Phantom - Review

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
quick review:

There are way too many ways to trash Phantom. But, I'll go with just silly. Plain silly.

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Wogma Review

Are the makers of Phantom trying to imply that if we bring enough style to our solution to world terror problems, someone with real authority will take notice? Then all they have to do is follow the film's plan. Oh but wait, except that the terrorists have seen the film. That shouldn't be a problem though, right? I am sure the writers can come up with simplistic plans like these in a jiffy.

In my mind a thriller engages you completely for every minute of the film. Certainly not one that makes you go, “Hey wait, why is London's local news playing on Indian televisions?” or “They have gone so out of the way to make Katrina Kaif's hair look disheveled.” The reason you don't want to blink your eyes shouldn't be that you don't want to miss her losing her doll-face expression, just in case.

Speaking of delight in disorder, our man, Saif Ali Khan, just doesn't lose or loosen his swag. Be it prison-wear or Pathani, every thing looks designer because of the way he carries it. But then again, so doesn't Bond, right? So, clearly we are going for the thriller angle more than the issue at hand – revenge for 26/11.

I found the issue belittled in more ways than one. I understand that having a very close attachment to the event would have been cliché for Nawaaz (Katrina Kaif). But her connection with the event seemed a little too much like a “first world problem”, like her favorite shopping place was bombed. How are you supposed to feel sorry for her? Her concern with Daniyal's (Saif Ali Khan) mission too seemed flippant, “oh you are killing Headley? Pretty neat!”

So, all I have to bank on to get myself involved with events is my personal angst at the real-life terror attacks. And anyone who isn't living in comic-book fantasy is not a matter of a few different passports with a gun in hand.

Sure, the “smart” ways to take down a couple of the terrorists were interesting. But, the concept is still of pure revenge - misguided too. “A story you wish were true” has to be more than a marketing tagline, right? The film, like many others, assumes that the terror will die with a few people. If only world peace were that easy. Terrorists, unfortunately, are smarter than the writers of the film. And there are more than a handful around.

Even if you let go of sanity of the bigger picture, the little things are a bother too. Facts are repeated to help you make the connect. The filmmakers must be confident that the audience is not going to pay attention because the fact was mentioned 5 minutes ago. All it does is add minutes to the film that the film doesn't need.

But hey, if you don't watch the film, the extra minutes won't bother you. So, here's an idea...

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of gun fights.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: India takes revenge for 26/11
  • General Look and Feel: Showy war-like atmosphere. Nothing earthy about it.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1
  • Story: 1.5
  • Lead Actors: 1
  • Character Artists: 1
  • Dialogues: 1
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 1

Phantom - Movie Details

Phantom - Trailer

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Comments (8)

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Fan:

Trailer gives an impression of a cross between D-Day, Baby and Agent Vinod. And of course as Meetu said, Bond-esque feeling.

Katrina's accent, the least said the better.

Kaustubh Bhonge:

It is Agent Vinod again for sure.. Can be Ignored sa(i)fely :D

Anuj:

Kabir Khan can never be a Neeraj Pandey. And nor can Saif play an agent as well as Akshay! There is no novelty factor in Phantom after the superbly executed and hard hitting Baby that came out 8 months ago. Phantom will find it hard to bring the audiences to the ticket window.

TimELiebe:

Funny - I thought Anil Kapoor bought the Indian rights to 24 for himself, not to hand off to Saif Ali Khan....

If I'm reading your review right, this is a vengeance thriller about some well-tailored badass taking out terrorists after what The US Media called "The Thanksgiving Attacks" in 2008? (They coincided with the US's Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you see - because, really, it all is about US! ::groan::) We were visiting friends in NYC when the news started coming in, and spent most of the next day or so watching it on CNN.

I suppose that for some viewers it might be cathartic to see a direct solution to a very personal terrorist act...? Though watching American movies and television go all Rambo on undifferentiated Middle Easterners in the wake of 9/11 (we still lived in New York City when the World Trade Center was destroyed), especially since we'd had retaliation attacks on Middle Eastern (and Southern Asian!) people living here in the wake of events and for years afterward, may not provide any sense of closure for those closest to it - it sure didn't for us, or anybody we knew who lives in NYC.

Fan:

I am trying hard to think of how to label the film. I think that I shall settle for the term "amateurish attempt". Despite having a strong content the execution of it is so shabby that the outcome is a highly mediocre product. Such production worked in the 1970s and 1980s, but no more in 2015. It lacked the technical finesse and polished finishing.

Plots and sub plots to get the enemies were too simplistic. The Headley episode being a case.

Katrina Kaif is a complete misfit in the role.

All character actors were horrible. Background music score was inexistent or not in line with the unfolding story. Dialogues were written by someone thinking it's a children's film.

And finally ... what was it with the Titanic copying? Couldn't believe my eyes!!!

Anuj:

Phantom is just another regular masala movie minus the songs. Good enough for a one time watch. Read my review at :

http://thesimplemoviereviewer.blogspot.in/2015/08/phantom-review-regular-masala.html

Anuj:

If u thought Bajrangi Bhaijaan is naive and simplistic, Phantom is miles ahead! This is what separates Neeraj Pandey from the rest of the clan when it comes to making staunch edge of the seat thrillers with good amount of suspense to keep you glued. A Wednesday and Baby were perfect examples of that. Plus, unlike Baby Phantom has based itself on a real life massacre which I'm not too comfortable with. However, what holds the movie together is its fast pace and good action sequences which makes it a good enough one time watch for the multiplex crowd. Phantom will be an AVERAGE grosser.

Fan:

[comment deleted because it gives a sub-plot away]

Post blood bath in Syria cut to a scene in a UK cafeteria. I can understand stitches or bandages on the hero's face. But still having the left side of the face covered in blood. Nobody bothered to clean up the wounds?

List of several such gaffes can go on.

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