After having suffered a third degree torture named ‘Agent Vinod’, we were sceptical about another film on RAW and ISI agents with a similar story line but this one thankfully is a delightful entertainer. There’s never a dull moment in Ek Tha Tiger.
Yes of course, you need to discount a lot of absurdity in the process–
- That our smart RAW guys know it all, and the not-so-smart ISI counterparts know very little…Well, if the American war propaganda films could get away with the worst anthropomorphisms forced on the Italians, German and the Japanese, why can’t we? Especially when our cinematic prejudices against Pakistan are much more dignified in comparison…
- That there’s no difference between undercover officers and diplomats whatsoever. More so, they can swap desk and field jobs at will…Haha! That’s really funny.
- That dating and partying are freebies attached to an “observation” job – the bills are paid by the Indian government as the national cause is supposedly at stake.
- That veterans like Roshan Seth and Girish Karnad and promising newbies like Ranveer Shourey are wasted in varying proportions. Not that it affects the viewing experience much. Seth looks a professor all right but definitely not a scientist, Salman’s boss Karnad resembles a disgruntled pensioner than a RAW officer while Shourey’s get up is tailor-made for a terrorist; not an agent, (however RAW)
If you can get past the above mockery (with Salman around, you definitely can), Ek Tha Tiger is unadulterated fun. From start to end, director Kabir Khan knows how to engage his viewers, from one frame to another. To help his cause, there’s super-woman Katrina Kaif giving Salman truly spirited company. Her supersonic jumps make up for her histrionic glitches. The action is mind boggling and the lead pair makes it look convincing, making body doubles look like seamless extensions of their own bodies. The collaboration of Sohail Sen and Sajid-Wajid unfortunately does not live up to the name. Save for “Maashalla”, the numbers don’t linger for long.
There’s a popular misconception doing the rounds that Salman Khan can’t act. Nothing can be farther from the truth. That his films belong to a different breed, often oscillating between the absurd and the abrupt, can’t be the litmus test to judge his individual performance. Take a film like Dabbang – yes, it was an over-the-top action thriller but consider the scene in which he breaks down following his mother’s demise (Note his pet line ‘kamaal karti ho’ to convey a contrasting emotion) – if that’s not wonderful acting, what is?
As Tiger, Salman charms us yet again with his comic timing and amusing quips. As is customary for a Salman movie, we have a peeing act (thankfully no flatulence here) and a heavenly ‘Papa discourse’. But you don’t mind the encore, thanks to his inimitable charisma.
Beyond doubt, only Salman khan makes the impossible look more than real. Precisely why Ek tha Tiger spells super entertainment – a complete paisa vasool. Yash Raj Films should have teamed up with Salman much earlier. But better late than never!