Films based on the subject matter of terrorism are becoming somewhat of a trend in Bollywood nowadays and filmmaker Kabir Khan's latest venture 'Phantom' is nothing different. But the only difference is that very few films based on this topic manage to strike the right chord and 'Phantom' manages to do it since it is a film with a storyline which every Indian might be dreaming perhaps if indeed this could turn into a reality.
'Phantom' is based on S. Hussain Zaidi's bestseller 'Mumbai Avengers' and it tells the story about the aftermath following the devastating 26/11 terror attacks by the Lashkar-E-Taiba on Mumbai which shook not only this city but also the entire nation. The film is about how the Indian RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) learns about the LET's yet another plan of attacking India and thereafter how the RAW officials scheme a secret operation of taking down all of the masterminds behind the 26/11 terror attacks via a suicide mission. To get the job done, the RAW officials decide to hire Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan), an ex-army man, since they believe that he is like the 'Phantom' who is completely out of the radar and has no records whatsoever. How Daniyal Khan meets up with Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif) during his mission, how thereafter both of them join hands for this mission and embark on their perilous journey through different nations like UK, US, Beirut, Syria and finally Pakistan and how Daniyal finally manages to accomplish his goal forms the reminder of the story.
Coming to terms on the acting part in the film, Saif Ali Khan who plays the prime protaganist Daniyal Khan, looks in fine form after a long time. Saif manages to carry the character given to him over his shoulders with finesse and dishes out a fine performance. Katrina Kaif who plays the security consultant Nawaz Mistry, also does full justice to her part as she looks quite natural and manages to give apt support to Saif Ali Khan, although we would say that Kat still needs to polish her acting skills a little more. The rest of the supporting cast of Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Sabyasachi Chakraborty also fit well into their characters and manage to play their part pretty nicely.
The cinematography handled by Aseem Mishra is spot-on as all the locations and the action sequences in the film are shot with a fine touch. The locations are captured nicely and the action sequences too look quite realistic. Editing of the film handled by Aarif Sheikh could have been a bit crispier as the film tends to get just a little stretchy in bits and parts but still we can count it as a negligible minus point since the film manages to keep the audience hooked with its gripping storyline.
There is nothing very special to mention about the music of the film, since out of all the songs, there is only one which stands out and that one is 'Aghan Jalebi' which is pretty much hummable. The film's director Kabir Khan whose recent release 'Bajangi Bhaijaan' simply smashed all the box office records, comes out with yet another gripping drama. But the one thing about this film which is worth mentioning is that it is indeed a story which you wish were true. We are going for three stars for 'Phantom' since it has a gripping storyline, is well directed and is also sans the regular brainless stuff. Book your tickets right away if your are desperately looking out for a film with some substance in it.