(Last Updated on : 09/01/2009)
Phoonk (2008) is made in typical Ram Gopal Varma style. The haunting background music, vaguely lit rooms and the suspicious characters are thrown into the plot to build up an aura of suspense and horror. It would not be wrong to term Phoonk as a film that deals with the occult. Phoonk is a film on black magic.
Phoonk opens with a business man who is into construction, Rajeev (Sudeep). He is an atheist. His two constructors are a married couple, Anshuman (Kenny Desai) and Madhu (Ashwini Kalsekar). Rajeev trusts them but they cheat him with money. On knowing this he fires them and insults them at a party. Madhu practices black magic. She is furious at such an insult and decides to take revenge. On her visits to Rajeev's house she has found out that the man is loves his daughter. She decides to teach him a lesson by agonising his daughter, Raksha (Ahsaas Channa).
On the other hand at the construction site the labourers had come across a statue of lord Ganesha
. They wanted to build a temple on the spot where the statue was found but Rajeev opposes the idea. Being an atheist he does not conform to this very idea. In fact even after repeated appeals he adamantly refuses to let the labourers build the temple. His lawyer friend tries convincing him but fails.
Although Rajeev does not believe in god he has his set of ethics. He is enraged when he learns that somebody he trusted had cheated him. He loves his children, family and principles matter more to him than wealth. His lifelong convictions are put to test when his beloved daughter, Raksha, is affected by black magic. The family is torn apart and Rajeev is aghast. His religious wife, Arati (Amruta Khanvilkar), is shaken up and she herself questions the existence of god as she witnesses her child's trauma. In an interesting scene while Arati is seen raising questions on the power of the Almighty, Rajeev's mother (Jyothi Subhash) reaffirms her faith. She explains that humans are put to test by god and the existence of good and evil is nature. While on one hand in a single breath (phoonk) of the omnipresent can create life, on the other hand the evil endeavors to snatch away that life. At such a critical moment men must stick on to their beliefs.
The doctors emerge onscreen. Dr. Pandey (K K Raina) and Dr. Seema Walke (Lilette Dubey) try their level best to recuperate Raksha. However the child's condition deteriorates and she is admitted to a hospital. It is at this moment that Rajeev's lawyer friend, Vinay, urges him to look for someone who can deal with the occult. They approach Murtaza Kapasi (Zakir Hussain) for help. The man helps them. As he finds out Madhu (Ashwini Kalsekar) and Anshuman (Kenny Desai) are behind this, they confront the couple. Madhu ardently practices black magic and she is killed in the final scenes.
Raajeev and Vinay return to the hospital to find Raksha absolutely fine. As Arati expresses her gratitude for the doctors both vinay and Rajeev opt to keep mum about their experience of dealing with the evil. The film ends on a positive note wit the child being completely cured.
Phoonk raises the age old and long drawn belief that good and evil coexist. In fact the film is based on a story of belief and disbelief. The surprising note in the film is the director's point of view. It seems that Verma suggests that a world does exist beyond the knowledge of science and technology. Probably science will find answers to these questions one day. As of now it is clueless about black magic, a force potent enough to kill a human being. Phoonk also hints at the power of god. An atheist, Rajeev is compelled to build the temple and confront the existence of those which he had always negated.
The performances delivered by the actors in Phoonk are quite impressive. Ahsaas Channa as Raksha is to watch out for. Besides her others too play their roles perfectly to the hilt.