Phantom Movie Review

Phantom Movie Poster
Phantom Movie Poster
Martin D'Souza By Martin D'Souza | 18 Mar 2017 15:41:03.6100000 IST

Director Kabir Khan and composer Pritam recently created history with all-time blockbuster BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN, and they are expected to repeat the magic with yet another thriller PHANTOM. Starring Saif Ali Khan whose last hit COCKTAIL was provided by none other than Pritam (not to forget the evergreen LOVE AAJ KAL), expectations are sky high from the audio.


The superb North West frontier province rhythm has already captured the imagination of music buffs and 'Afghan Jalebi' is indeed a mouth-watering, chartbusting experience. Pritam has taken the song to another level with the listeners being transported to the exotic and dangerous war torn Afghanistan (mark the excellent rubab, bendir and daf). Pakistani sufi singer Syed Asrar Shah's unique strong, raw and rustic vocals are just apt for the composition which grows with each hearing until one gets addicted to it.

There are four versions, while the first is 'Ya Baba' sung by Syed Asrar Shah, the second one is the Film version rendered well by Akhtar Chanal Zahiri. There is another version known as the Dumbek (roughly meaning middle eastern beats & daumbek is a Middle Eastern drum) version which too is rendered by Akhtar Chanal Zahiri. The fourth one, 'Ya Baba' (Fitna Farebi), by Naksh Aziz is a bit too tame due to his soft sweet vocals, which do not suit the composition, although Naksh does a good job.

Arijit casts his magical spell with the sombre, brooding and soul searching melodic 'Saware'. Minimal orchestrations are the highlight of this sad, separation number. Lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are class.

'Nachda' is another delightful Middle eastern (with loads of Punjabi sufi influence) melodic experience. The sad, 'sufi' philosophical and spiritual track boasts of superb lyrics (by Kausar Munir) which though a mix of Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi are simple and heart touching. Shahid Mallya sings with emotions

Summing up, the audio of PHANTOM may be brief with just about three original songs along with four versions of 'Afghan Jalebi', but all the tracks are simply class and have excellent repeat value. Our picks, the whole album! Soul gratifying musical experience which should help the topical (one can even say noble!) cause of PHANTOM, ensuring a decent to good opening when the film releases all over on 28th August.

Music Review Rating Chart :-
Excellent - 4.5 & above
Very Good - 4
Good - 3.5
Average/Passable - 3
Pathetic - 2.5 & below 

Within seven months, we have another film based on the terror attacks on Mumbai on 26/11. This January, we had Neeraj Pandey's BABY. Now, we have PHANTOM by Kabir Khan, who only a few weeks ago, gave us BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN.


PHANTOM, which is somewhat on the lines of BABY, deals with a situation wherein a top defense agency of the country undertakes a 'secret mission' without the knowledge of the government, to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to their knees.

They want to get even with the Pakistani forces that shamed and humiliated the nation. They want to eliminate every face behind the attack. But they need a person who is not only as mad as the terrorists (who came in by sea to wreak havoc), but also smart.

They find their man in Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan) who has been dismissed from the army for allegedly running away from his base, leaving his crew in danger. This is his time to redeem his name. Daniyal does what he is sent out to do and in the bargain also sneaks into Pakistan to get rid of the mastermind. He is helped by Nawaz (Katrina Kaif), whose real reason for being a part of this mission has been kept a mystery, even from the viewer.

Kabir Khan never has a grip of this story. However, he does have his moments of brilliance, shining in patches. The real-life war-zone scenes created in Syria are close to real but the viewer is never in the tale, like in BABY.

The situation is sketchy, the storyline (although the motive is clear) does not captivate and unlike BABY, Khan never keeps the tone and tenor intact. Certain situations are so convoluted that he is hoping [in the midst of gunfire], all will be forgotten.

Like for instance, when Danyial goes to Syria to meet the people who will take him to the mastermind of the 26/11 attack, there is sudden gunfire in the war-zone and the one who was hunting him is now being targeted, while Daniyal and Nawaz are too on a shooting spree. Free for all.

There is too much drama, action and too little substance and Katrina's character sticks out like a sore thumb.

Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub seems to be the only actor who shines apart from cinematographer Aseem Mishra who brings to life war zone scenes and slick car chases and keeps the film visually appealing although everything around it seems to be collapsing.

PHANTOM lacks the finesse of BABY. It's just over-the-top fluff which fails to connect to the 26/11 plot. It also tries desperately to inject some patriotic pride.

Rating 2/5

Movie Cast & Crew
  • Director: Kabir Khan
  • Actor: Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub and Qazi Touqeer
  • Music Director: Pritam
  • Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kausar Munir
  • Release Date : 28 Aug 2015

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