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Movies Ashdoc's movie review---Phantom

Discussion in 'Theatre, Movies & Cinema' started by ashdoc, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc India
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    Movie Critic SPNer

    Jul 19, 2011
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    The moment I read that most reviewers were panning this movie for it's so called ' jingoistic ' tone I knew I was going to watch the movie . The mafia of reviewers of the liberal variety usually gang up against any movie that shows Pakistan in a poor light , and them attacking such a movie is like showing a red rag to a bull---the bull being me....once they criticize it , to me it is a sure shot signal to watch the movie....

    So what is the so called 'jingoism' in the movie ?? It is the fact that Indian intelligence agency RAW decides to take a unilateral ( without permission of the government ) decision to kill those involved in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008---a terrorist attack planned and executed by Pakistan . What caught the goat of the liberal critics was the fact that instead making an India Pakistan bhai bhai film , a film showed the Indians having the spine to take revenge on the perpetrators of terrorist attacks who originate in Pakistan .

    So a disgraced Indian ex army officer who is suitably a patriotic muslim is chosen---Daniyal Khan played by Saif Ali Khan , and he is 'phantom' the one who does not exist for the mission is unauthorized and therefore is nonexistent in theory . Helping him is a Zoroastrian female ex RAW agent ( Nawaz played by Katrina Kaif ) . The film is based on the novel 'Mumbai avengers' by S Hussain Zaidi . His other book on terrorism ' Black Friday ' has already been made into a film .

    The movie moves at an electric breathless pace in the first half---from London to the United states to Syria....and it deals death ( at least cinematic death ) to those involved in the Mumbai terror attacks . And straightway I must say that it has been slickly made....a little too slick perhaps , for the lower classes will not identify with the style of the film . But the educated classes will like it's style , and will of course empathize with the message of the film---that India should take revenge for those who dare to terrorize it , and that revenge should be taken America style....just like America sent it's agents into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden , India should also kill the masterminds of terror by going into Pakistan....

    Yes , the second half of the film is in Pakistan....and the stakes are higher for the movie directly targets the terror kingpins . And as the stakes are higher so are the dangers involved....
    In the midst of all the higher stakes and greater dangers a subtle romance begins to develop among the lead pair.... but no romantic songs or kisses , only one or two brief moments of tenderness---for they have their task to complete....

    Indeed there are no songs or dances---or rather they are left incomplete in the film....maybe I will be able to listen to their complete versions on youtube , for I thought that one or two of them had some potential to be worth listening....

    And where is the jingoism....I found none of it....Does saluting a person who killed a deadly terrorist who perpetrated terror on your country qualify as jingoism ?? There are no chest thumping scenes or loud patriotic songs like in other movies , no heavy duty dialogues or raving and ranting against Pakistan . Indeed , sane Pakistanis who realize how the cancer of fundamentalism is fast eroding their society are seen co operating with the RAW agents---no wonder the film has been banned in Pakistan , for if right minded Pakistanis decide to heed the message of the film then the whole Pakistani establishment would crumble....

    So does the mission get completed in the film ?? Watch the film for that....
    The film frankly admits in the end that none of the terror kingpins have been brought to book---so the film is all fiction and fantasy....
    But what is wrong in indulging in your fantasies for a while ?? Since I come from Mumbai and the terror attacks occurred in my city , I found this particular fantasy of a film well worth indulging....

    Verdict---Good .
    Three and a half stars .
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