Vampire Owl :: Finally, we have someone whom we can add to our team.
Vampire Bat :: I have no idea what you are talking about. This movie is not related to any Phantom about whom you have heard. Actually, not even to Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Vampire Owl :: What? Not the Ghost who Walks? Not the Phantom of the Opera? Not even the usual ghost?
Vampire Bat :: No is the answer for all the three questions.
Vampire Owl :: I still like this poster. It seems to be designed with certain skill.
Vampire Bat :: Well, they have cancelled the shows for Double Barrel. What choice do we have?
Vampire Owl :: I believe that watching a non-Malayalam movie for Onam is a true case of cruelty.
Vampire Bat :: Well, we are forced to do the same.
Vampire Owl :: Phantom it is then!
Vampire Bat :: I am sure that the movie will have its moments.
[Gets the tickets and goes to buy cheese popcorn].
What is it about? :: Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan), a former soldier who was dishonorably discharged from the Indian Army has another chance at reclaiming his lost reputation and the love of his ex-military father. As RAW looks for the least suspected and less known face which they can depend on, Daniyal seems to be the best choice, despite that one bad decision which was made at the India-Pakistan border. He is given the task to eliminate a number of masterminds behind the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks, as an unofficial mission without the approval of the Indian Government. With the help of a former intelligence agent Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif), Daniyal starts his mission at London, which will be followed by targets at other parts of the world.
The defence of Phantom :: As expected, Phantom is a thriller which attempts to make something which hasn’t happened to be represented as a possible truth which the audience are supposed to like. The feelings of every Indian will be touched here. With regular doses of patriotic statements and some interesting moments of action and thrills, Phantom does manage to accomplish that. With the early statements and the shots, this movie does create that feeling required in the viewer to move on. The idea is always there, and it never ceases to make the audience think over it again and again. The locations are really well created. There is a very realistic feel concerning the environment everywhere throughout this movie. The pace is kept good, and there is no dull moment, and even a possible romance doesn’t really happen, which is a clear bonus in the end. The ending is also something to be loved.
Claws of flaw :: The inability to use the full potential of Phantom is rather disappointing – there was so much to be done and something like the earlier espionage thriller Baby was possible here. But it just goes on and on with its material without completely developing the same. It does begin in a smarter way which somewhat struggles during the later stages, and when they do, they just add the gunshots or the chases. This should have been an espionage thriller movie with precision rather than making too much noise – in the gamer’s terms, instead of going Hitman: The Silent Assassin, this one becomes Unreal Tournament or Quake 3 Arena at times, chasing and shooting people around. One has to wonder why the thrills could not be embedded into this story instead of just coming and going; the story itself has the problems in the later stages, but couldn’t this have made it a lot stronger?
Performers of the soul :: The movie rests on the shoulders of Saif Ali Khan who plays the man who makes the difference and brings justice to the victims of the terrorist attacks not only in Mumbai but also at the other places. Even though he doesn’t go on to create that huge impact as this character, he surely controls things. He maintains that tough looks, and keeps the determination required for his character. The best moments from him are also in the first half of the movie, even though Katrina Kaif gets them in the second along with a few lesser known actors. The support is actually very good here, and there are times when the viewers wish for them to be there for more time on the screen. Katrina Kaif is not required to do that much here, but she manages things very well. The characterization make sure that not too much is demanded.
Soul Exploration :: There is the tagline “A story you wish were true”. It talks about the known fact that the masterminds who were really responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks are still living in peace and the truth that justice was not served to victims of that brutal terrorist attack which remains a permanent scar. The movie tells the viewers about how it could have been, and what would have been able to bring peace to the souls of the deceased. There is the freedom of being a fantasy movie asserted and taken right from the moment that tagline was first displayed on a poster. But it surely makes one think about all which have been said, and it does ask relevant questions. The shades of patriotism are also strong, and the strength of rewind can be seen here.
How it finishes :: It is only later that Phantom doesn’t really justify its title. The reason is its transformation as the whole thing moves from the strong point which was the brain to be adventurous. There is a car chase and public exchange of gunfire to kill the main villain which was not according to the movie’s soul – there was surprisingly no back-up plan. But as mentioned earlier, this does end well and along with being a thriller, this one has the strength to touch the emotions. So, Phantom remains an interesting movie which could have been even better. Well, this is Onam, and lets take some time to enjoy this movie too along with those large number of Malayalam movie releases as the festival season in Kerala going on in full power. I wish you all a Happy Onam! Enjoy and watch more movies!
Release date: 28th August 2015
Running time: 147 minutes
Directed by: Kabir Khan
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif, Mir Sarwar, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Rajesh Tailang, Denzil Smith, Qazi Touqeer, Brandi Alexander, Paul Lazenby
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.