Even though director Kabir Khan’s Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan was an optimistic take on India-Pakistan relations, it still managed to ruffle a few feathers what with its music controversy and speculation about whether it would be released in Pakistan.
Will Kabir Khan’s next venture, Phantom fare better — or worse?
Based on the novel ‘Mumbai Avengers’ by S. Hussain Zaidi, the film revolves around the tragic November 26 Mumbai attacks at the Taj Hotel, which killed at least 166 people.
Starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif, Phantom has started getting attention for its controversial subject matter. To lend it a plausible edge, the trailer shows glimpses of real speeches by Hafiz Saeed of Jamatud Dawa who is alleged to be involved in the attacks.
Earlier, Kabir Khan had stressed that Phantom was ‘anti-terrorism’ not ‘anti-Pakistan.’ In what could be an attempt to de-escalate matters further, Saif Ali Khan, the man leading the operation against the accused, is shown as being Muslim. This isn’t the first time that Saif is playing such a role as he was previously seen as Agent Vinod in an espionage film Agent Vinod .
The film comes out during turbulent times as pressure to hand over Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the alleged perpetrators of the attack, to India or the International Criminal Court is building up on the present government.
Phantom is slated to release on August 28. We wonder if we’ll get to see it in Pakistan!