Ek Tha Tiger – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on August 15, 2012 | 2 Comment
PRODUCER – Aditya Chopra
DIRECTOR – Kabir Khan
WRITER – Aditya Chopra (Story), Kabir Khan, Neelesh Misra (Screenplay)
CAST – Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranvir Shorey
MUSIC – Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid
Salman Khan films come with a certain type of expectations, a set that for once, the viewer isn’t really responsible for having. In the race to grab maximum whistles, the Salman Khan brigade has sought and cultivated it carefully. And then comes a film that’s off-the-Salman-radar. Almost.
Ek Tha Tiger is a romantic spy thriller, yes a mish-mash of genre only we are capable of but then we will let that pass. Tiger (Salman Khan) is a RAW agent on a mission trailing the activities of Prof Kidwai (Roshan Seth) suspected of selling missile information to Pakistan. On the trail, Tiger befriends and falls in love with Zoya (Katrina Kaif), Prof Kidwai’s caretaker. But Zoya isn’t really who she seems. But by then love has come calling with a vengeance and it wins over loyalty to the land. Both Tiger and Zoya abscond leaving the intelligence agencies of their respective countries (India’s RAW and Pakistan’s ISI) in a tizzy. What follows is a manic chase that is less wit and more dare-devilry. And that’s about it. Intriguingly, it recalls the recent Agent Vinod in more ways than one, leading one to ask, why did they bother?
As an action film, Ek Tha Tiger has enough wall scaling (parkour as its called), building jumping and other attendant acrobatics and to its credit the action is mounted on a large scale. Interestingly, and a rarity, the film treats its male and female protagonists on par, giving both equal amount of macho stunts to perform, a feat both pull of with ample agility without pretending to outdo a Salt or a Bourne.
However, if you happen to look beyond the gymnastics, the story and the romance comes across as shallow. Despite, their established on (and off) screen chemistry, Katrina and Salman Khan vibe little to exude the intense romance that is supposed to justify a life-time of being on the run. The initial romantic bits play out with a heart, warm and easy, both actors comfortable in their skins and the pace allowing for us to sink into their emotions. But once the dilemma of true identities strike and the choice point is crossed, the film begins to lose steam. To add to the dullness, the intelligence agencies of both countries simply don’t seem intelligent or efficient enough even though they aren’t dumbed down.
Ranvir Shorey as Tiger’s friend and co-agent on the mission and Girish Karnad as the chief try hard to invest a certain dignity to their roles but simply come off as being caught in the wrong job. Katrina Kaif does what she is capable of, clearly guided and controlled aptly by her director. Salman Khan stays true to his character, a rarity for him, never playing to the gallery. Having said that, it is worth pondering how patriotism is quickly rendered irrelevant when pitted against the populist notions of love. And we are back to playing to the gallery of a different kind. Our cinema after all is no longer about idealistic heroes personifying the higher ideals, is it? So we have Salman jump, run race, shoot, scale and in between romance his girl across three gorgeous continents and that is supposed to suffice. Well.