Phone Bhoot Review: Katrina Kaif, Ishaan, Siddhant Chaturvedi offer an enjoyable horror ride filled with pop culture references

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Film: Phone Bhoot

Director: Gurmmeet Singh

Star cast: Katrina Kaif, Ishaan, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Jackie Shroff

Bollywood Bubble ratings: 3.5/5 stars

phone bhoot

Phone Bhoot Movie Review:

I entered the theatre to watch Phone Bhoot excited because of the glimpse of the chemistry I saw between Katrina, Ishaan and Siddhant. Apart from that, I went in with more or less a clean slate. But from the word go, I started enjoying the fresh narrative style that the makers used for the film. The background commentary, which also featured in the trailer, became all the more funnier in its extended version on the big screen.

As the film began with the storytelling, I’ll be honest, the jokes didn’t land as much since they were all a little cliché and that’s the thing with cliché things, if you falter, they become cringey, but if you pull it off well, it hits the right mark. After all, they are cliché for a reason. Thankfully, Phone Bhoot fell in the latter category as the film progressed. The plot and the jokes had nothing path-breaking and instead of a horror comedy, I will term it as a comedy about ghosts, but it does make you enjoy every bit of it.

 

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A post shared by Ishaan (@ishaankhatter)

However, what made the experience amazingly funny for me was all the pop culture references that the film delivered. To start with, being an Excel movie, the film had so many references to previous Excel projects including Fukrey, Inside Edge, Mirzapur, and more, including a SURPRSING cameo(s). From there, it was like a nostalgic tribute to Bollywood, which I, being a Bollywood buff, enjoyed thoroughly. I won’t spoil the film by revealing much but there are jokes like ‘Katrina ka number hai? Nahi, Vicky-pedia hai’, and more like that.

There is a reference to some famous ad commercials as well like Vasmol, Keo Karpin and since Kat is there, so her famous Slice ad, and also some popular meme references like the four guys dancing with the coffin and an epic Rajinikanth sequence. All of these references felt like little treats that I was enjoying having. The chemistry that the three leads promised, they delivered on that. Siddhant and Ishaan are surely as fun on screen as they are in real life. And while I was enjoying the film completely for almost its full duration, the climax kind of left me a little underwhelmed, although, that too had its moments that made me laugh out loud. I must make a special note about the interval announcement, as Phone Bhoot showed how even a trivial thing like that can be made hilarious.

 

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Story:

Phone Bhoot tells the story of two friends, Gullu and Major played by Ishaan and Siddhant, who are obsessed with ghosts and try to implement good-for-nothing wacky horror ideas as event managers. A coincidence gives them the power to see ghosts and that’s when they run into Ragini, played by Katrina. How the three of them help each other achieve their goals while fighting off the evil Atmaram played by Jackie Shroff, makes for a hilarious horror ride.

 

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A post shared by Katrina Kaif (@katrinakaif)

Star Performance:

Katrina Kaif is indeed the star of the film. The actress proves her electric presence on screen every time she appears on it. She has a spark that you just cannot miss. Her chemistry with both the boys is one of the biggest USPs of the film. She also gets to show her amazing dancing skills with Kinna Sona and Kaali Teri Gut. You just cannot help but be in awe of her and her aura.

 

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It seems weird that it is actually Ishaan’s second big screen outing after his debut with Dhadak. It has been four years since and all I can say after watching him in Phone Bhoot is that this boy is meant for the big screen. His character is shown as the more innocent and a little bit naive one, and Ishaan brings that out beautifully. You do develop a soft corner for him and every time he appears on screen, you can’t help but smile.

 

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A post shared by Ishaan (@ishaankhatter)

Siddhant has kind of nailed the swaggy boy character on the big screen. From MC Sher in Gully Boy to the new Bunty in Bunty Aur Babli and now as Major in Phone Bhoot, his loud mouth persona suits his personality and he does it well. His comic timing is also quite great. And the best thing is that Siddhant gets to pay homage to an older character which I won’t reveal for spoiler reasons, and also he gets his own Shah Rukh Khan moment and it will make you laugh.

Jackie Shroff as the villain starts out steadily but once he breaks the scary demeanour, he makes you laugh out loud in moments. He gets to make two amazing references to his past and it is nostalgic and funny both at the same time for the audience. I loved both of those, but I just wish the character was a little more fleshed out as it remains a bit superficial. Although, Jackie does bring out the scare at the times it is needed, while enforcing laughter the other times.

 

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A post shared by Ishaan (@ishaankhatter)

The supporting cast has Armaan Ralhan in a special role. He has a charming presence but he doesn’t get to do much beyond that and Sheeba Chaddha’s few scenes are indeed quite funny.

Direction/Screenplay:

Gurmmeet Singh has done a good job to bring about a freshness in the horror comedy genre. Sure there isn’t any new kind of story or any path-breaking jokes, but the tribute to Bollywood that happens through the pop culture references is what makes the film enjoyable. The screenplay is good and tight, it’s just the final clash that falls a little flat as compared to the rest of the film. A little work on the climax to make it better and more engaging would have made this film a lot better considering it’s all about cliché dialogues and plot. But Gurmmeet succeeds in making it an enjoyable ride overall.

 

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A post shared by Ishaan (@ishaankhatter)

Conclusion:

I loved Phone Bhoot because the references are a part of my growing up years, but that’s where I feel the film might face some challenge as well as different age groups will have different experiences. For the younger audience, many of these jokes might go over the head due to unfamiliarity while for the older generation, it might seem a bit too overdone. However, I am sure that the people in their 20s and 30s would love all the pop culture references. Phone Bhoot might not be as scary but it indeed delivers on the comedy front, and it will provide you with a lot of nostalgia to cherish, making the experience exciting.

Watch the trailer of Phone Bhoot after the film’s review:

Also Read: Vicky Kaushal says ‘full masti and pagalpan hai’ as he reviews wife Katrina Kaif starrer Phone Bhoot