wealth of this film as it has successfully created the magic. The lone song of the film has been used at a good moment without hampering the flow.
Phobia is a breakthrough from the stereotype Bollywood movie as it has explored the psychological thriller genre. If you love experimental cinema, Phobia is a must watch movie for you. In addition, the great performance of Radhika Apte is the reason to pick it.