Phantom tries hard to keep you engaged in a tale you truly wish was true. Of course, the premise of the story coming from Mumbai Avengers is strong enough but not perfect. This film reminds you of Baby but has a different agenda. Fed up and humiliated by Pakistan’s attacks on Indian soil and particularly the one that rocked Mumbai on 26/11, RAW decides to undertake a deadly unofficial mission. While the chief of RAW – Roy (Sabyasachi) is still not convinced, it is his sub-ordinate, Zeeshan Ayub’s character that shows conviction towards the plan. They soon zero in on Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan) a court-martialled army man to carry out their mission. Thus he takes off to London, Beirut, Syria and Pakistan hunting down each of the terrorists involved in the 26/11 mission. His only co-conspirer on this secret mission is Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif) who is a witness to all the accused.
This fictitious tale with a mixture of realism makes an effort to come across as an edge-of-the-seat thriller but fails at keeping us glued to it. The sad part is that the coveted mission in the first place is not crafted brilliantly for us to marvel it. The whole concept of making the killings look like accidents doesn’t work well. Not to mention, Kabir Khan keeps adding emotional tear-jerkers in between that completely kill the main plot theme. There are certain scenes where the suspense is maintained well. What does not really go well with the storyline is the fact that the mission is hardly kept a secret. At first, Daniyal himself exposes the mission to Nawaz who is actually not a part of it but only a reference for it. Later, Sumit (Zeeshan Ayyub) confesses the entire unofficial mission to a Naval officer again a wrong representation. The Indian Navy enters international waters without permission to save Daniyal and Nawaz in Pakistani waters which is a major error that is not justified at all. Also, Nawaz’s reason for helping out Daniyal in the killings is so foolish that I almost laughed at it. She recounts a memory of her with her dad when they used to have tea at the Taj and hence she wants a revenge. The second half the mission gets so predictable.
Saif Ali Khan really needs to get a grip of his career. He was not convincing in his dialogue delivery.He has not been impressive in a few years. He has to begin choosing roles more suited to his style and demeanor. He missed with Happy Ending and now with this. Katrina Kaif as Nawaz Mistry is simply weak and makes no impact whatsoever. Her character goal in this film is to avenge 26/11 over having tea at the Taj? Really now? However Zeeshan Ayub turns out to be impressive, his entry scene in the film is as though he is a ghost. He appears out of no where in his introductory scene.
Kabir Khan after Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Ek Tha Tiger is truly on a winning streak. Phantom is gripping but the story and acting kills the excitement of its pace. The art direction is amazing for the Syria region that has been re-created. Music is also decently put into the story but the only song that appeals is Afghan Jalebi. The climax is highly disappointing and cliched for a film that goes by the name Phantom. Phantom has nothing extraordinary and satisfying about its revenge tale of 26/11. It is a pity that not one scene gives you a sadistic pleasure in seeing the suspects get killed. Those lazy to read Mumbai Avengers could watch it but mind you it is not half as intelligent.