Motion Picture – Phantom
Language – Hindi
Date of Release – Aug 2015
Adaptation – Based on S.Hussain Zaidi’s novel – Mumbai Avengers
Director – Kabir Khan
Cast – Saif Ali Khan & Katrina Kaif
The 2015 movie – Phantom is a tribute to the unsung heroes who neither get a medal for their dare devilry nor is their identity known to the world. Even the Indian ministry doesn’t pay heed to their heroism. Who these heroes really are? They don’t have uniforms like the Indian soldiers or city cops. They don’t have any ranks or badges. These heroes are the undercover spies, agents or informers who work for nation but never get any reward from their own country.
Phantom is one such story of a disgraced military officer named Daniyal Khan who is court martialled from army for his wrong decisions during an action at war front. Leading an anonymous life, Daniyal Khan has no hopes to return back to action. A secret mission by RAW brings Daniyal Khan from anonymity to action. Daniyal accepts this mission only on the condition that after completion of this secret mission, he will be given his honour back in his regiment. Assigned with a deadly mission to eliminate the conspirators, Daniyal Khan joins hands with his team mate Nawaz Mistry to track down all the four conspirators responsible for striking terror. To hunt down the conspirators, Daniyal assumes a false identity and eliminates each conspirator without leaving only clue. The first two conspirators are eliminated by Daniyal through a strategy where the victim’s death is pronounced as natural. But during this action, Daniyal Khan is chased by agents of neighboring countries who suspect him as the mastermind behind these actions. What follows later is Daniyal’s dare devilry mission to track the remaining two conspirators and eliminate them before he is tracked down by the enemies. Daniyal succeeds in hunting down the ruthless consipirators but pays a price for his actions by giving his life for sake of nation.
Based on S.Hussain Zaidi’s novel – Mumbai Avengers, the 2015 movie – Phantom may be a work of fiction but has slice of reality to it. Phantom is a dark story of the unsung Indian agents who put their life at stake to safeguard our nation from terror attacks. Phantom is a high octane thriller which is made in the lines of movies like Zero Dark Thirty, The Lone Survivor, Munich & Black Hawk Down. A high applause to director Kabir Khan for making this brilliant patriotic thriller and showcasing the risky lives of Indian spies. Saif Ali Khan shines as Daniyal Khan in this motion picture and makes his role believable with a mind blowing performance. The highest point of this movie is the emotional climax which is sure to bring patriotic goose bumps. The role of Saif Ali Khan in Phantom seems to be inspired by real life spy Ravindra Kaushik whose code name was ‘Tiger’. Ravindra Kaushik was betrayed and was later imprisoned. He died as an unsung hero for India. Sadly his story was never known to country men in full detail. Even the 2012 movie – Ek Tha Tiger was loosely based on Ravindra Kaushik. Phantom is based on real life heroes and incidents and is sure to entertain you with its inspiring patriotic story line.
The only weak part of this movie is that it doesn’t follow the storyline as per the book. The book had six protagonists as spies while the movie has only one hero handling this mission. If you expect patriotic dialogues from this movie, then you will be disappointed. The movies focuses more on execution than on dramatic dialogues we saw in 80’s and 90’s movies like Kranti. Only Saif Ali Khan is the saving grace in the movie. The movie needed at least two heroes to bring more action and excitement to the storyline. Despite these flaws, Phantom is worth watching for its own style of presentation which reminds you of movies like Munich, Zero Dark Thirty and Green Zone.
Once you have watched Phantom, do check out these movies – D-Day, Baby, Holiday, Hurt Locker, The Lone Survivor, Munich, Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan and Zero Dark Thirty which have themes of patriotism to it.