|Cast||Rajneish Duggal, Adah Sharma, Roshni Chopra, Asif Shaikh, Mohan Aghashe|
|Story and Screenplay||Vikram Bhatt, Girish Dhamija, Dheeraj Rattan|
|Producer||Amita Bishnoi, Lee Alliston, Bhagwanti Gabrani, Dharmendra Rawal, Surendra Sharma, Manmohan Singh|
Phhir is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 2011. Vikram Bhatt writes the script for the movie and is also the director. Its a whole new decade of a whole new millennium. Bollywood directors think that the Purani Havelis and the Bandh Darwazas of the eigthies will nb longer work for Indian audiences.
So, you will find many directors and script writers try to stay away from them and come up with a unique blend of classic horror with modern tropes. Phhir, starring the okayish couple of Rajneish Duggal and Adah Sharma tries to do just that. Does Vikram Bhatt succeed this time around? He did launch their careers with the good grosser 1920. Read on to find out.
A young couple, Kabir and Siyah settled in the UK are looking forward to their married life when Siyah disappears. Kabir is frantically looking for any clues. He’s at the end of his tether when a medium, Disha, contacts him and tells him that she can help him find his wife.
According to Disha, she can find out about people if she touches them or any of their belongings. Days earlier, she had bumped into Kabir when he was leaving the hospital and had touched his scarf. She knew that he would one day require her help.
That same day, when Siyah is reported missing, she recognised the car number and contacts Kabir immediately. Though he doesn’t believe her, he calms down when he finds out that even the local police sometimes takes her help to solve cases.
She takes them to a place where she thinks Siyah was last seen. When Kabir finds nothing there, he loses his calm and confronts her. At the location, the police find out about the dead body of an Indian woman.
Kabir and the policemen think that the dead woman is Siyah, but they find out that the dead body is not Siyah’s. Meanwhile, Kabir starts getting some clues that Disha is a genuine one and wants to help him. As the two team up and decide to investigate Siyah’s disappearance. the bodies start piling up.
How Disha helps Kabir and what’s the truth behind Siyah’s disappearance forms the story of the rest of Phhir.
Phhir is the weakest Bollywood horror movie, and that’s in all departments. The movie is a non-starter from the beginning and the there’s absolutely no creating of the characters. That’s also partly because Indian audiences have never understood the character of a medium.
Even if you tell them that in some actual cases, the police has taken the help of Mediums. Even if you have these guys sit through an entire season of Psych on Amazon Prime. They will find it difficult to believe that a medium solves crimes.
I guess that very concept alienated audiences and Phhir never took off. That’s a stark contrast to 100 Days, the smash hit Bollywood horror movie about a woman who sensed her sister’s death – right down to where she was buried.
Add to that, the fact that Phhir doesn’t really have any dramatic sequences, or any action sequences that will make the audience sit up and take notice, makes for a very weak viewing. There are several places where the drama could be notched up a bit, but director Girish Dhamijha will have none of it.
The idea of mixing up a traditional, horror aspect of a medium with the modern aspect of a police case and a police investigation doesn’t work as well. Movies like Phhir are the reason audiences consider the Ramsay movies classics. Every scene and every sequence in those movies had something or the other for the audience. Dramatics,color, sleaze, thrill, horror, whatever – they delivered.
The big reveal in Phhir is inherently lame and seems like an after thought. It makes the audience roll their eyes. That’s because its a very cliched, TV climax. It’s not the outstanding climax that’s the yardstick of a great movie. Also, the story arc behind the arc is actually revealed in a throwaway flashback, makes me think that this was just added to complete the script and send it across.
Its just their second movie together and Rajneish Duggal and Adah Sharma already look out of sorts. I wonder why the creatord didn’t want to add a romantic angle between them. In 2008, the modernish chemistry between them made 1920 a successful movie! The writer or the director doesn’t want to create a chemistry between them and I don’t think audiences are still ready for a platonic lead, at least in India.
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