Phantom is likely to be Saif's most-talked-about film in Pakistan.
The subject matter alone caused enough commotion to get the film banned, and then Saif added fuel to the fire with his views about Pakistan's reaction.**
After taking some time to reflect, he has the following to add on the subject:
"...I was upset with the action in Pakistan and how upset they're getting and I seem to have become the face of "anti-Pakistan feeling," he said. "This, I'm a little concerned about. Because my politics is the last thing that should become the question and for sure not against the people of Pakistan, I have absolutely nothing, except goodwill and hope that we manage to fix our problems."
Phantom director Kabir Khan explained that the film doesn't aim to promote its plot as a plan of action, but only wishes to reflect the underlying thought process:
"I very strongly need to say that when we do something in the film, it does not mean that we want that carried out. It's just the way. (Like in Bajrangi Bhaijaan) if you find a six-year-old girl, I am not propagating you to go digging under the tunnels and cross the border. I am not. What are we trying to do is, it does in some sense reflect what we all think about."
Saif, on the other hand, feels that viewers can vicariously experience an alternative reality of events through Phantom:
He said: "Isn't it like the function of films and plays, also to create scenarios, which actually didn't happen. That's what we studied catharsis is - where you watch it and imagine, what might have happened."
The film, which released on August 28, has had lukewarm reviews in India.