The makers of the film had organized a contest. You'd be given a handsome reward if you've the courage to watch Phoonk all alone in a theatre, we're told. Honestly speaking, Phoonk isn't scary by any standards, but as a subject, it works big time because somewhere deep within us, we've heard of the power of the unknown.
Whether you're superstitious or not, you may've heard tales/experiences concerning jaadu tona. And you're all eyes and ears the moment someone comes up with an alibi. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Phoonk is easily amongst RGV's finest works [although BHOOTH was scarier] and it holds your attention all through. As a viewer, you're keen to know how RGV would culminate this story. The culmination, of course, would meet with extreme reactions. Some would rubbish it, but the believers might endorse the finale. In my individualistic opinion, it's outstanding!
All said, Phoonk is a fantastic experience. The subject -- black magic -- is its biggest star and that alone would ensure House Full boards outside plexes/cinemas.
Rajeev [Sudeep], a successful construction engineer, with a loving wife and two children, is an atheist to the core. He scowls at people who believe in the dark forces, till one day when an evil is let loose in his happy home, which threatens to destroy his family and shake up the very foundations of his convictions and beliefs.
Thanks to the hype and curiosity generated around the movie, you expect to be scared from Scene 1 itself. And RGV emphasises on lighting and artefacts, besides an eccentric woman [Ashwini Kalsekar], to create the right atmosphere.
Of course, you do get the jhatkas in a scene or two, but you don't clasp your hands tightly even once, nor does your heart goes dhak-dhak at a lightening speed. Gradually, RGV plays with the camera [excellent camerawork by Savita Singh] and sound [Kunal Mehta, Parikshit Lalwani] to heighten the impact. Like all RGV films, the camera angles bear the unmistakable RGV stamp, while the background score [Bapi-Tutul] takes an ordinary scene to the next level.
RGV is back with a bang. There's a certain consistency from start to end and this time, he gets the right subject to prove his detractors wrong. Every sequence bears the stamp of a genius that RGV is, hits and flops notwithstanding.
The performances are uniformly good. Sudeep impresses you with an excellent performance. Amruta Khanvilkar is efficient. Baby Ahsaas Channa makes a strong impression. Ashwini Kalsekar is top notch. Zakir Hussain's tantric act is superb. Ganesh Yadav lends good support. K.K. Raina and Lilette Dubey, both doctors, are competent. Kenny Desai, Anu Ansari and the actress enacting the role of Sudeep's mother are perfect.
On the whole, Phoonk is a fascinating cinematic experience on a subject that's rarely tackled by the dream merchants in Bollywood: Black magic. The subject itself is the biggest star of the film, which would ensure a flying start at the box-office and in turn, prove a jackpot for its producers who've distributed the film themselves.