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Times of India
An engineering student's fascination with technology and attraction towards a girl result in a surprising development.
A few years ago, the Oscar-nominated film 'Her' explored the relationship between a lonely man and his new computer OS that speaks in a female voice, understands and even guides him. Dahake's 'Phuntroo', which he has dedicated to all engineers, draws inspiration from the Joaquin Phoenix starrer.
Necessity is the mother of invention; the phrase stands true in Vira (Deodhar), our protagonist's case. An introvert and loner, the engineering student is smitten by his senior Anaya (Mategaonkar) but he doesn't have the courage to express his feelings to her. On the other hand, Anaya is close to Navneet aka Nano (Waichal). Even as Anaya and Nano come closer, Vira expresses his love to Anaya who rejects his proposal. Annoyed at the refusal, Vira decides to 'create' a new Anaya using his expertise in technology and his late college founder Professor Shankar Rao's incomplete Project Phuntroo for reference. Vira succeeds but things go haywire when he tries to give physical form to Phuntroo and worsen after Nano finds out our boy's little secret.
Sci-fi is not a genre that even Bollywood usually handles and for venturing into a territory that's predominantly Hollywood's, Sujay Dahake deserves full marks. A big studio's backing ensures the VFX is up to the mark although it does go overboard at times.
'Phuntroo' is not your typical fantasy film with all goody-goody stuff happening around. It delves into human emotions like desire, jealously, loneliness and, to some extent, revenge. At the same time, it also brushes over a question that's quite hot among tech circles and one that the Terminator movies have commented on: Whether Artificial Intelligence will lead humanity to its doom?' Yes, our boy gets the girl in the end but that comes after overcoming many hurdles and well, quite unexpectedly too.
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The film brings to you a new crop of actors. Actors who aren't "stars" but definitely know what they have to do and are at ease onscreen. Madan is convincing as the introverted, mad genius and Ketaki lends the glam quotient to the film. But it's Shivraj who stands out with his effortless portrayal of Nano.
The film has its flaws. It leaves quite a few questions unanswered and is unnecessarily stretched towards the end. Despite that, 'Phuntroo' is entertaining and will surely strike a chord with the younger lot. The film is a good weekend watch.
WATCH: Trailer of 'Phuntroo'
Our overall critics rating is not an average of the sub score below.