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Phoonk poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Ram Gopal Varma
Produced by Azam Khan
Parvez Damania
Written by Milind Gadagkar
Starring Sudeep
Amruta Khanvilkar
Ahsaas Channa
Ashwini Kalsekar
Zakir Hussain
Music by Bapi-Tutul
Cinematography Savita Singh
Edited by Amit Parmar
Nipun Gupta
Release dates
  • 22 August 2008 (2008-08-22)
Running time
110 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 3 crore (US$450,000)
Box office 33 crore (US$4.9 million)

Phoonk (English:Puff) is a 2008 Indian horror film directed by Ram Gopal Varma and produced by Praveen Nischol starring Sudeep. The film based on superstition and black magic. It was declared a blockbuster at the box office by several media outlets.[1] [2] Verma derived the idea for the film from a Hindi news channel which telecasts stories on Black magic.[3] A prize of 5 lakh (US$7,400) was announced for those who will watch the film alone in a theatre.[3] The storyline of Phoonk is thematically similar to Telugu thriller novel Tulasi Dalam by Yandamuri Veerendranath. It was remade in Telugu as Raksha.


Phoonk is based upon the concept of black magic. Civil engineer and atheist Rajiv (Sudeep) lives in Mumbai with his wife Aarti (Amruta Khanvilkar) two kids, Raksha (Ahsaas Channa) and Rohan (Shrey Bawa), 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. During 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 after insulting them both. Humiliated and angry at this, the two of them decide to take revenge on Rajiv. Madhu notes that Rajiv is very fond of Raksha.

Soon a series of strange events start to take place in and around Rajiv's house. Mandar (Bharat Kaul), who is appointed to take the place of Madhu and Anshuman is killed at the construction site mysteriously. Raksha starts to talk and behave weirdly, much to the shock of everyone. Doctors are called for, but the strange behavior 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 on Raksha, but Rajiv and the doctors refuse to believe any of it.

Now at the end of his wits, Rajiv begins to look to God. He also agrees to his construction laborers' demand of making a small shrine at the construction site, which he was previously adamantly turning down. Vinay suggests asking for the help of Manja,(Zakir Hussain), a magician familiar with this sort of stuff.

Manja analyzes the whole situation, sees Raksha, visits Rajiv's house, and tells the latter that someone is trying to take revenge on him, at which Vinay exclaims that it is none other than Madhu and Anshuman. Manja also tells them that Rajiv's driver has been helping the duo by providing them with necessary materials like Raksha's hair, soil from her foot and her toys to perform black magic.

Losing no more time, Rajiv, Vinay, Manja rush to Madhu's house, where she and Anshuman are found to be doing black magic rituals on a doll, supposedly an effigy of Raksha to trouble her. Rajiv orders Madhu to stop, but Madhu attacks him with a trishul. Vinay takes on Anshuman. The effect of Black magic forces seep on the entire place, pushing everyone away. As Madhu is going to attack Rajiv who is being pushed towards the wall, Manja uses his powers to separate the running ceiling fan, which lands on Madhu's head, decapitating her. All the negative forces stop, a spider comes out of one of the skulls on the floor and bites the driver who dies.

Everyone rushes to the hospital to find that Raksha has completely recovered. Rajiv and Vinay see that everyone thinks it is the doctors who have cured Raksha, and they smile at each other.


Reviews and reception[edit]

Ram Gopal Varma's Phoonk turned out to be a surprise hit at the box office. The movie opened up after an effective publicity campaign. It was a very low-budget film, which combined with its success at the box office, turned a good profit for its investors. It was very popular, especially among the youth, for the creator's Rs 5 Lakh challenge.

Critically, the movie received mixed reviews. Taran Adarsh gave it 4 out of 5 and said, "PHOONK is a fascinating cinematic experience on a subject that’s rarely tackled by the dream merchants in Bollywood: Black magic." AOL India reviewer Noyon Jyoti Parasara gave a negative review of the film saying, "Overall Phoonk scores low on the scare-o-meter."[4]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Stardust Awards[edit]

  • (Jury's Choice) - Hottest New Film - Nominated [5]
  • (Jury's Choice) - Exciting New Face - Nominated - Amruta Khanvilkar [5]

Screen Awards[edit]