Phobia (2016): Movie Review
It’s often said every individual has some or the other phobia, from a harmless insect phobia to something as grave as a fear that could lead to chronic psychological disorders and that’s exactly what the leading lady of this scary movie suffers from.
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Scary movie it is, but not your regular Bollywood horror . If you expect a long haired tantric chanting mantra or a white washed make up Daayan or Chudail then you are in for disappointment. This thriller is more of a psychological horror show with a running time of crisp 112 minutes only.
The movie chronicles the fears and suspicions of a young woman Mehak (Radhika Apte) who is staying in a dark spooky apartment all by herself and suffering from agoraphobia (as informed in the movie it’s a psychological condition where the patient fears to step out of the house, several Hollywood celebrities are quoted in the film for having suffered from it). She has a dependable and supportive buddy called Ishaan (Satyadeep Misra) who’s always by her side trying to get her out of her depression. We also have a few next door neighbors who pop up like the mysterious architect Manu(Ankur Vikal) and the chirpy teenager Nikky (Yashaswini).
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The director has had a horror specialist track record with Ragini MMS and Darr @ the Mall , both not exactly impressive or memorable. With “Phobia” he’s tried to dissect the human psyche wherein a paranoid woman is fighting her fears , at some point the viewer can actually feel the tribulation the character is going through and that’s exactly where the actor excels more than the director.
Apte is spot on in a complicated role, she’s performed with aplomb and is soon turning into the face of new wave parallel cinema. Satyadeep Misra provides able support but somehow his expressions remain the same irrespective of what emotions his character is going through. Ankur Vikal with that creepy smile and cold blooded look manages to create the spooky element in his scary neighbor avatar.
Whether the Indian audience at large is ready to accept a thriller like this would be questionable as the last movie in this genre was Ramgopal Verma’s Kaun (1999) & it has been a really long wait. With horror movies depending more on horrifying masks and loud background music to create the spook factor this movie is definitely a welcome change. A must watch if you are hungry for a off beat psychological thriller and for the sheer pleasure of watching a supremely talented leading lady who knows her craft quite well.
Watch the trailer of Phobia: