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Phoonk August 24, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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It’s superstition…till it happens to you! I had found that line quite catchy and also a few of Ramu’s recent blog posts/interviews on the subject made me quite eager to check out his latest offering Phoonk. He also cited his inspiration from Yendamuri Veerendranath’s Tulasidalam where at the beginning the husband is an atheist while the wife is a staunch believer and towards the end they switch places.

However, after watching Phoonk I wish I hadn’t read anything about it and instead expected a timepass horror flick. Because Phoonk turns to be just an average horror movie filled with stock characters who make you laugh more than necessary. And it is quite deficient in spooky moments too. I couldn’t find anything new or different from any other flick except that the “bhatakti aatma taking revenge” is the not cause of bodily possession…but is instead a disgruntled couple performing black magic. The so called conflict between the beliefs of the protagonists are not convincing either. After all, in every horror film doesn’t the protagonist not believe in the supernatural but ends up using the help a tantrik to get rid of the cause of trouble!

I guess the film would have been lot scarier if some of the characters looked/acted normal than like in a Ramsay Brothers movie. One sincere piece of advice to Ramu – Please don’t use more than one dream sequence to generate false scares. It’s quite an outdated technique and highly irritating. Phoonk also suffers from a stuffed-toy/showpiece camera-angle overload. That worked so well in “Bhoot” but here it is very annoying. Generally, I hate it when members of the audience make catcalls and pass comments while watching a horror film but in this case for once I thought it was justified because the movie wasn’t scary at all and neither was able to sustain my interest.

If you want to watch this film then please remove the notion (if you had one like me) that you’ll be treated to some intellectual horror saga which will challenge your beliefs. Sometimes Ramu disappoints you with his films and sometimes with what he says about those same films prior to release. Phoonk falls into the latter category. As a mindless flick for horror fans it’s just about ok.

Contract July 21, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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Contract is like an unimpressive debut film coming from a Ram Gopal Varma wannabe. Sadly, the fact is that Ramu himself made it but the good news is that he’s made far worse films before. Still, that doesn’t give you a reason to go check this one out even if you are a fan of him.

This is the most amateurish take till date about the story of a cop infiltrating the mob and trying to catch the big fish while fully being an accomplice in their activities….not to forget his internal conflicts when he does all this. Right from the beginning you know this one isn’t going anywhere. Even a realiable regular like Zakir Hussain is made to play the role of a terrorist whose portrayal would make the ones in Sunny Deol’s flicks seem far intellectual and realistic. There is asbolute apathy on the part of the writer and director in every frame. It’s like they said to each other “Let’s make this film so that no one ever touches this genre again”. Even the addition of quirky characters like that of Amrutha Subhash (who plays Upendra Limaye’s wife) doesn’t help for long. Debutant Adhvik Mahajan is a potential Mohit Ahlawat – now that’s good or bad you decide. The only person who makes some sort of an impression is Prasad Purandare.

But to give credit where it’s due Contract isn’t so bad a film that it’ll make you bang your head against a wall…..inducing sleep is all it does. In his blog Ramu said that he just wants to make “thousands of films” – and films like Contract will definitely help him achieve that quickly. Nevertheless, his next August release “Phoonk” looks interesting and I’ll definitely be watching out for that one.

This one’s just another of Ramu’s bad films which you can safely ignore and the fact that I watched it immediately a day after “The Dark Knight” made it more difficult for me to appreciate it even a little no matter how hard I tried.