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Phantom Movie Review

Phantom Movie Rating

Bollywood has witnessed many a 'novel' idea of adapting a book into a movie. There have been many testimonies to the same in the form of novel-turned-movies. This week's release PHANTOM too is an adaptation of journalist-turned-author S.Hussain Zaidi's best seller 'Mumbai Avengers'. The film mirrors the prickly issue of cross-border terrorism, which has affected India for decades now. Will PHANTOM prove to be a Box-Office goldmine or will it spell disaster at the ticket windows, let's analyze.

PHANTOM starts off with the visuals of the 26/11 Mumbai attack. This is immediately followed by a high octane car chase sequence between Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan) and an unknown man in Chicago (US) who bangs his car and tries to drive away. Daniyal finally gets hold of him but accidentally kicks him off the bridge into the river below. This, then, leads to an array of flashback events, which establishes the connection between Daniyal Khan's past to his present day life. The flashback states that, after being dismissed from the Indian army, Daniyal goes into a hibernation of sorts, living an isolated and secluded life of his own. In the meanwhile, when India's RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) learns about Pakistan based terrorist group Lashkar's yet another plan of attacking India, they plan a secret operation, off the books, to take down all the accused and masterminds behind Mumbai attacks. After much research they decided on hiring Daniyal Khan for this job. The RAW officials believe that Khan is like 'Phantom', he has no records and is completely off the radar. As a part of the mission, he meets up with the beautiful and talented Nawaz (Katrina Kaif) in UK where she works as a 'Security Consultant'. The duo however gel well after Daniyal's first two missions in UK and US. Thereafter this duo's journey traverses from Beirut, Syria and finally Pakistan. Even though Daniyal Khan's mission happens to be a 'top secret' and 'highly confidential' one, the Pakistani officials sniff out his plan before Daniyal Khan reaches his ultimate goal of killing Hariz Saeed (Shahnawaz Pradhan), the mastermind behind the 26/11 attacks. Does Daniyal Khan become successful in his life threatening mission, why does Nawaz help him in his mission, are Pakistani authorities able to catch hold of Daniyal Khan, is what the rest of the story is all about.

With BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN proving to be one of all time blockbusters, it becomes absolutely needless to say that all eyes are on director Kabir Khan and his latest film PHANTOM, with expectations flying sky-high. Kabir Khan, who is not a newcomer to this political genre (KABUL EXPRESS, NEW YORK, EK THA TIGER) has attempted to keep the flag flying high with PHANTOM. In this film, besides being the film's director and script writer (alongwith Kausar Munir), Kabir also doubles up as screenplay writer (alongwith Parveez Shaikh). Even though the film is an edge-of-the-seat thriller, the film does not have any 'typical' Bollywood masala. PHANTOM is not an anti-Pakistan film, but, it is anti terrorism. One cannot but deny the fact that PHANTOM does have a few traces of EK THA TIGER, but it flies high on its own merit. While Kabir Khan becomes extremely successful in establishing the film's story in the interesting and suspense filled first half, the second half seems slightly stretched. Though the film doesn't have the typical Bollywood song-dance routine or humour, it runs high on patriotism. It plays on the anger and condemnation that every Indian has over the attacks of 26/11 on Mumbai. The film offers a hypothetical solution to the terror menace and about bringing these terrorists responsible for Mumbai attacks to justice. The film, whose strength is its gripping pace, ends high on emotions and patriotism. PHANTOM, without a doubt, a very well made film by Kabir Khan. The film is very real and international, both, in its look as well as content.

The film's protagonist Saif Ali Khan is decent and is convincing in the role of Daniyal Khan. His performance in PHANTOM is bound to surpass his (similar) performance in AGENT VINOD. His performance is very focussed, clinical and precise, as the role demands. Katrina Kaif, on the other hand, offers able support to Saif Ali Khan's character in the film. This film sees her performing realistic action scenes, unlike her handful of previous 'action' films. The other actors like Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Rajesh Tailang and others offer their able support to the film.

The film does not have any mainstream songs (Pritam Chakraborty), except for the hummable 'Afghan Jalebi'. On the other hand, it is the film's background score (Julius Packiam) that helps immensely in making the film emerge a complete winner. The film's cinematography (Aseem Mishra) is outstanding. The film's editing (Aarif Sheikh) is good. The flip side of the film is that its screenplay (Kabir Khan, Parveez Shaikh) could have been a bit tighter. The action sequences (Peter Pedrero) in the film are very well executed.

On the whole, PHANTOM is a good action film which runs high on patriotism and will appeal to every Indian worldover. Highly Recommended.

Phantom 3.5 Bollywood Hungama News Network 20150827

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