Phantom Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2015 | Action, Drama, Thriller
Phantom should have been a far better film had the idea been converted to celluloid to full potential. It is just about watchable.
Aug 28, 2015 By Shishir Gautam

Towards the climax of Phantom Katrina Kaif's Nawaz Mistry tells Saif's Daniyal Khan, "Keep the outfit. Suits you!" Shortly after, Daniyal tells a well known terrorist "India chahti hai insaaf! (Indian wants justice)" as he shoots the terrorist point blank. At both instances some people in the audience clapped.

Should not be difficult to judge what director Kabir Khan was aiming at. Making a film in Bollywood can be pretty twisted an affair. You got to keep everyone happy, you see. You have to throw in that romance, the humour, some junta-pleasing dialogues that could get the claps, a couple of songs to keep people entertained and so much more. The 'wise' people call it 'mainstream'. Often by the end of it, what you get it is mixture so weird that you find hard to sense the original story.

Thankfully, with Phantom you don't quite have that problem. Kabir knows his job better. But then what ails Phantom is a different problem altogether - it lack basic ingredients of the genre that it supposedly belongs to. A spy thriller! For most part of the film, you are hardly thrilled. Neither does the spy played by Saif Ali Khan work out any brilliant results or stunts. In comparison, Agent Vinod had more interesting 'spy-scenes'.

Phantom of course has good lot of things working for it. The story revolves around a spy who is sent by the RAW as an answer to continued humiliation that we due to terrorists. The spy, Daniyal Khan, is on a mission to silently eliminate the people behind the 26-11 Mumbai attacks. So he travels to London, Chicago, Syria and Pakistan in his quest, finishing on target after another. Among all of it the elimination plan of James Coleman Headley stands out due to some acute detailing.

There is not much logic to be found in the way Katrina Kaif's character is used. But then she looks ravishing in each scene. I am not complaining! Not even when she emerges hair and makeup intact after grueling action scenes. She after all is the antidote to an usually gloomy Saif, who seems to have lost his expressions.

Without a doubt the best work done in the film are not by people on screen but off it. Shot beautifully and edited well to keep the pace [especially the first half], a lot of good work has been put in by the production designer. The locations of Syria and Pakistan and spotless. The war zone of Syria is striking. Kabir Khan and his writers also deserve some shabashi for getting locations right in the global spy map.

But then Phantom should have been a far better film had the idea been converted to celluloid to full potential. It is just about watchable. Extra points because of the stunning Katrina Kaif, Sigh!

Shishir Gautam