Phone Bhoot Movie Review: Katrina Kaif, Ishaan & Siddhant's volatile combo adds a few quirks in this horror-comedy
The plot revolves around horror enthusiasts Major (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Gullu (Ishaan Khattar) who strive to make a successful career out of all things horror. After getting a business idea from a beautiful ghost Ragini (Katrina Kaif), they decide to channel their inner Ghostbuster.
- Gurmmeet Singh
- Katrina Kaif,
- Siddhant Chaturvedi,
- Ishaan Khattar,
- Jackie Shroff,
- Sheeba Chaddha
There has been quite a hullabaloo when it came to the discussion of the execution of horror-comedy films in Bollywood. To strike a fine balance between the elements of horror and comedy and not make it look jagged is of utmost importance. It'll be wrong to say that Katrina Kaif , Ishaan Khatter , and Siddhant Chaturvedi 's Phone Bhoot don't prove itself ably when it comes to this genre. However, we wish along with those pop-culture gags and quirks, the screenplay of the film would've been managed to maintain consistency but alas! the film goes downhill in the climactic part.
The plot revolves around horror enthusiasts Major (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Gullu (Ishaan Khatter) who strive to make a successful career out of all things horror and macabre. Their home consists of varied elements of horror and spooky with references from the Ramsay films and the Indian version of Frankenstein, Raka. However, they fail to make a living despite possessing the passion and knowledge of the genre. An ultimatum from their respective fathers makes them host a horror-themed party which makes them stumble upon a rather beautiful ghost Ragini (Katrina Kaif).
She approaches them with a business idea of starting a helpline called Phone Bhoot wherein the two will channel their inner Ghostbusters with Ragini's help. However, Ragini has an ulterior motive with Major and Gullu which is soon revealed to the audience. It is how she uses their powers to see the spirits to avenge a personal vendetta forms the main crux of the film.
Director Gurmmeet Singh has curated a quirky atmosphere that will definitely be a safe haven for all the horror lovers. The main USP of Phone Bhoot is its concise pace and the smooth gags especially in the first half of the film. The part where the two male protagonists are thrust into the business and face a comedy of errors while solving their cases is seamlessly entertaining. The writing by Jasvinder Bath and Ravi Shankaran has various elements of the Bollywood and showbiz pop culture.
From Katrina Kaif's Rasna advertisement to Tiger Shroff's dialogue 'Choti Bachi Ho Kya?' to every South Indian's craze for Thalaiva Rajinikanth, Phone Bhoot manages to keep us entertained throughout the first phase of the film. The various references to Indian Matchmaking, Mirzapur, Fukrey including Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham theme music, the movie manages to be a laugh riot effectively using these gags in the right intervals. Alas, the film goes completely downhill in the second half. The screenplay falters majorly and the final face-off between the three protagonists with the evil wizard Atmaram (Jackie Shroff) doesn't quite land. The execution gets chaotic and messy and the only thing that keeps the climactic sequence afloat is Ishaan Khattar and Siddhant Chaturvedi's performances.
Needless to say, Ishaan Khattar and Siddhant Chaturvedi are the stars of Phone Bhoot. The two are effortless while expressing the gags and even the over-the-top paranormal investigation sequences. Never for once, their performances seem messy, over-acted or grubby. Katrina Kaif has a charming screen presence, not to forget a callback to her ad sequence will make fans nostalgic but the actress struggles to emote the emotionally-high octane or the comedic scenes. Jackie Shroff and Sheeba Chaddha deliver their best to do full justice to their character but due to a poor writing, its difficult to connect with them.
Except for 'Kinna Sonna', none of the other songs make a huge impact to the soundtrack album but the background score is fun and peppy setting the tonality of Phone Bhoot. The cinematography by KU Mohanan perfectly captures the eerie but eccentric setting of the film. The art direction by Ramesh Yadav also deserves an applause for successfully transporting us to this unconventional mood.
Phone Bhoot could've been a creative attempt to deliver a quirky horror-comedy flick if not for the writing faltering heavily in the second half. However, watch this one for magnetic screen presence of Katrina Kaif, Ishaan Khattar and Siddhant Chaturvedi. We give the film 3 out of 5 stars.