When ‘Ghost Calling’ becomes a business venture

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Phone Bhoot is the story of two boys who aspire to become professional ghostbusters. Major (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Gullu (Ishaan Khatter) are best friends who have had a crazy interest in ghosts and spirits ever since they were kids. They want to make money out of their love for ghosts. But all their business ideas get flop. They then host a ‘Moksha Party’, which emerges a success as several ghosts mark their presence. One such ghost is Ragini (Katrina Kaif). She informs them that they are gifted with seeing dead people. Soon, their life turns unexpectedly when they’re faced with an evil baba, jealous of their progress. She gives them a business idea that they should start a phone line for those who want to get rid of ghosts. Major and Gullu refuse at first but accept the picture later.

At first, their initiative gets massively trolled, but eventually, their business idea becomes a success. But their journey hits a roadblock when they get pulled into Ragini’s larger plan to salvage her lover from the clutches of an evil baba, Aatmaram (Jackie Shroff). The sets are amazingly built from Major & Gullu’s room, screaming out how big of horror fans they are, having an illusion door, a statue of their favourite ghost Raka, a skeleton phone & a lot more. The comic timing of all the actors is tremendous, and the comedy scenes are hilarious. Siddhant & Ishaan have some hilarious one-liners, which they keep delivering with ultimate swag.Sheeba Chadha and Manuj Sharma have their roles fleshed out in the gloomy second half & are briefly unfunny, lending not-so-great support. References to old and some new Hindi horror films are incorporated into the narrative seamlessly. Jackie Shroff’s entry changes the film’s gear for the better and increases the film’s pace. Production design and editing are good.

The music complements the storyline, but there is nothing to take along. Ishaan and Siddhant have an incredible camaraderie as the ghost-busting duo. They put out a confident performance. They don’t eat into each other’s screen time or commissions. Instead, they vibe with each other. The director has also ensured that the balance between their screen time is maintained throughout the runtime. Katrina Kaif was fabulous in her role and screen presence throughout.

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