Staring Katrina Kaif, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ishaan, Jackie Shroff
There is too little of everything in Phone Bhoot except the two bratty boys Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ishaan(he has dropped the ‘Khattar’ in his name) who are all over the place like two bad viruses. For long patches Katrina Kaif vanishes: she has every right to since she plays a bhoot. Must be the most chic ghost in town . We only have to see poor Sheeba Chadha’s makeup and scruffy look to know why Katrina did this film.
She just wanted to show the world how pretty a ghost can be. Thank you for that.
And there ends my sarcasm laden praise for this eerie abomination… eerie and funny is what it aims at. Dreary and phony is what we get in Phone Bhoot, a film so devoid of any merit that you wonder why it was made in the first film. Born out of a desperate sense of urgency to score a win, the film tries to be a Stree on speed. Instead it ends up being a witchcraft tale with no head or tail.
Jokes include a headless head of security of Jackie Shroff’s staff. Shroff plays Atmarama a dreaded satanic presence who is more farcical than fearsome. The jokes are so labored that they are repeated twice so we get it. The whole film is joke, though not in the way it was intended to be.
I wish I could say there is more chemistry between the two boys Chaturvedi and Ishaan then there is among the boys and Katrina. That would be untrue. The two boys excel only at showing us who can make more faces on camera. Chaturvedi wins hands down. It is tragic to see the once-promising Gully Boy reduced to this insufferable ham.
Ishaan(sans Khattar) is more subdued and controlled. But we can see the struggle to remain sober is constantly thwarted by the loud screechy bhoot-pret-atma nonsense that unfurls in front of Khattar. As for Katrina, if this is all the film industry has to offer the pretty actress, just check out.
Phone Bhoot thinks it is the meta screen provider for generations that have NOT grown up on Chanda Mama and Amar Chitra Katha stories. The idea is to give a groovy cool spin to grandma’s tales. But it doesn’t work. The endeavour is not only insincere but blissfully blind to propagating blind faith.
From primitivism to paganism to heretic mumbo jumbo, where is Hindi cinema heading in pursuit of that elusive success? This is the same production house which has given us milestones like Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara? Is success so vital that you sell your soul to the devil?
Interestingly I saw Sourabh Shukla’s name in the credit titles for associate director or something. I guess the mess was foreseen.