Phobia is a 2016 Indian psychological thriller film, directed by Pavan Kirpalani and produced by Viki Rajani. The film stars Radhika Apte in her first leading role in Bollywood as Mehak, an artist suffering from severe agoraphobia. Produced jointly by Eros International and Next Gen Films, it released on 27 May 2016.
Development began in 2015, when Rajani signed Radhika Apte for a film to be made under his banner. Rajani worked on the script, with principal photography taking place in Mumbai. The film features music by Daniel B George. The film features one song. The lyrics for song were written by Jay Shankar Prasad. Phobia released on 27 May 2016 to positive response, with praise centered on Apte’s performance. Apart from Apte’s performance, film’s other production elements and picturisation, background score and special effect works were also praised by the critics and audience.
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Mehak (Radhika Apte) is a hugely talented artist. She meets with an unfortunate mishap that traumatises her and she develops agoraphobia, a phobia where the individual is paranoid about being in public places. Mehak’s sister Anu (Nivedita Bhattacharya) is exhausted with her eccentric behavior, especially when it starts impacting her own son.
Shaan (Satyadeep Mishra), a close friend, takes Mehak to a friend’s house, on the assumption that it might help her to live alone for a while. At the new apartment, Mehak befriends Nikki (Yashaswini Dayama), a college-going girl who lives in the neighbourhood. Her other neighbour Manu (Ankur Vikal) is working on anger management issues and is part of a community laughter club.
Manu is devastated because his girlfriend Jiah (Amrit Bagchi) left him. Jiah earlier lived in Mehak’s new apartment and disappeared without a trace. A diary belonging to Jiah stokes Mehek’s imagination, and it is only a matter of time before she is convinced that a malevolent spirit is sharing her space. Soon Mehak makes some pretty strong accusations against Manu, and what follows is a series of misfortunes.
In the end it seems like the visions she had were actually of her own future rather than Jiah’s. It is revealed that Mehak was capable of having glimpses of the future as is indicated by her seeing smoke coming out of the cab (which is actually the pepper spray that she uses on the cab driver later) and her painting showing many hands approaching to help (the climax scene of the movie when an injured Mehak overcomes her fear and goes out in the open).