It would turn out to be profitable venture for the makers – 3.0/5.0

By: Fenil Seta

Another Salman release. Yet again, the excitement is immense. This time, slightly more. After all, Salman and YRF are coming together for the first time. The hit jodi of Salman-Katrina, meanwhile, is collaborating with each other after a hiatus. Exotic locales, peppy music, slick look, action, drama, chase, explosions, romance, masti and a lot more was promised by the promos and songs of Ek Tha Tiger. However, one subtle stuff promised by the trailers was that the film will be in lines of a typical Kabir Khan flick – commercial and entertaining and yet believable and to an extent, bit of realistic as well. In that context, Ek Tha Tiger disappoints. More details later!

The story of the movie: Tiger (Salman Khan) is one of the best officers in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). He’s single, doesn’t like to take an off and is always on the lookout for a dangerous, exciting and challenging mission. After his stint in Zakho (Iraq), his senior (Girish Karnad) sends him to a relatively safer mission at Dublin (Ireland). His job will be to simply observe Prof Kidwai (Roshan Seth), an Indian scientist suspected to be sharing sensitive and crucial information with Pakistan’s defence officials. When his attempts to even initiate a conversation with Kidwai prove futile, Tiger takes help of Zoya (Katrina Kaif). As days pass by, Tiger realizes that he’s in love…for the first time ever.

However, this marks the beginning of a very difficult and harrowing time for Tiger. The biggest strength of Ek Tha Tiger is its stunning and exotic locations. The film has been shot in places like Cuba and Turkey where no Bollywood film has been shot ever. The film opens with visually appealing scenes and gives a perfect start to the thriller. Salman’s entry was smart and the following action scene gives viewers a high. Even the Delhi scenes are immensely entertaining. Sadly, the film goes down as soon as the action shifts to Dublin. Barring few scenes of Salman-Katrina and Salman-Ranvir Shorey (as Gopi), the Dublin episode didn’t have much excitement to offer. The chase sequence minutes before the intermission was brilliant though. The second half too commences with not-so-exciting moments. It’s only later when Tiger listens to his heart that the film comes back on track. From here till the end, the film was fairly a decent ride. The fight in the climax commences with a bang but the unbelievable action stunts in between spoil the show. And that in a way is a major glitch of Ek Tha Tiger. There are portions in the film where everything seems convincing but few scenes here and there take the believability factor out. And this shall disappoint many because the film gave a different sort of impression with the trailers and teaser.

The ‘India aur Pakistan mein do aisi sarkaari agencies hai jo har roz, har pal jung lad rahi hai’ type dialogues being one of them. The film doesn’t boast of huge star cast and everyone give in their best shot. Salman Khan fits the bill as the ‘Tiger’ and half the battle was already won by him. I have always found his performances impressive and Ek Tha Tiger is no exception. The actor especially shines in the action scenes, some of them very difficult which he did sans body double. The film might have slightly disappointed but would not harm Salman’s career in any manner whatsoever. The guy’s on a roll and how! His next (Dabangg 2 and Sher Khan) too are expected to set the BO on fire! Barring Tees Maar Khan, Katrina Kaif has always accepted roles that have meat and don’t relegate her to being eye-candy.

Ek Tha Tiger gives her chance not only to romance but also to exhibit her acting (and action) prowess. She shines the most in ‘Masha Allah’ though! Ranvir Shorey and Girish Karnad lend in able support. Same goes for Roshan Seth. Others do fine as well. Sajid-Wajid and Sohail Sen came up with peppy and energetic songs. ‘Masha Allah’ is the best of the lot followed by ‘Laapta’ and ‘Banjara’. Julius Packiam’s background score enhances impact in several scenes. Conrad Palmisano’s action is terrific and eye-catching. Great work! However, at places, it was over-the-top and brought the film down as well. Aditya Chopra’s story definitely had the meat and all trappings of a blockbuster. Many spy and espionage thrillers have been made in Bollywood but none have thrown light on the problems faced by secret agents while dealing with the aam junta.

After all, they can’t reveal their profession and have to often resort to lies. Ek Tha Tiger throws light on this aspect which is indeed praiseworthy. Neelesh Misra and Kabir Khan’s dialogues pack a solid punch. But their script lacked the punch at many places. Same goes for Kabir’s direction. This is his weakest film yet. The thriller part of the film was exciting, not the love story. Also, showing people playing musical instruments and singing at every restaurant/party and focusing on them for quite long got repetitive and on viewer’s nerves as well! Kabir, however, deserves praise for presenting exotic countries and for the prolonged action scenes as well!

On the whole, Ek Tha Tiger does give an adrenaline rush but only at places. The love story is lackluster while in many scenes, the goings-on don’t seem convincing. However, the film has Salman, Katrina, locales and action that compensates for the glitches. At the box office, it has taken a historic start. It would turn out to be profitable venture for the makers. As for whether it’ll break 3 Idiots’ record, let’s see!


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