“Virtual reality is a part of our story, as the character, Mahak, is suffering from agoraphobia (fear of public spaces). The quandary and the drama lies in the fact that she is not only scared of the outside world, but also of the interiors of her apartment, as she constantly feels threatened. Virtual reality is a form of therapy, used in the West, for people suffering from extreme forms of phobia. It is quite a successful method to conquer phobia. If someone has a fear of spiders, they would be shown recorded videos of virtual reality simulation of spiders. It gives confidence to people to confront their fear knowing that it is not real, similarly the character is constantly made to watch simulations of the outside world to confront her fear of space,” Kriplani explained the use of virtual reality in the film.
Radhika said about her character, “Mahak is an artist based in Mumbai, whose life changes after a particular incident, and she develops agoraphobia...”
“Phobia will make you understand and charge up your curiosity regarding phobia. It also talks about trauma and the things that can trigger trauma in one’s life,” she added. “The idea of Phobia came up from exploring what trauma does to someone. We tend to forget the ramifications of what violence does to a person’s mind. Physical wounds heal with time but mental scars often don’t heal. What inevitably happens to a person after a traumatic incident is that they change, which is an interesting aspect to explore...,” said Pawan. The director also said that there is use of subtle comedy in the film, which is to be felt by the audience, as all the other characters lead a normal life irrespective of what Mahak goes through.
Sipping on a cup of black tea, the actor laughed and said, “The most memorable part, was the part that we can’t talk about right now!” when asked about a memorable incident during shooting. The actor also indicated that she does not select a film based on the genre, but rather chooses a film where she finds the character interesting.