What do you get when you put Saif Ali Khan and Katrina together? “A Nawab and a mannequin” is what one critic wrote.
One of the most controversial films in recent times, Phantom is based on the 26/11 Mumbai attack and revolves around an Indian’s (played by Saif Ali Khan) quest to find and kill Hariz Saeed — a character based on Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed who India considers to be the mastermind behind the attack.
Having created quite a hype, the film delivered a meek opening at the box office with critics bashing the movie. After delivering a blockbuster like like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, everyone was wondering the same thing: What was Kabir Khan thinking?
Here are excerpts of some of the reviews published in Indian publications:
Saif-Katrina’s tale of 26/11 Mumbai Attacks is a veritable phantom
“Zoned out? This is exactly the kind of buffoonery one ends up spending time on during the film. There are so many long-drawn pauses and sub-plots, and so many new faces introduced at the drop of a hat. Kabir Khan’s treatment of the story is at best passable.
Saif’s performance is okay-ish. When in motion, he’s convincing; when speaking, not quite. Katrina’s gun-toting avatar is as smoking hot as her sea-diving one. As for her acting, not much has improved.
Phantom begins fine, and then loses way so badly that by the end, you’re just waiting for an extra helping of Afghan jalebi. Among the songs, that’s the one that stays on the mind long after the credits roll.
By the end of Phantom, one is left with a disarray of emotions within.”
Kabir Khan’s ‘thriller’ with Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif is plain boring
“There is only one explanation for Phantom: the cast and crew of the film really wanted a paid holiday.
As an idea, Phantom crackles with possibility. For the plot, there is only one word: woeful. Phantom could have been a clever film. It borrows heavily from very dramatic, real incidents that are begging to be fictionalised. Only here, the characters are badly drawn, the dialogues are clumsy, the transitions are jumpy and the politics are horribly simplified — it’s as though the screenplay was written overnight. The film quickly starts feeling predictable and the strategies to kill the terrorists are not particularly gripping.”
Saif and Katrina make Phantom a joke
“There is a lot that a film-going audience can forgive in a production. But one of the hardest to overlook is when the filmmakers pick the wrong people for the principal parts.
Khan, who would much rather charm in a suit, here wears one scowl throughout, while Kaif, who speaks every line of dialogue in the same pre-teen tone, is here made to pick up a machine gun and fire.
This is less a motion picture and more a vanity vehicle for two stars who want to try role-playing as GI Joes. The result is an exasperatingly childish film.
Tragically, pretty much everything in Phantom goes according to plan, making for an inert, unchallenging and boring watch.
Stay away from Phantom. It gives audiences a raw deal.”
Wow! These reviews are pretty harsh. Well, let’s just thank our censor board for banning Phantom and sparing us the torture.