Phantom Movie Review: Mumbai Avenged… Cinematically, At Least!
One would have thought that after films like D-Day and Baby, there would be nothing new to offer in a film revolving around an intelligence operation behind enemy lines and yet, Kabir Khan succeeds in coming up with a thriller fast-paced enough to keep you on the edge of your seats. Based on Hussain Zaidi's novel Mumbai Avengers, Phantom is fast, pacy, thrilling and patriotic in the right places.
Years after the 26/11 terror attacks, when the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) learns of a plot to execute another similar atrocity, the intelligence agency decides to hit back after the inspiring insistence of a young recruit (Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub). After screening various candidates, the RAW narrows down on Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan), a disgraced Army officer, who was court-martialled for cowardice and now wants a shot at regaining his honour.
Khan teams up with former RAW agent Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif) and the two embark on a deadly mission to hunt down and terminate those who had masterminded the 26/11 attacks. From London to Chicago to Syria, as the intrepid duo go on their vengeance trip, the Pakistani ISI gets alerted to their presence, leading to a cat-and-mouse game between the hunters and the hunted. How Khan and Mistry try to complete their mission with the ISI nipping at their heels forms the rest of the plot.
Saif, who had a bad run at the box office lately, puts in an admirably restrained performance, while Katrina too attempts to shed her Barbie Doll image, a Herculean task considering her pretty looks and her accent. Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub shines through in his performance as the young recruit, who is ready to break any protocol to get his agents out of the danger zone.
Kabir Khan, who had won everyone's hearts with his last offering Bajrangi Bhaijaan, does so once again with Phantom, which effectively walks the line between patriotism and jingoism. Daniyal goes about his task with a quiet dignity without any histrionics or 'frothing at the mouth' speeches about 'desh' and duty.
The action scenes have been executed quite effectively and have a realistic touch to them, whether it be gunplay or Daniyal's unarmed combat scenes. Kabir deserves a pat on his back for lacing his narrative with some great action sequences. The music too is decent enough and thankfully, there are no unnecessary songs inserted just for the sake of it.
The editing is crisp, the pace is fast and the screenplay is commendable while the cinematography is simply breath taking. From the snow-capped mountains of Jammu to the dusty streets of Beirut, Kabir presents every frame with honesty. Another point worth mentioning is that unlike other films, which tend to drag in the second half, Phantom moves at a frenzied phase and the escape sequence of the two agents from Pakistan will most definitely have you chewing on your fingernails.
On the flip side, Katrina's character confuses the viewer with her initial reluctance and her sudden decision to throw herself headlong in the mission and the film tends to bring to mind Steven Spielberg's Munich, but all said and done, Phantom is worth a watch if you are in the mood for a well-executed thriller.
Like the tag line says, Phantom is indeed a story you want to happen...
Release Date : 28 August 2015
Director : Kabir Khan
Genre : Action , Drama , Thriller