Every so often a movie comes out that I call anti-Nolan. Just as Christopher Nolan’s movies require you to be focused all the time, these movies don’t require your attention. You can ‘watch’ such a movie while scrolling through Instagram or chatting with friends. You don’t have to set your mind. Heck, you can leave your brain at home if you want and it won’t spoil the experience one bit. Phone Bhoot sits right in the middle of its goofy comedy genre. It is silly, illogical and insults your intelligence at every turn. And despite all that, it’s actually fun in parts.
Phone Bhoot is about two good friends Galileo aka Gullu (Ishaan Khatter) and Sherdil aka Major (Siddhant Chaturvedi) who acquire the power to see ghosts and ghosts. A chance encounter with a hot devotional soul (Katrina Kaif) leads them to become Ghostbusters (actually Ghostbusters for copyright reasons). Together, they must help these lost souls attain salvation and thwart the plans of the evil tantrik Atmaram (Jackie Shroff), who is using ghosts for his nefarious plan.
The Gurmeet Singh-direction begins on a promising note with smart writing and clever dialogue that prepares the audience for two idiot idiots as the protagonists. Siddhant and Ishaan have good chemistry which means their scenes are fun to watch. But it is only after Katrina’s entry that the film truly comes alive. But immediately it hits a brick wall as the makers decide to put in a Katrina dance number along with the development of the story. And this is something that haunts the whole phone ghost. When things run the risk of getting interesting, the story gets derailed and tangles.
The actors try their best to salvage the film and be successful. Ishaan and Siddhant have good comic timing and play their part well. Katrina is the star of the film and her screen presence is solid but she stumbles once or twice with her comic timing. Jackie Shroff is hilarious and delightful as the villain, the spoof of every scary villain ever.
Phone Bhoot is a promising film. It is a cleverly written, but not so well executed effort that it has its pros and many cons as well. It is a nice addition to the growing horror comedy genre in Bollywood. It’s not quite feminine in terms of hilarity and novelty, but it’s not as bad as Roohi either.