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PHONE BHOOT - The cleverly written one-liners and entertaining references to the past make it enjoyable at times, but not as any horror comedy. (Review by Bobby Sing)

20 Nov, 2022 | Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

Exploiting the theme of Ghostbusters, PHONE BHOOT is yet another attempt to make an entertaining horror comedy, which is the recent favourite genre of Hindi Cinema. The USP of the film is its dialogues and casting, featuring Katrina Kaif as the friendly ghost, Ishaan and Siddhant as the ghostbusters, and Jackie Shroff as the loud, evil villain.
The film begins on a routine note and the wacky humour gradually starts working as a bizarre comedy (beginning from the scene with the parents). The writing does the trick (with many funny one-liners) and it helps the actors find their much-needed connecting link with the viewers. And this combination successfully brings smiles to the faces, if not laughter.
However, the entertaining first half gets dragged back by a below-average second and its weirdly written sub-plot of Atmaram (Jackie)–the evil ghost running his ‘spirited’ corporation. The forcibly inserted songs continue to hamper the pace, including the typical Punjabi ones, and the climax further adds to the disappointment with the one-liners remaining the only saving grace right till the end.
But, despite the drawbacks of a feeble second hour, what still works in the film's favour is the chemistry and comic timing of both Ishaan and Siddhant, the on-screen charm of Katrina, and the continuous references to the famous films, songs, advertisements and various characters of the past in its cleverly penned dialogues. 
For instance, apart from the Hindi horror films posters and more related stuff displayed in the backdrop, PHONE BHOOT makes hilarious references to Fukrey boys, K3G, Katrina’s slice adverts, Jackie’s flute in Hero, OLX, Deadpool, Thalaiva, Diljit, Raaka and many more in its smartly written lines. A sequence of repeatedly taking wrong names fondly reminded me of the similar acts of Kadar Khan and Paresh Rawal before 2000. It is these funny mentions in the film that keep you involved and make you ignore the open product endorsements in a few scenes.
Overall, PHONE BHOOT is sure going to disappoint if watched as a scary horror comedy. There are no scares as such in the film because it largely focuses on the interactions between its comic, bizarre characters instead of horror. The execution strongly makes you recall underrated comedies like PEECHA KARO and more, as the director follows that kind of treatment, to be precise.
Overall, this is no STREE but a far better film compared to recent duds like BHOOT POLICE and ROOHI exploiting the same genre.
Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 especially for its entertaining dialogues)
Note : An accident sequence in the film yet again made me realize the importance of wearing seat belts in a car. That footage clearly displays how not wearing one can result in the loss of valuable lives in just a few seconds.

Tags : PHONE BHOOT Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Hindi Horror Comedies, Hindi Horror films
20 Nov 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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