Let me tell you one thing about the Indian directors - these are the persons who know very well when, how, and in what way to use a good script. Director Kabir Khan is one of them. I don't mind it now how poorly he had sculpted EK THA TIGER, but instead, he impressed me and almost every viewer with his last film BAJRANGI BHIAJAAN, which talked about peace. This time, he comes with an even powerful PHANTOM, and after watching it, every Indian viewer would be delighted. How, let's analyze.
It's an out and out Saif Ali Khan movie, who impresses big time. It was long time that I had seen him in such a role. Really, I can say that this is his best film ever. Katrina has a strong role, but looks and acts more like what was her character in EK THA TIGER. Zeeshan is once again terrific and gives a powerful performance. Rest of the cast does its part extremely well.
Another thing is that the film is made on such an issue that strikes correct notes with almost every Indian viewer. Undoubtedly, the film is too brave and energetic in its presentation, but the main thing it focuses on is the sacrifice of our brave Indian soldiers. For instance, the climax really left me emotional and I kept thinking about the film even when it was over. The film's fast paced screenplay adds to the energy of the film. Believe me, there's not even a single moment of boredom. The film fills every, almost every, viewer, full of energy and patriotism. Another thing that it isn't a controversial film at all.
The songs are placed not for long and at right times only, as such films Indian at heart require some songs to convey the emotion. PHANTOM has a pleasant music, especially the song AFGHAN JALEBI, which is quite impactful and leaves you humming it. The editing is excellent and the locations are shot very well. The action scenes are just amazing and wonderfully executed. The thrills in the storyline keep you to the edge of your seats.
To be honest, PHANTOM also has such a patriotic flavour that no Indian would be able to actually resist watching this action packed film. And plus, the violence isn't always intense, and so the film isn't unsuitable for young viewers. The film is rated UA and is family friendly, with no vulgarity or obscenity in any scene or dialogue.
Before watching this film, what came to my mind was Kabir Khan's poorly executed EK THA TIGER, which was also supposed to be a racy espionage action thriller, but turned out to be romantic thriller instead. Happily, this thing doesn't happen in the case of PHANTOM and its focus remains only on its story and its message.
Overall, PHANTOM is a powerful and energetic patriotic action thriller that deserves a watch and the love of all Indians. Don't miss this one. Simply go for it.
Onam...the very thought of this festival tingles our visual senses & salivary glands thanks to the sumptuous sadya along with the movie releases. Apart from the numerous Malayalam films, even Bollywood had one prominent release in the form of Kabir Khan's "Phantom". With "Bajirangi Bhaijaan" turning out to be the second biggest blockbuster of all time, Kabir had a whale of a time coming into his latest offering. So will Saif conjure atleast a fraction of the semblance of what Salman achieved with the same director???
26/11...a day which will be etched in our memories forever when LeT orchestrated a massacre in Mumbai. Almost seven years have passed since that fateful day, but due to our rather soft diplomatic demeanor or for some other reason known to only our Government, the masterminds behind that heinous act is still at large. RAW comes up with a covert operation to eliminate them & entrusts a disgraced Indian army officer, Dhaniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan) to put their plans into it's rightful culmination. He is also helped in his mission by Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif), a former RAW operative who provides him with the necessary resources. But will he able to take down the kingpins as planned???
If "Bajirangi Bhaijaan" focused on Indo-Pak brotherhood then Kabir's latest venture touches on the other extreme which is the topic of terrorism. However, unlike other espionage thrillers like "Baby" or "D-Day" this one fails to evoke similar excitement or rather to put it in simple terms, it felt like any other action movie inspite of the artillery on display. Based on Hussain Zaidi's "Mumbai Avengers", the script is an amalgamation of fact & fiction, but the problem is that the latter aspect fails to grip the audience. It's as if the makers were more interested in Sunny Deol's Gadar pattern of modus operandi before bringing the curtains down in Titanic style. The technical aspects were fine with some crisp editing by Arif Sheikh & Aditya Banerjee and credible visuals by Aseem Mishra.
Saif looks suave & dashing, but as a rugged action hero,,,he is definitely not the right choice. I'm not saying he has to be expressive & over the top, but come on...pasting a scowl on your face isnt exactly how you portray yourself as being tough. Katrina Kaif was even more pathetic as she had the same "damsel in distress" expression throughout the whole movie with the irony being she plays a former RAW operative. As for the rest of the cast, none of them deserves special mention as they barely had much to do except sit around the table & discuss or click on their computers.
Verdict: As per current reports, "Bajrangi Baijaan" has racked in 600 crores which will have Kabir Khan smiling ear to ear, but he will consider himself lucky if "Phantom" manages to huff & puff past 60 crores. The film might proclaim itself to belong to the genre of "espionage thriller"...but it fails to thrill for a major portion. In short, wont hurt to give it a try but on TV!!!
For a film that promotes itself using a tag-line that goes "a story you wish were true," one can easily guess the amount of twaddle it's gonna throw at you. And no wonder, Kabir Khan's latest attempt at an action feature is as repugnant as vomit of a jaundice patient.
You have a tainted army-man (Khan) who is sent on a suicide mission as a retaliation for the disastrous 26/11 attack on Mumbai by a bunch of sorry ass defense ministry babus who in the first place got the idea of counter attack while they were taking forty winks. Without any prologue the next thing you witness is Khan sporting an elegantly trimmed beard and reconnoitering a London stadium with the help of a beautiful informer (Kaif) who is immodestly named Nawaz. That Nawaz is a security consultant and goes on to assist her future husband in his mission where its all guns and bullets and gore is as appealing as Kaif's helpless Hindi.
Khan is a mono-acting doll in the film who uses his haunch to fight his enemies, kill his enemies, and maybe even make love to his enemies. As far as the pompous writing is considered, one wouldn't find that inexplicable. Kaif is svelte in her avatar but all she does is blurt out her accented speech and jump out of her bed to shout at her co- actors. Where else would you see the protagonists debating about their actions just as they walk out after murdering a high-profile terrorist leader in London by blowing him up in his own apartment?
A car hits here, a bullet hits there and all's still well at the end. Lousy characters, lousy writing, lousy dialogs, lousy direction, lousy photography, and so many other lousy factors that even the word "lousy" loses its literal sense's sheen. As a whole, the film is nowhere near the book it is based on, and trust me the book is pure disaster.
BOTTOM LINE: Phantom is a messy depiction of an implausible revenge cause that looks pretty on foreword, average on paper, and horrific on reel. Avoid.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES