Phantom

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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

phantom

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Go Goa Gone

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In this world touched by the vampires of the last century and dominated by the not-at-all scary pseudo-vampires powered by works like Twilight, zombies have been forced to take the back-seat. Some would say that it is deserving to be so, and that is al they need, but without solid proof. Still, it would not be wrong if one says that this is more of a racist prejudice against a species which is on its very first stages of understanding the new world after being dead and back as a new person with a little brain as big as a vampire fang. We had seen Zombieland, the 2009 zombie comedy movie making enough fun of the poor creatures of the grave who are just trying to listen to their basic instinct of survival, that is to feed. So, what happens is that instead of finding a flesh and blood substitute for them with the use of what is at their hands, the so called heroes just murder them, not always on self-defence, sometimes as a routine thing. In Zombieland, our heroes take an extended road trip across the United States in an attempt to find a place free from the zombies, and Go Goa Gone is also a trip, and it is another zombie comedy, thus starting a number of similarities there. They should end when they both get positive critical reviews and become good commercial success stories – our movie has to go a little more to be sure about it, but for now, and from what it seems to be, it is surely on its way to becoming a success by all means.

Zombies are typically depicted as mindless, re-animated corpses with a never-ceasing hunger for human flesh and at times for the flesh of a few other creatures, with a special liking for human brains which tastes more like fried rice, and with blood added to it, they have enough flavour. A vampire is basically a re-animated corpse that is believed to rise from the grave at night to suck the blood of the unsuspecting humans; this never-ceasing thirst for human blood and at times the blood of some other creatures, with a special liking for fresh blood of beautiful women which tastes more like strawberry shake with a blood topping. Forget the vampires of Twilight, as they don’t count – they are just mutated humans with superpowers which can only be maintained by drinking human blood; a case of just random parasites of the world. The zombies can trace their popularity to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, while the vampires can trace theirs to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is basically John Polidori’s 1819 work, The Vampyre that got the vampire into the spotlight, while Mary Shelley’s 1818 work had already got the world’s first official zombie for the common man to understand. Did he eat human brains? No, but he did eat the brains of his own creator, and that is nothing less than cannibalism in an intellectual manner. Thanks to 28 Days Later and the never-ending series of Resident Evil movies and games, the zombies have finally found their address, in a different way, but not by losing their identity as in Twilight – not by choosing to sparkle rather than being what they really are.

It is known that they are both undead supernatural humanoids who hunts humans to please their instincts. In return, both are usually killed by burning or decapitating. They are both originally the creatures of the night and the undisputed rulers of the grave. The infection is spread and more of their kind is created by biting and infecting the wounds. They usually lack souls and are on the side of evil on a long scale which stretches from pure good to pure evil. zombies can walk in sunlight; vampires can only come out at night. But while zombies continue to decay and continues to lose their body parts, even as they won’t really mind it, vampires are preserved with their looks for eternity unless destroyed by an outside force. The zombies work solo even if they come in hordes – they don’t use nature, creatures or other fiends for help. The difference in looks and the food habits is evident. While zombies move slowly, vampires are incredibly fast. The violence in zombies is passive, but disheartening, as in vampires, it is active and still precise enough with the fangs on the neck of the victim. As zombies continue their mindless walk, vampires can use intellect as well as the superpowers, may be even shape-shift into animals like bats. Whatever is said, they are both still dead, but still moving, and they belong to the other side of the mirror, no matter how much Twilight try to make them assimilated.

Considering the movies like I am Legend and 30 Days of Night, there is surely a mixing of the two in history; forget Underworld‘s vampire-werewolf combination, this is more like that feasible undead combination. The origin through the death of the supreme evil men is one theory, but a virus infection seems to be more suitable to the age these days – zombies have been enslaved to this notion for more time than expected, while vampires also got themselves the scientific side with Daybreakers. Zombies are still scarier than vampires for the new age fans, as the latter have been portrayed in a romantic light not only in Twilight, but also in True Blood. Well, everybody needs their own dose of fear, and if vampires and witches can provide them no more, one has to turn to the zombies. There is always more than one side to horror; for more than it scares you, it rather prepares you for the worse which is to come. In the case of a horror comedy, it does the same without the problems of being that much scared. When Evil Dead didn’t release in India, it was a clear lose to the common horror fan. Whatever the reason might be, it is a clear case of absolute cruelty to a movie watcher to which many people should be answerable. Our movie is horror, comedy and the much needed experiment in this field for a movie industry which hasn’t really ventured to such a world before. Therefore, it is my privilege to welcome all of you into this world of zombies which is closer to the world of vampires than Twilight and True Blood.

The movie is the story of three friends, Hardik (Kunal Khemu), Luv (Vir Das), Bunny (Anand Tiwari). The first one needs a break from work, the second one a time away to deal with his break-up, and the third one has a presentation in Goa, which means that the first two accompany the third so that they can utilize all the facilities which are available to the more nerdy of the three as he goes for the presentation. In Goa, the whole scene takes a wrong turn when Luv meets the gorgeous Luna (Puja Gupta) in a violet bikini at the swimming pool and loses his broken heart once again. She introduces herself as one of his many facebook friends whom he rarely knew, and invites him for a special Russian party at an island not too far away. The party is hosted by a supposed-to-be-Russian guy named Boris (Saif Ali Khan) who is launching a special party drug, a prototype from Russia during this bash. The three friends have good time at the party. But what happens is that almost everyone on the island seems to turn into zombies on the very next day. Bunny even ends up telling a zombie girl to brush teeth before they meet up. As they slowly realize the hell that has come down on the island, Luv talks about saving Luna, to which Hardik replies that he will buy him a better Luna; the Kinetic Luna is always memorable isn’t it? They find Luna and are almost killed when Boris arrives in time to save them. Now, they have to survive, kill some dead people and get out of the island.

Kunal Khemu and Vir Das has complimented each other and has done a great job as the extremely lazy guys who argue so much about who will pick up the remote control andchange the television channel. They drink, smoke and run after girls with no interest in their works. They create the major part of fun in the movie, mostly with their lines. The third friend Bunny, played by Anand Tiwary, is just the opposite, as he is the nerd and he never gives an opinion otherwise. Saif Ali Khan steals the show from the moment he makes his first shot at a zombie. The Russian gangster is surely going to be a model for many characters in the future. He says “I kill dead people” and delivers. Along with the two friends in crime, he gets more of the better lines. He is an excellent zombie slayer and I hope he slays Twilight vampires too. Puja Gupta plays the gorgeous lady lead, and her arrival in the violet bikini marks the beginning of the twist, which would be complete on the very next morning. She transforms from the hot girl to the damsel in distress and then to the shotgun-murderer of the zombies by the end. She is undoubtedly a great addition to the beauty of Goa. Look out for the pool scene and when they take refuge in an abandoned house and try to figure out if one of them is really a zombie with question about Uganda and Mathematics. Go Goa Gone is undoubtedly a clever movie, and it is evident in the execution rather than everything else combined.

A week had the movie 3G as the big release, and here, two movies starting with alphabet G – 2Gs were the big releases from Bollywood, and this one would surely eclipse the other – after all, this movie has three Gs while the other has only one. Zombies would approve that it is reason enough for their success, running a full-time of 111-Nelson. The fun begins from the start itself, and it never ends; with the ending it has got, I would be looking forward to a sequel. This movie is what the Malayalam movie Kili Poyi could have been; with the heroes wandering around in Nee Ko Nja Cha style, the zombies add to the fun which is to be expected when the youth goes to Goa after a break-up and work-tension. Go Goa Gone is unlimited fun, and not your logically superior movie, but it still comes up with a strong message against the use of drugs. They have managed all of these and brought them together in such a manner that there is lots of blood and gore, and the zombie terror, still it is incredibly funny. The references to the movie Evil Dead, and the vampires and zombies of Hollywood just adds to the fun. Overall, it is non-stop entertainment without brains – for all the brains have been eaten by those zombies who are as hungry as any of the non-Twilight vampires a.k.a the real vampires.

Release date: 10th May 2013
Running time: 111 minutes
Directed by: Raj Nidimoru & Krishna D.K.
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Puja Gupta, Kunal Khemu, Vir Das, Anand Tiwari

gogoagone copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.