It is usually assumed that filmmakers make films for the entertainment of the audience however, here the ‘scene’ looks different! Right from the first frame it is the makers who seem to have enjoyed the most – in making what they have made and in seeing the outcome of their ‘bundle of joy’. We have all seen films of different genres in horror too including zombie horror, zombie comedy, and what not, Phone Bhoot might find its place in the wacky horror comedy genre. Wacky because the writer has poured his heart out laughing at this own humourous looking (and sounding) referenced scenes.
Phone Bhoot comes from one of the most reputed productions which has most of the successful and entertaining titles to their credit and directed by one of the ‘Mirzapur’ helmers. It boasts of the biggest Bollywood actress – Katrina Kaif along with the Gully Boy and Gehraiyaan fame Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ishaan Khatter. And to top them all there is apna ‘Hero’ Jackie Shroff playing the antagonist!
So, what would one make or expect from a title like ‘Phone Bhoot’?
Major (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Gullu (Ishaan Khatter) are buddy ghost busters, who can see and interact with ghosts. Their abode is a zombistaan-ish typical bachelor’s apartment. Their biggest issue is that they must collect money (in crores) for themselves else return home. Apparently, they have tried quite a few businesses but have failed. Now they have planned a party and come across Katrina Kaif who is soon revealed to be a ghost. She is looking to partner with someone to avenge her own death and that of her beau Dushyant (Armaan Ralhan) and attain ‘moksh’. She finds those partners in Major & Gullu. Ragini hatches a business plan that might solve Major & Gullu’s problem in exchange for something that she would ask later. What is Ragini’s plan and what is it that she wants in exchange forms the rest of the plot with Jackie Shroff playing Atmaram the antagonist.
To be fair, the initial reels until the entry of Ragini could be credited to be hilarious and imaginative. The guys steal the scenes with their funny expressions and the wacky writing. Katrina Kaif as Ragini looks forced and out of place. Her character is half cooked and becomes a medium to take the story idea forward. Ragini communicates with the other spirits/bhoots, trying to solve their issues, bring peace to them and set free (mukti). The guys try and execute the plan to achieve the desired results and make their money. Soon enough Ragini comes up with her demand and the already nonsensical story goes topsy-turvy from hereon.
A scene in the beginning with Sheeba Chaddha playing a ‘chudail’ is worth mentioning for its hilarious writing and direction. The first half keeps the audience engaged with some gags, the second half drags into a different zone and loses steam.
Phone Bhoot is Katrina Kaif’s debut in the horror comedy genre. Even Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ishaan Khatter have stepped into this genre for the first time with both actors doing some serious stuff in their careers thus far.
Overall, don’t let the ‘bhoot’ mislead you with nothing bhootiya about this story, had the makers tried to push the envelope, the idea could have been outstanding for a bhootiya comedy.
Movie: Phone Bhoot
Director: Gurmmeet Singh
Cast: Katrina Kaif, Ishaan Khatter, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Jackie Shroff, Sheeba Chaddha, Armaan Ralhan
Duration: 136 Mins