Phobia review: Radhika Apte rules this scary, taut thriller - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Phobia review: Radhika Apte rules this scary, taut thriller

Hindustan Times | BySweta Kaushal
May 28, 2016 09:14 AM IST

A spine-chilling psychological thriller with a message -- Radhika Apte’s Phobia will scare you, keep you on the edge and make you think in equal measure.

Phobia review
Director: Pavan Kriplani
Cast: Radhika Apte, Ankur Vikal
Rating: 4/5

Radhika Apte plays the lead role of Mehek in Phobia.
Radhika Apte plays the lead role of Mehek in Phobia.

Pavan Kriplani’s Phobia has all the elements of a racy thriller -- surprise, fear, mystery and shock. What it doesn’t have is the background music and actors preparing you for a surprise. In Phobia, the unexpected does happen. And, the film wouldn’t have been the same were it not for Radhika Apte’s powerful performance that will give you goosebumps.

The protagonist, Mehek Deo (Radhika Apte), is an artist who has Agoraphobia, an irrational fear of open spaces, and spends months inside her house before moving to a new one. Sexual assault at the hands of a cab driver triggered her condition. Even as she fights her fear, she starts hallucinating that the previous occupant of her flat was murdered and was seeking help.

Despite the element of horror, director Pavan Kriplani manages to keep the supernatural, religious drama at bay and opts for a psychological mayhem that makes for an impressive viewing experience.

Radhika Apte in a still from Phobia.
Radhika Apte in a still from Phobia.

The symbolism and subtle but strong message make Phobia Kriplani’s best film till date (he has Ragini MMS and Darr @The Mall to his credit). Though the film is fast-paced, it voices the concerns of women in a male-dominant society. There are even references to the 19th century English literature where a woman questioning the male supremacy is declared crazy and locked up -- much like Mehek.

A still from Phobia.
A still from Phobia.

Her angry conversations with her male friend are aimed at the patriarchal society that takes pride in “protecting” the woman and keeping her confined to home. The fear of open spaces is as much about the sexual assault as it is about men preying upon women.

Read: Radhika Apte, from theatre actor to poster of thinking cinema

There are a few flaws in Phobia but Apte excels. Except for Manu (played by Ankur Vikal), people around Mehek are weak characters, which have not been thought through. Their lack of common sense is jarring which halts the pace of the film.

Read: More movie reviews

Watch the trailer

Follow the author @swetakaushal
Follow @htshowbiz for more

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

See more

Get more updates from Bollywood, Taylor Swift, Hollywood, Music and Web Series along with Latest Entertainment News at Hindustan Times.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 25, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On