Phone Bhoot: The Katrina Kaif, Ishaan Khatter, and Siddhant Chaturvedi film, Bollywood’s latest offering in the horror comedy genre, is downright silly and nonsensical in parts and fun in others.
Cast: Katrina Kaif, Ishaan Khatter, Siddhant Chaturvedi
Director: Gurmmeet Singh
Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
Available On: Theatrical release
Runtime: 136 Minutes
Phone Bhoot Review
Remember that frowned upon, the lazy phrase every film critic has used at some point in their career, to sum up, a movie that goes nowhere but doesn’t kill you either? Director Gurmmeet Singh’s comedy of horrors chucks story to engage in time pass. Also read: Phone Bhoot trailer: Katrina Kaif is a ghost with a business idea.
There’s no room for script, seriousness and, God forbid, sense in its sprawling scheme of puerile scares, kick-in-the-groin humor, and raging innuendoes.
The Desi Ghostbusters trio continues to free some ghosts by helping them achieve their last wish. But, here’s where the story lands itself on a slippery slope introducing the ‘buri aatma’ Atmaram (Jackie Shroff), who manipulates & cheats the unsalvaged spirits. Forcing Ragini’s love angle amid all this mess makes this suffer from the ‘infamous second half syndrome’.
Phone Bhoot Movie Review: Script Analysis
Ravi Shankaran, along with his co-writer Jasvinder Singh Bath, started in 2009 with this subject & 13 years later it’s still something that hasn’t gone stale. Full marks for the persistence & some out-of-the-ordinary pop-culture references, the number for which when I counted (missed a few) was 25. Be it people resembling the viral ‘Dance With Coffin’ fellas or the groom killed by Munna in Mirzapur, nothing is crammed for the sake of pretending to be funny.
The writers have integrated the ad placements (Slice, Vicks, Vasmol) into the script & they work exactly like that creative sponsor message which you don’t skip while watching a video from your favorite YouTuber. This probably has the funniest first half and interval point of any recent comedy film, but its latter portions are equally filled with major loopholes. It’ll feel like the writers got so exhausted after keeping everything funny in the first half, they were left with hardly any decent material in the second.
The sets are amazingly built from Sid-Ishaan’s room screaming out how big of horror fans they are having an illusion door, a statue of their favorite ghost Raka, a skeleton phone & a lot more. K. U. Mohanan’s camerawork soothes the trip the makers take you on, especially in the first hour. The way how Ishaan’s Gullu breaks the fourth final to read out what’s about to happen reminds you of the Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota school of comedy.
Phone Bhoot Movie Review: Direction, Music
Gurmmeet Singh was this close to directing the most flawless horror-comedy Bollywood has ever seen, all he needed was a bit of emotional connection coupled with a few good jumpscares. The skilled writing boasting the careless nature of its comedy suddenly turns into a forced fun competition.
The songs were pretty average as well. Surprised to see Baba Sehgal rocking the title theme of the film which goes extremely well with the nature of its narrative.
Phone Bhoot Movie Review: The Last Word
Phone Bhoot is a promising film. It is a smartly written but not quite so well-executed effort that has its pros and several cons as well. It is a decent addition to the growing horror-comedy genre in Bollywood. It’s not quite Stree in terms of hilarity and innovation but it’s not as bad as Roohi either.
All said and done, Phone Bhoot is hilarious with its comedy but it doesn’t have anything spooktacular to add when it comes to its secondary genre. A fun watch despite all the grievances.