Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Phoonk - supposedly a black magic story!!!

Ramu has done it again! Yes, he is back with yet another horror flick, but this time positioned as a 'black magic' story. I mean, why try extra hard to scare the audience? Simply stating that this movie has been made by 'Ram Gopal Varma' should be scary enough, especially after his disastrous attempts like 'Aag'...that was more like aaagghh!!! Well, before I lose track, let me come back to the point. So, where was I? Yes, Phoonk.

Now, this film is being being touted as one of the scariest Bollywood flicks in recent times and the director has even dared the masses to watch it alone. Also, like any other hindi movie, it is supposed to be 'zara hatkey' from the regular horror flicks, as it deals with 'black magic' and presumably superstitions. The trailer gives immense importance to a yellow lemon, which is commonly associated with black magic. Frankly, I have no clue about the association of a lemon and spells and would be obliged if someone could throw some light on this. However, the lemon has been depicted in numerous movies as the carrier of some black magic spells, to generate sufficient fear about it. In India, it is common to see many people tie a yellow lemon and some chillies outside their shops or even homes to ward off the evil eye. So if I list out some of the most feared objects as far as superstitions are concerned, then the yellow lemon would rank quite high, probably right next to the black cat.

Coming back to Phoonk. I have nothing against this film and since I had liked Mr. Varma's earlier venture 'Bhooth', I am looking forward to Phoonk as well. However, my only concern is that we Indians are a very superstitious lot and any action depicted in movies, if strongly portrayed, is bound to affect the psyche of the masses. So, my concern is actually for the poor lemon. Already feared as a carrier of evil, its reputation will be seriously damaged after this movie. If a cursed lemon can cause the intended target to behave like the protagonist of "Exorcist', which I am sure was a source of inspiration for Mr. Varma, then any blameless lemon lying on the road can also be misunderstood easily.

The trailer of Phoonk also shows a woman piercing a black doll with needles and this again is a common association with black magic. I, personally have a great respect for any art and magic, whether white or black, is a great art indeed. So, if our movies, which are intended for the masses, depict such actions, it is bound to create further misconceptions in the minds of the people watching it. In fact, subjects like astrology, tarot, hynotherapy, past life regressions, etc. are all misconstrued by the masses due to their projection in movies.

I believe in the intangible force, I believe in a proven science like astrology, I believe in negative and positive vibes and intuition and telepathy, I believe in past lives and karmic bondings and I believe there is evil because I believe in god. However, such beliefs are a personal opinion and shaped by consistent research on these matters. Most people, however, simply go by superstitions and I fear that such movies which process half baked ideas on these subjects will create further misunderstanding among the audience. Movies like Phoonk should be seen and enjoyed only for the entertainment value and not for forming ideas on subjects like black magic. Hope the audience just does that - enjoy and forget!

But before I end my rambling, I would like to state that all I have written about the movie is simply based on my perceptions drawn from the trailer and promos and previews. I might have a completely different story to tell once I have actually watched it! Also, I hope to find out the story behind the lemon before long so help me in my quest. Till then, awaiting the release of Phooooonk...