Promo of Phantom has been unveiled and within three days, close to 2 million views have already come in. While the plot and the narrative has managed to catch one’s attention instantly, what is most notable about the film is the fact that Kabir Khan has stepped into a realistic topical space all over again. For a filmmaker who announced his arrival in the industry with gritty action drama affairs like New York and Kabul Express, this one appears to be next in the series.
The film’s timing couldn’t have been better, reason being that in the current times such genres are being largely accepted. Audiences are lapping up films which are in realistic space and also hardcore commercial affairs, as long as they have something new to tell. One such major example is Badlapur which, despite its adult theme and violent treatment, went on to find good response from the audience. Solid word of mouth had ensured that the action drama went on to be one of the earlier successes that Bollywood witnessed this year.
On the other hand even a much smaller film like NH10, which again was in a realistic action-drama space, went on to be a sweet success for Anushka Sharma. Audience didn’t mind the on-screen and psychological violence that the film brought with it and lapped it up.
Now Phantom too steps into a space which is realistic, considering the fact that it deals with the theme of avenging the 26/11 attack. Of course with Kabir Khan at the helm of affairs, one can pretty much expect a high deal of entertainment quotient, as has been demonstrated in each of his releases so far. Moreover, while it is a challenge for any filmmaker to present a topical theme dealing with terrorism in an engaging manner, the coming together of Kabir Khan with producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who has films as diverse as Kick and Highway to his credit, one can well expect Phantom to come trumps.
What the makers have done well is to keep the film’s budget controlled by spending just a little over 40 crore in the production. With the messaging being quite clear around the space that Phantom explores, Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif could well find good audience coming their way in a new genre being explored by them.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder