Critic’s Rating : / 5
Phone Bhoot Movie Review : This dial-a-ghostbuster comedy is a riot
Review: Gullu and Major (Ishaan and Siddhant Chaturvedi), two single boys living together, aspire to become professional ghostbusters. With the assistance of friendly ghost, Ragini (Katrina Kaif), they somewhat succeed in doing so. But their journey hits a roadblock when they get pulled into Ragini’s larger plan to salvage her lover from the clutches of an evil baba, Aatmaram (Jackie Shroff).
Gurmmeet Singh’s Phone Bhoot, written by Ravi Shankaran and Jasvinder Singh Bath, is an eclectic, out-of-the-box comedy. It’s evident from the proceedings that the writers and the director have spent a considerable amount of time visualising every minute of the film, so it doesn’t lose its steam half-way into its runtime.
Reminiscent of films like Andaz Apna Apna, the characters take their situations and themselves very seriously. That paves the way for humour which is embedded neatly into the screenplay, is unabashed and character-led. References to old and some relatively new Hindi movies and kinky horror films of the bygone decades (Ramsay Brothers’ films) are also stitched into the narrative seamlessly. The screenplay is peppered with dialogues that will ease you into this film’s crazy world and make you laugh through most parts.
Having said that, the film lags in terms of pace in the first half till Jackie Shroff’s entry into the mix. That changes the film’s gear for the better, but it also makes the eventual conflict in the second half somewhat predictable. There are minor but unmissable loopholes at a few junctures. The film also takes certain creative liberties which should have been avoided completely, and that would have made the narrative even more engaging and entertaining.
In the technical department, the film’s VFX, production design and prosthetics are perfectly synced with the narrative. The film has been edited well, but it could have been slicker. The songs are purely ornamental to the narrative here. Even though you don’t mind them, you don’t take them home with you.
Ishaan, Katrina and Siddhant have a cool camaraderie as the ghost-busting trio. The boys put out a confident performance. They’re the new-age version of Amar-Prem who don’t eat into each other’s screen-time or performances. They vibe with each other which is pleasant. The director has also ensured that the balance between their screen time and their overall presentation is maintained throughout the runtime.
Katrina Kaif is beautiful to look at. She makes it a point to ensure that her presence doesn’t overpower the narrative; she establishes her bro-code with the boys, and delivers an effortless performance, playing on her strengths. Jackie Shroff is the tadka to this mix. He’s the seetimaar element of this comedy without whom the humour quotient of the film would not be where it is.
Overall, Gurmmeet Singh puts out a unique horror comedy which is a departure from most material one has seen in the year so far. For that itself this one deserves a visit to the theatre.