by Indu Indira Lala
Directed by – Kabir Khan
Cast – Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif
High octane action sequence from start till end, Phantom is Kabir Khan’s wishful-thinking version of 26/11 Quid Pro Quo of sorts ! It is adapted from Mumbai Avengers, a book written by Hussain Zaidi on the aftermath of 26/11 attacks.
Indian RAW wing acts smooth and irons out an agent who is sent on a mission to eliminate the runaway terrorists of India’s unforgettable terror diary called 26/11. An action-packed movie of high standards, Phantom is a delight to watch on big screen. The movie stirs us from within and compels us to ponder, when it shows how interwoven the Pakistan administration might actually be, with its three headquarters of ISI, terrorist network and government agencies working in perfect tandem to shield the 26/11 culprits.
Months ago, the whole country heard PM Modi respond to a query about 26/11 on an interview, where PM said – Kya America ne press conference kerke announce kiya tha kya ???? —- ki Osama ko pakadne jaa rahe hain Pakistan ? Ye saari baatein koi bataa k thodi kiya jaata hai” (America did not hold a press conference and announce that US is going to nab Osama in Pak. These are issues which are carried out undercover).
We all heard it and just smiled agreeably at PM’s stealthy attitude, but Kabir Khan actually decoded it and presented it to us in a wonderfully-made movie called Phantom!
Daniyal Khan (Saif) is an ex-soldier shamed out from the forces, who lives a life in the oblivion and has absolutely NO paper trail of his history anywhere either in the Web or in public. He fits in the picture’frame of a spy who RAW has been scouting for.
RAW prepares him for the mission and the action thriller gains momentum moving through London and reaching every part of the globe we have heard of on terror matters – Syria, Beirut, India, Pakistan etc.
A co-spy Nawaaz ( Katrina with a Parsi lineage) gives him company in this mission and has a strong network of her own. The story revolves around nabbing and eliminating every big dad of 26/11 mastermind, and takes us through it, sometimes connecting the dots, and sometimes even missing the dart.
But, like the king of the jungle leaves his footsteps after a kill, so does this spy. And he gets tracked down by US-assisted Pakistan, leaving us to guess what will happen next.
Not a typical techno-savvy spy thriller, no hi-fi Tom Cruise stuff, yet a good attempt made by Kabir Khan, in fictionally healing the wounds of 26/11 bruises.
A special mention of picture-perfect cinematography capture – scenes like this – a vast ocean, all dark, hopeless, lonely and simmering, then a huge giantly Submarine evolving out of deep waters, resurfacing on the surface of the ocean – a perfect moving-camera definition of the word ‘Submarine’. Good quality camera work!