Phantom: Saif Ali Khan On The Right Track?

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Phantom, Saif Ali Khan, Phantom Review, Phantom Film, Bollywood Film
Saif Ali Khan in a still from Phantom.

“America stuck Osama right in his home, why can’t we do the same”, delivers Saif Ali Khan, in high voltage, in the political-thriller film Phantom.

Set against the backdrop of  26/11 attack, the Kabir Khan’s directorial action thriller film tells a fiction story of avenging against those terrorists who were involved in the deadly attack that struck down the India’s financial capital, Mumbai. Kabir Khan, director of the film, after the successful release of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, his second leg of 2015, Phantom, is starring Saif Ali Khan, who is not much on the limelight in box office in the past few years. So obviously, Saif is in urgent need of a hit. The film has been shot in foreign locations such as Lebanon, Syria, the UK, Canada, and Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab’s Malerkotla in India and wrapped up in the Mumbai.

Kabir Khan to take the Race star for a box office hit?

Phantom will be the first film to be directed by Kabir Khan after the Ek Tha Tiger director stepped out of Yash Raj banner. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, the film’s success, unfortunately, might be in a spot as two other films have already been set to release following it: Welcome Back– sequel to 2007 Welcome on 4th September, and Hero- remake of Subhash Ghai’ 1983’s film with the same name on 11 September. No doubt, Kabir’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan is the storm that broke many records in the box-office including the Aamir’s PK and Shah Rukh’s Happy New Year in the opening weekend record.

The Kabul Express director also has already painted bright colors in his films New York and Ek Tha Tiger. His 2009’s New York, starring Katrina Kaif and John Abrahim did almost well in the Box Office, followed by the hit Ek Tha Tiger and blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan starring Salman Khan in both. However, for Phantom, Saif Ali Khan who recently had appeared in movies- Humshakals, Bullett Raja and Happy Ending, failed to create ripples in the market.

Phantom is the adaptation of the Nobel, Mumbai Avengers, written by Hussain Zaidi. His book Black Friday, which was also adapted in the film with the same name in 2004 – directed by Anurag Kashyap did well in the box office. However, 2013′ s Shootout at Wadala-adaptation of Dongri to Dubai- starring John Abraham was not up to the mark. Phantom will be his next to be released after Shootout at Wadala. The film, in the trailer, mentions the names of terrorists reportedly involved in 26/11 attack- Sajid Mir, David Headley and Haifiz Saeed. Bloody and muddy Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif are seen blind folded with India’s tri-color flag in its released posters.

On November 26, 2008, highly trained and sympathized ten terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba  attacked at major landmarks of Mumbai and continued for the next four days. The attack killed 164 and injured at least 308. Ajmal Kasab, one of the 10 attackers was captured alive and was hanged till death on November 21, 2012, but many of the masterminds who embroidered the attack got away from the net. The Agent Vinod star, the avenger in the film, goes in a mission to eliminate the terrorists with main target Hariz Saeed, a thinly veiled reference on Hafiz Saeed, reportedly 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind and founder of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group.

At an advantage for the production team, amid the unending buzz of the Blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan, people would be expecting that Kabir would follow it up with another down-to-earth film, and by default, Phantom is latest after the Salman starer film which touched upon Indo-Pak relationship. The trailer shows a lot of fights and smoke with thundering sound effect of explosions and gunfire, however, the Dil Chahata Hai star, acting as an agent is in ‘doubt’ as he didn’t create the golden climax with his skills in films – “Kurbaan” and “Agent Vinod”. After this “Zero Dark Thirty” like Indian mission “fact-plus-fiction film”, which is slated to hit the silver screens on August 28, it will come to light whether Saif Ali Khan brightens spirit of Kabir, or let him down with regrets for roping-in the “Anti-Dandruff Shampoo” ad actor in the political action-thriller film.

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