August 2010, I was at the inauguration of the renovated Taj Mahal Place Hotel in Mumbai, India (originally opened in 1903); it was not my first stay in this iconic, historical bastion of beauty, civility, unfathomed wealth, facing the Gateway of India; wide, silent halls, decked with Eastern antiquities and splendor, lend an aura of magnificence, reflecting the depth of India’s thirty- thousand- year history, its gods, its traditions. On November 26th, 2008 these halls were transformed from tranquility to galleys of carnage, destruction and brimstone by 10 Pakistani terrorists, Beelzebubs from hell.
“Phantom”, like Steven Spielberg’s 2005, “Munich” focuses on revenge and retribution aimed at the masterminds of the atrocities; in this case a fantasy (based on the book “Mumbai Avengers” by Hussain Zaidi); perpetually ongoing is the hunt for these malevolent monsters. Saif Ali Khan (Phantom) and Katrina Kaif (“Nawaz”) are perfectly-paired as agents tracking the instigators; the action is riveting as they determine their targets in fanatic Pakistan.
Particularly entertaining was the planned, “fictional”, demise of David C. Headley, a Chicagoan, serving a life sentence for his cooperation in the assassination of the innocent.
At times, sensationally manipulative, preposterously contrived but ultimately satisfying; hopefully, the future holds a nonfictional account of justice meted to the iniquitous.