Phuntroo: Don’t show, don’t tell!

Posted by Kaahon Desk On February 26, 2016

The trailer of Sujay S Dahake’s Phuntroo is like a ride across the sinusoidal curve of affects and emotions lasting for its duration of about two and a half minutes. On its surface, it is about a male engineering student with poor social skills and a poorer bank balance who is fatally attracted to a fellow female student. Needless to say that he bumbles all the way and becomes the laughing stock of campus and the girl rejects his apparently innocent advances. And then there is a major dramatic turn where the freaky genius side of the protagonist takes over and he ends up innovating some kind of technology that gives him power over people. What follows is a set of consequences that range from dark to outright violent. About the last part, it seems that the trailer is deliberately vague to highlight a sense of ambiguity and generate a curiosity among the audience.

Having said that, there are both sides to it. Firstly, the trailer consciously avoids to give away too much information which has become the general trend in mainstream cinema for a while now. The trailers are considered to be summarised versions of the entire plotline plus a song or two in Indian contexts. It’s refreshing in that regard to watch a trailer not doing that. But then again, by its very functional definition, unless it is being deliberately misleading, should set the premise of the film without giving the spoilers. Now in case of Phuntroo, the trailer seems more invested in setting the obvious premise of boy meets girl and boy losing girl while the singularity of the film, if any, lies in the remaining acts. And the trailer is obscure about them. Thus, one is even unable to take positions after viewing this which is the pre-requisite condition for a member of the audience to go and watch a film. The trailer doesn’t say whether it is gender sensitive or misogynist, conservative or liberal, whether it is a tale of a genius from a lower strata of society or merely an attempt to demonize him; the trailer is strangely silent about things that matter. It arrogantly expects audience to queue up blindly, like taking a leap of faith.

Arup Ratan Samajdar


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