Kabir Khan’s latest movie, Phantom, was the talk of the town even before its release, courtesy politically incorrect comments by the lead actor, Saif Ali Khan.
The movie was cited as an anti-Paktistan film, with an agenda to smear dirt on the nation’s identity, establishment and forces.
Is it true though?
I just saw the movie, and it was a thriller worth watching. The movie is based on the book, Mumbai Avengers, and critics said that the movie did not do justice as everything moved too fast, not allowing suspense to simmer or climax to hold its high.
The plot revolves around the Mumbai attack and involvement of a terrorist organisation, which calls itself Islamic. Daniyal Khan (Saif) takes it upon himself to see that justice is served. He is an ex-army officer and is then chosen by Indian Intelligence Agency to embark on a mission to eradicate evil.
One after the other, he slays demons, all the way from London to Chicago, Beirut and finally Lahore.
From a cinematic point of view, it was an above average experience. Saif does justice to his role and despite a romantic element with Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif), the plot doesn’t slide the mushy slope. It remains thrilling till the very end. The climax will push you to the edge and Amina Bi’s role will hit home, especially with mothers in Pakistan.
On the flip side, the story moves a bit too fast, compromising the impact of actions.
As a Pakistani, I am offended by a number of generalisations, exaggerations and fiction. It potrays Lashkar to be based out of Pakistan, and Pakistani jails to be ‘hotels’ for such criminal masterminds. It looks down at our agencies and the flawed systems. Most importantly, the blurred lines between extremists and Pakistanis will upset you the most. It does attempt reconciliation, mentioning how Pakistani civilians also suffer at the hands of such terrorists, but the entire film has an undercurrent, leaning towards Indian heroism and Pakistani terrorism.
Overall, if you can stomach some fictional prejudice and bias for a decent cinematic experience, go for Phantom. Emotional Pakistanis…
Oh, and I don’t understand Muslim names for both Saif and Katrina. If you do, please solve the mystery for me as well.