Movie: Ek Tha Tiger ;Genre: Action/Adventure; Producer: Yashraj Films; Director: Kabir Khan
Its indeed laborious to review a Salman Khan flick. No matter what he does in those 3 hours of his screen time, he ends up garnering wolf whistles from his unparalleled and incomprehensible fan following, making his rather pedestrian movies last year(Ready, Bodyguard), monstrous blockbusters. The superstar is professedly going through the most sublime phase of his career, with each and every release of his carrying gargantuan expectations, and “Ek Tha Tiger” being no exception. Thankfully, “Ek Tha Tiger“doesnt end up being those pedestrian one man army “Salmanomania”films. Instead, this hugely anticipated movie , though grappled with a tacky and threadbare story line ,turns out be a refreshing cinematic experience.
The opening frame of the film booms with a dashing entry of our unassailable RAW agent Tiger ( Salman) , crushing and evading the heavily armed assasins, amidst the dingy alleys in a city of Iraq. Back home unharmed from his mission and after imploring his superior officer Shenoy ( Girish Karnad) for another assignment, he is dispatched to Dublin , to scrutinize a maverick professor ( a cameo by Roshan Seth), who is apparently exchanging integral information about RAW to the ISI. Tiger persuades his mission, and in the process , meets Zoya (Katrina), the caretaker of the professors house. In pursuing through this mission, he is faced with several revelations and surprises, which virtually turns out to be a life changer for our desi agent.
Staged as a espionage thriller, this film has several invigorating moments, especially the amorous romantic scenes between Salman and Kat, which are indeed a delight to watch, proving once again their sizzling chemistry on screen. The humour sequences are fresh and natural, especially the scene where the lead stars introduce each other – To Katrinas statement ” I am Zoya, and friends call me Zee“, Salman replies ” I am Manish, and people call me Doordarshan“.
The entire film bears a glistening and radiant canvas throughout, with some exotic locales ( Ireland, Istanbul, Cuba), a typical Yashraj trademark, being stupendously captured. Added to this, an elegant musical score woven with striking choreography ( “Banjara”, Mashallah ” the standout tracks), acts a feather to the cap. But its the action scenes of this flick which stands out due to its absolute novel execution- Salman using his jacket to stop a speeding train, the chase sequence involving both Sallu and Kat, and the climactic sequence , where an injured Salman rides a bike and catches a flying plane, amidst explosions all around- deftly and proficiently executed.
The biggest let downer of this entire premise is a threadbare storyline, which makes the second half of the film a mere chase sequences woven part, after an engrossing first half. With a surprising revelation in the interval, the film zooms down completely in the latter half, with several loopholes integrated into it. What could have been a tight espionage thriller with a more tighter screenplay and story , turns out to be just a ” Cat and Mouse” fare. Also, the usage of a body double is prominent in some action sequences.
Performance wise, Salman is his usual self- Dapper and charismatic. But Ek Tha Tiger will be listed as one of his accomplished performances, as he exudes an earnestness to his character, demarcating it completely from his previous humdrum flicks. He is smashing in action sequences, and is absolutely charming in romantic and comic moments. Katrina enacts her role perfectly, and stands neck to neck with Salman in every frame. It was really good to watch a heroine clutching a meaty role in a Salman flick, a trend which has been missing in the past. Watch her in some kick ass action sequences, and you will be thoroughly entertained. Accomplished actors , Girish Karnad and Ranvir Shorey fit into their parts perfectly.
Despite its blemishes, the fact that Ek Tha Tiger portrays Salman Khan more as a character , rather than a larger than life image , makes it a gratifying and satiating experience, and a testimony to the truth that Salman is an immensely capable actor.
But as I commented earlier, there is no point reviewing a Salman Film. The film has embarked on a historic opening already, and might turn out to another gargantuan blockbuster. As one of my colleagues said after coming out of the theatre ” Bahut dino ke baad seeti maarne ka mauka mila yaar”
Watch it out for : Brilliant action-chase sequences, exotic locales, superlative Katrina, and Salman- the actor. Keep a check on your expectations though.