Dedh Minute Review: Phantom

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This week film critic Aniruddha Guha reviews Kabir Khan's Phantom on Dedh Minute Review. Check out the video to find out his verdict.

Phantom is about an undercover operation to kill the masterminds behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. There are many action scenes, and no songs to slow down the drama.

But it’s also 2015, and if a film like Phantom can’t give us at least one jaw-dropping action sequence, it’s a problem. Phantom moves from one action set-piece to another without pausing for breath, but you aren’t involved because everything looks like poor imitation. Things pick up post-interval, but the film eventually fizzles out.

The writing is pretty juvenile. I am all for suspension of disbelief, but how does a rookie RAW agent plan an entire operation and convince the RAW chief to put it in action after only one meeting?

We are introduced to Daniyal Khan, a “Phantom about who little information is available”, but also told that he is an ex-army man whose parents live in Deolali. That is a lot of information about a man, unless the grouse here is that he does not have a Facebook account.

Phantom rests on the idea that all the killings need to be made to look like accidents. Which is great, but how the hell is blowing someone at a public rally with a bomb considered to be an “accident”! It’s almost like the writers themselves forgot the story they set out to tell.

None of this is helped by the presence of two completely unappealing, disinterested lead actors. I feel bad every time I see Saif Ali Khan on screen now. He looks like a guy who’d rather be drinking wine and playing golf, but is forced to act.

Phantom is a distant cousin of this year’s Baby, which had a similar plot, but was a lot more enjoyable. Kabir Khan is probably the most sensible mainstream filmmaker after Rajkumar Hirani, but Phantom is a half-attempt.

My rating’s a 2 on 5. Wait for the TV premiere.

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