PHOONK (2008) Reviews and overview

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‘Be warned… be very very warned…’

Phoonk – translation: “Blow” – is a 2008 Indian Hindi horror film directed by Ram Gopal Varma (nicknamed RGV and also director of RaatKaun?; Bhoot) and produced by Praveen Nischol starring Sudeep (also in Phoonk 2).

A sequel, directed by Milind Gadagkar, was released in 2010.

Civil engineer and atheist Rajiv (Sudeep) lives in Mumbai with his family of wife Aarti (Amruta Khanvilkar) and two kids, Raksha (Ahsaas Channa) and Rohan (Shrey Bawa), with Rajiv’s mother and the housemaid Laxmi (Anu Ansari). Rajiv’s most trusted colleagues are Anshuman (Kenny Desai) and Madhu (Ashwini Kalsekar), whom everyone, including Rajiv’s friend Vinay and Raksha feel are not normal.

phoonk image

At a party at his house, when he comes to know that the husband and wife duo have cheated him on a valuable contract for an IT firm in Delhi, Rajiv fires both of them. Humiliated and angry, the two decide to take revenge.


A series of strange events soon take place in and around Rajiv’s house. Mandar (Bharat Kaul), who is appointed to take the place of Madhu and Anshuman is mysteriously killed at the construction site. Raksha starts to talk and behave weirdly. Doctors are called, but the strange behaviour continues, with Raksha flying in the air, talking in a manly voice, acting in pain. The superstitious and religious grandmother repeatedly says that someone is using black magic…


Phoonk is easily amongst RGV’s finest works [although Bhoot was scarier] and it holds your attention all through. As a viewer, you’re keen to know how RGV would culminate this story. The culmination, of course, would meet with extreme reactions. Some would rubbish it, but the believers might endorse the finale. In my individualistic opinion, it’s outstanding!” Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama


“The second half of this film features most of what has come to be regarded as emblematic of every bad Varma film — character overload, unnecessary repetition of scenes and sequences, disjointed editing, jangling score, rehashed special effects and the most unsatisfying creative choice for the climax.” Elvis D’Silva,

“The only good thing about the movie are performances by Kannada actor Sudeep and the child artiste, Ahsaas Channa. The girl has done a very good job, portraying a girl taken over by evil spirit… she is convincing and scary!! Sudeep plays the role of an atheist businessman, who is a doting father and a good son! He fits the role very well and with his arrogance and attitude – he seems tailor-made for this role!.” The World As I See It





Cast and characters:

  • Sudeep…… Rajiv
  • Varun…… Raj
  • Amruta Khanvilkar…… Aarti
  • Ahsaas Channa…… Raksha
  • Kenny Desai…… Anshuman
  • Ashwini Kalsekar…… Madhu
  • Ganesh Yadav…… Vinay
  • Anu Ansari…… Laxmi
  • Shankar Sachdev…… Shyam
  • K K Raina…… Doctor Pandey
  • Lilette Dubey…… Doctor Seema Walke
  • Zakir Hussain…… Murtaza Kapasi
  • Bharat Kaul…… Mandar
  • Geetanjali…… Teacher
  • Kishore Kadam…… Devappa
  • Jyoti Subhash…… Amma
  • Shrey Bawa…… Rohan
  • Dhiraj Regmi…… Mani



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