wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
Most attempts at humour are scarily unfunny. No attempts at horror, so no fun there either. And yet the same concept with another story might be worth a try.Read more
It’s difficult to respect a comedy film’s writing that relies so heavily on poking fun at ethnic stereotypes. Some of the other ‘comedy’ is annoying innuendo, silly and repetitive breaking of the fourth wall, and cringe-inducing slapstick. These attempts at humour water down the smiles coming from the jokes that are left over. And it’s not that that humour is rolling-on-the-floor funny, anyway. They are just regular ol’ Hindi film references, etc. Nothing too witty.
Yet, none of this can nudge Phone Bhoot into the watchable category.
In the almost 140-minute runtime, one line brought me a wide grin. The one said by the narrator at the interval break.
Unfortunately, it is not for want of comic timing by the actors that the lines fall flat. The performances actually made it possible to sit through the film, now that I was there. Katrina Kaif looks refreshingly comfortable in her game. Siddhant Chaturvedi can now add 'convincing buffoon' to his repertoire. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by Ishaan Khatter’s boyish charm. That Jackie Shroff restrains from bringing creeps and crawls despite ample potential is a credit to the direction he was under.
Yet, none of this can nudge Phone Bhoot into the watchable category—a shame, considering under the all-over-the-place fits-and-starts screenplay, was a concept well worth giving a shot again. Souls are being kept from being liberated, just because. Doesn’t that deserve a revamp with fresh eyes instead of a more-of-the-same sequel?
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Rachana Dubey, Times of India : ...Overall, Gurmmeet Singh puts out a unique horror comedy which is a departure from most material one has seen in the year so far. For that itself this one deserves a visit to the theatre.... full review
So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...Keeping in mind the theme of the film, cinematographer KU Mohanan makes use of some kitsch elements to add a gothic flavour to the film. Manan Ashwin Mehta's editing turns out to be a blunt knife.... full review
So-So, by Nitin Jain, Glamsham.com : ...Overall, don’t let the ‘bhoot’ mislead you with nothing bhootiya about this story, had the makers tried to push the envelope, the idea could have been outstanding for a bhootiya comedy.... full review
So-So, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Phone Bhoot is howlarious with its comedy but it doesn’t have anything spooktacular to add when it comes to its secondary genre. A fun watch despite all the grievances... full review
So-So, by Mohar Basu, MiD DAY : ...I didn’t mind spending a lazy afternoon watching a lazy film, comfortably tucked in a lazyboy at the multiplex near my house. There’s something so carefree about laughter and sometimes, that’s all you need!... full review
So-So, by Sameer Ahire, Movie Talkies : ...Phone Bhoot has a decent music album, but the video songs are smartly choreographed. Ganesh Hegde has taken us back to Govinda‘s Money Hai Toh Honey Hai dance form with Kinna Sona. The earlier portion of Kaali Teri Gutt is so good. Especially Ishaan has gone crazy there, and it’s somewhat funny too. The cinematography, editing, and VFX fare at a below-par level. Gurmmeet has studied a lot about horror legends, maybe. He mixes all the pop culture references, old horror comics, modern thoughts, social media and WhatsApp jokes, and even the technology into making one film. That’s quite confusing, for him and for the audiences as well. I saw the entire film but still couldn’t make out if the RAKA was a sculpture/idol of Boris Karloff from Frankenstein or Anirudh Agarwal from Bandh Darwaza (1990). Gurmmeet goes over the top with everything in the film, causing an alternate fall to his own building. As a whole, Phone Bhoot builds a decent structure out of multiple designs but forgets the basic engineering rules. Who knows; it was made for ghosts, not the audience.... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Playful is fine. What Phone Bhoot lacks is personality. The makers are clear on the nature of Major and Gullu's bromance, but we still get glimpses to read more into it. Gullu has dreams about Major taking a bloody shower -- in case it doesn't ring a bell for those born in the last couple of decades, it's a hat tip to Purana Mandir, a gory classic of the Ramsay brothers. Rather than tease us with the sexual ambiguity, Phone Bhoot childishly jumps out to highlight the trivia lest us less horror buffs miss the connection.... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, Scroll.in : ...And this is just skimming the surface. The production design and VFX team must have had fun on this one. The actors – Jackie Shroff in particular – are in on the adolescent humour and deliver without trying too hard. Without its over-the-top cleverness, Phone Bhoot is an unstructured, make-it-up-as-you-go-along jumble. Just like the Ramsay Brothers horror movies, this one is either an acquired taste or goes straight into the so-bad-it’s-a-hoot pile.... full review
Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...From primitivism to paganism to heretic mumbo jumbo, where is Hindi cinema heading in pursuit of that elusive success? This is the same production house which has given us milestones like Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara? Is success so vital that you sell your soul to the devil?... full review
Thumbs down, by Isha Sharma, NewsBytes : ...An obvious, evident cinematic pastiche, Phone Bhoot has an interesting concept at its core, but the lack of sharp writing and hysterical instances stab it repeatedly. It tries, but it tries a little too hard. Forget about the extravagant popcorn, simply order a Disprin tablet, perhaps.... full review
Thumbs down, by Himesh Mankad, Pinkvilla : ...Phone Bhoot fails to deliver as a film – it’s neither scary nor funny – and ends up being a forgetful affair. Some of the gags and dialogues work in isolation, but that’s all about it. The world of spoof cinema won’t have many takers at the box office.... full review
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