Karan Butani directed 'Phamous' is quite a wild film shot with the backdrop of the deadliest quixotic ghats of 'Chambal' a place where democracy doesn't even exist in the dictionary. The film begins with Jackie Shroff's voice-over introducing the land of the dead and merciless 'Chambal'. It is Shambhu Singh played by Jackie Shroff the 'Darogah' of Chambal famous for his justice has his daughter accidentally shot by him as Kadak Singh comes to kidnap her from the wedding day. Shambhu is now jailed and the villains take on Chambal for a toss.
The film lends two strong negative characters Kadak Singh played by Kay Kay Menon, the King of the Jungle and a bawdy pervert politician Ramvijay Tripathi played by Pankaj Tripathi who plays an in-human jerk by being an autocratic boorish man who forcefully rapes a school teacher named Rosy played by Mahie Gill. Surprisingly there exist a sophisticated and well-behaved man Radhe Shyam the favourite student of Rosy teacher who witnesses crime in his childhood, is now a grown-up villager with the responsibility of his family. This role is played by Jimmy Sheirgill who essays a whole new character of an innocent newly married man. Married to a Rajput woman played by Shriya Saran who has a dark past to defend plays cold and blank most of the time. The gangsters are prosperous and the cruel intentioned Tripathi who is now an MLA of the region eyes on Radhe Shyam's wife. This leads to a didactic planning of kidnapping Shyam's wife forcibly but then as every audience would get it Shambhu Singh aka Shroff returns for revenge on Singh and Tripathi.
The narrative of the film looked fatigued and faulty as it didn't grip with its fallacious storyline and nebulous screenplay. Well, the scenes from the underdeveloped region of Chambal looked depressing and the only thing that saved this film is the performances from the cast. Kay Kay Menon with his Mexican moustache gives a recognizable act. Pankaj Tripathi as a local pervert politician with his thin quirky one-liners marks a strong negative role. The surprise act of all was of Jimmy Sheirgill who plays an innocent villager from Chambal taking the [Katta] Gun in his hands to protect his wife. Mahie Gill as Rosy teacher plays a convincing small cameo. What's more appreciating is the grasp of the 'Bundelkhandi' dialect every single one of them has piquantly catered.
The climax is as cliche as it could get. Enough of suffering and the protagonist ends the antagonist. Although the writers could have opted some unpredictability in the film's narrative. Although the complaint remains the same, why the 'Famous' with a 'P' instead of 'F' didn't include ample of twist, turns and unpredictable elements.
Talking about the technicalities, Karan Butani tenuous and torpid direction and screenplay makes us think what's actually missing in this power-packed cast film. Written by Butani himself, the film didn't reflect reality as it only focused the backdrop of the vicious Chambal and not highlighting the reality by mentioning current situation of the ghats. Unlike the Shekhar Kapur directorial acclaimed film 'Bandit Queen' and the Irrfan Khan starrer 'Paan Singh Tomar' that were closer to reality.
'Phamous' actually Phails in the aspect of reality. Do not even dare to go to theatres just like you won't dare to enter the Chambal Valley full of dacoits.