Phantom – Better stay away
Director Kabir Khan strikes-back with another flick on Indo-Pak relationship as the backdrop. But unlike the Good Samaritan story of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, this one is purely on the reason of conflict between the two neighboring nations.
The idea of bringing the terrorists to justice has a vibe of patriotism and Khan tries to milk it. The movie is based on the journalist-turned-writer S. Hussain Zaidi’s book Mumbai Avengers.The writer is acclaimed for his books on terrorism and crime in and around Mumbai. His works have previously been adopted by Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday) and Sanjay Gupta(Shootout at Wadala). I haven’t read the book but going through the synopsis on one of the review sites, it seemed like only the plot is taken rest all the logical things are forgotten to suit the lead protagonist.
The plot as we know is simple where in Indian intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) puts together a task to avenge the Mumbai attacks of 26/11. Due to obvious diplomatic issues the government does not approve of it so some agents just go incognito and run the mission on their own. Saif as Daniyal Khan who is a disgraced Army officer who is chosen for the job and then starts the world tour of redemption where-in our hero takes out each of the Mumbai attack masterminds one by one. The movie goes from London to Chicago to Syria to Pakistan. Accompanying our hero in his crusade is Katrina, a character as uninterested in the plot as she can be.
Despite the interesting premise and a celebrated director this movie is just not as good as we expected it to be. Rather it is more of a boring execution, with illogical events.
The basic story resembles quite a few movies attempted in recent times like D-Day and Baby; both were a lot better than Phantom. There are also parallels that could be drawn to some of the Hollywood flicks, like Munich, Argo etc.
The acting in this movie really sucks, both Saif and Katrina look annoyingly misplaced in this supposedly edge of the seat thriller. The only actor who shines is Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub who once again steals moments given to him in a big movie.
The songs are not at all noteworthy, by the way what are songs doing in this kind of a movie???
Phantom is totally an opportunity lost. A flick like this had plenty of scope of having superb action sequences but there are none that you can remember. The movie only gets a little bearable towards the second half and is able to establish some urgency around the climax but still, a lot had been lost by then. The things that you will connect with is the names of the real terrorists that you watch on news channel everyday spewing venom against India and watching them die even in a movie gives some kind of a relief.
Though recently one of the minsters did broke news around a similar attempt that was planned during 2008-09, that was cancelled later.
Watch it if you are a Saif Ali Khan fan and can bear him doing cheap copy of Bond/Ethan Hunt once again after the disappointing Agent Vinod. And what’s with the name Daniyal Khan, is it some kind of a tribute to the current Bond Daniel Craig????