My Rating: 4/5 Afghan Jalebis or Jalebis of any kind.
In a world where hatred is the easiest commodity to sell, Phantom does a pretty decent job of not overdosing on smear campaigns, as well as avoiding quite a chunk of cross border slandering. 26/11 is a date engraved in the minds of billions of Indians across the globe. A terrorist attack in Mumbai, where questions are still being asked and remain unanswered. Are there answers available? Have the ones responsible for such a heinous act of terror been brought to justice? Or have we slipped back into acceptance mode where this was just another terrorist incident in another part of the world that we’ve now learned to accept with a frightening sense of normalcy, since there’s one happening on an almost daily basis. Are the victims of these attacks and their loved ones the only ones who feel the gravity of the situation? The same people who feel as if the world has turned away from hearing one more outcry, one more mother wailing for their child? One more child crying for their parents? A soldier crying for their fallen comrades? The soldier who sends a prayer to the great void of uncertainty everyday, hoping to see their loved ones just once more if today were their last day?
I do digress from the point. Phantom is NOT a propaganda filled flick, believe it or not. In fact, hats off to director Kabir Khan for handling this issue with what appears to be a lot of ease. The heart and soul of the matter is that terrorism hurts us all, but what hurts us most is the ease with which power hungry idiots can manipulate our emotions and sentiments. Especially those clowns who destroy religions, the fundamentals of religion (and have absolutely no qualms doing so,) spread the language of violence and a supposed ideal of ‘martyrdom’ at the expense of so many innocents. Kabir Khan has managed to capture the anguish and consequences of cross border terrorism from both sides without pointing fingers at either. I like the beauty with which he has handled the effects of terrorism within India and Pakistan and the effects on the families of the fallen, be it the countless soldiers protecting the borders, the gazillion innocents lost and caught in the cross-fire in these senseless acts, the families of the terrorists/suicide bombers and the great void in between. There’s this one line in the movie, which I’m paraphrasing, where one of the characters states one makes more money by joining the terrorist training camps than by working a good ol’ job…Makes you wonder doesn’t it, if the world hasn’t already crumbled to pieces and fallen to depths far beyond our reach? It also amazes me how religion is now just a mere toy in the hands of ranting and raving lunatics who think it’s absolutely alright to bastardize ideals and values taught by these faiths, and re-package and sell them, especially to curious, innocent and naïve minds who don’t know any better? It irks me immensely as to how malleable these idiots make the concept of religion seem, and it irks me as to how easy it is for people to buy into these ideas without questioning them.
Kabir Khan’s casting choices are always interesting, and definitely an aspect of his films I look forward to. So needless to say for this flick, it was entertaining to see Saif Ali Khan take on such a role, because I still associate SAK with his characters from Hum Tum, Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho etc etc and it’s hard for me to picture him in a more serious role (despite the fact he has done and excelled in several serious flicks such as Being Cyrus and Omkara to name a few.) Katrina Kaif’s movie choices have been interesting thus far; I’d say she’s done a pretty decent job as a supporting character in this flick. The movie doesn’t get sidetracked by too many personal sentiments, entanglements or stories of the characters, nor does it get too complicated with complicated romantic angles and notions. With that being said, I must add that this is a tale of love…for country, duty and humanity.
Yes the movie does open the floor up to questions pertaining to vigilante justice, spy vs. spy government defense & intelligence agencies, terrorist organizations, government diplomacy, defense/security consultants, politics and political distractions. It also raises important questions pertaining to the ease with which we’re willing to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to such pertinent matters, and the ease with which we allow people to blindly make our decisions for us. I mean hey they sell a good game and great pitch when elections roll around, but, do we actually see anything being done to ensure a better, safer and peaceful future?
All in all I enjoyed this movie and I do recommend it! Please do me a favour and watch this flick out of curiosity and free of all the mind swinging garbage political hullabaloo ‘we said, they said’ drag surrounding this flick. And, please do let me know what your thoughts and sentiments are about this flick. Well that’s my 75 cents on the movie Phantom. Until next time folks…Cheers!