The Hindi film industry is not new to espionage themes. Rather, the secret agent thrillers date back to the 60s and 70s. Recall films like ANKHEN, INTERNATIONAL CROOK, FARZ, SPY IN ROME, JEWEL THIEF, also THE GREAT GAMBLER, SURAKKSHA, AGENT VINOD and GOPICHAND JASOOS…
Post WANTED, DABANGG and BODYGUARD, all Eid releases, Salman Khan and Yash Raj, the premier production house, unleash their first collaboration together, again on Eid. The Pied Piper of the Hindi film industry, who is on a dream run, delivering one Blockbuster after another, is expected to shatter previous records and set new ones at the box-office.
Is EK THA TIGER at par/better than the previous Salman starrers? All I'd say is that the comparisons, though inevitable, are erroneous. As a standalone film, EK THA TIGER is enthralling and most significantly, an entertaining motion picture. On the exterior, it is a compelling love story/thriller. But beneath the entertainment that it offers, it carries a message as well. Loud and clear. If the spectators can see through the coating, great. Even if they don't, they will yet go back in high spirits.
Let me clarify, EK THA TIGER is not a 'dark film'. No jingoism. No political statements. This is no James Bond duplication either. It reintroduces a megastar, who is at the pinnacle of his illustrious career, in a wholly new space. This one's made by a desi, with desi sensibilities, but targeting the desi audience as well as those beyond the shores of the country. So, there!
In the dark world of intelligence and espionage, all information is guarded in the name of national security. But some stories escape the fiercely guarded classified files...
In a government employees' neighbourhood in New Delhi, there lived a rugged, handsome and mysterious bachelor about whom his neighbours knew nothing. That was because he was India's top spy, an officer with the Research and Analysis Wing [RAW]. This man was known even in official corridors as Tiger [Salman Khan].
Tiger is sent on a relatively easy and safe mission to Dublin, Ireland to observe a scientist of Indian origin [Roshan Seth], who is suspected of sharing his research findings with the Pakistan defence establishment. Tiger attempts to meet the scientist, but is not successful. He tries to befriend the scientist's part-time home caretaker, Zoya [Katrina Kaif]. As Tiger begins to get closer to Zoya, he begins to discover his human side. For the first time in his life, Tiger falls in love...
What follows is a tumultuous journey that Tiger and Zoya embark upon, battling the dark world of intelligence and espionage that forbids its soldiers from falling in love.
Come to think of it, when you saunter into a cineplex to catch EK THA TIGER, what you want, more than anything else, is an adrenaline rush. Director Kabir Khan's take on a RAW agent is very close to real, but, at the same time, it's not a docu-drama. Nor is the agent a clone of Jason Bourne or James Bond. Like I pointed out at the outset, it's desi at heart. Also, clever, amusing and thoroughly entertaining.
Kabir Khan's direction is thoughtful, focused and never goes off-track. In fact, EK THA TIGER takes the detective genre in Hindi movies to a fresh altitude. Besides, Kabir and co-writer Neelesh Mishra open the cards gradually and the highpoint is the interval point when Salman unravels something shocking. Post interval, the film throws one surprise after another and it reaches its crescendo in the concluding stages, with the climax making a solid impression.
EK THA TIGER travels across the globe to capture some of the most exotic locales in the world and the DoP [Aseem Mishra] captures them with flourish. EK THA TIGER has a pleasant score [Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid]. 'Mashallah' is the pick of the lot, followed by 'Banjara' and 'Laapata'. The stunts are truly crackling. In fact, the action sequences are of the heart-in-the-mouth variety and if one may add, such stunts and chases have never ever been witnessed on the Hindi screen before. The dialogue is intelligent and sharp.
Blemishes? Not really, but, yes, the leisurely unfurling of the love story in the first hour slackens the narrative occasionally. Since the sequences are so cute and the fact that the ones performing them are Salman and Katrina, one doesn't really mind it, actually.
When you have Salman in a movie titled EK THA TIGER, the director doesn't need to convince the audience that he is a tiger. Salman looks the part! Clutching the thriller with his dynamic presence and performance, Salman is, without doubt, the lifeline of this film. He pulls off the part with flamboyance. Also, he brings in so much visceral rousing energy to the film, every time he appears on the screen. Salman and Katrina pair up after a hiatus in EK THA TIGER and their chemistry is electrifying. Though an out-and-out Salman starrer, Katrina is not relegated to the backseat. Neither is she Salman's arm candy here. She has a meaty part and to her credit, she handles it with aplomb. Also, watch out for her stunts... This is a new Katrina here!
Girish Karnad is excellent. Ranvir Shorey is first-rate. His scenes with Salman are truly wonderful. Roshan Seth is adequate.
On the whole, EK THA TIGER is a high-octane thriller that works big time. This one has style and substance, both, besides dazzling action, stunning international locales and stylish execution. Most importantly, it has Salman Khan, the trump card of this enterprise. There's no denying that Salman's charisma has resulted in a mind-blowing, astounding, never-seen-before start at the ticket window, but the film's content will sustain it thereafter. The film has long legs to prolong its splendid run. This is, without doubt, Salman's best. Sure shot Blockbuster!
Ads by Google A poster of the film Ek Tha Tiger. Courtesy: Yash Raj Films
Salman Khan plays Tiger, a RAW agent, one with Herculean physical strength that can take on the world and leave the might of super heroes far behind in his action packed missions to save India. There’s no wall high enough for him to scale or a plane slow enough for him not to leap into mid-air. And of course, there’s no enemy, namely Pakistan’s ISI agents, strong enough to break him and his nationalist resolve toward his country.
The film opens in Zakho, Iraq, with a flying kick so hard, it sets the action tone of the film right away. Tiger reports to Shenoy (Girish Karnad) in New Delhi after every field mission for the last 12 years and this time is no different. The two share a warm camaraderie over drinks and a special daal dinner, with Tiger raring to set off on yet another mission. He leads a boring, undercover life, not to mention single too, in a spartan home in a Delhi neighborhood where his good looks, physique and mysterious comings and goings are more exciting to the women around than the television serials. Of course, their men aren’t amused by their fascination with the mysterious neighbour. And before he can get into his buying milk from the milkman morning routine, he is assigned to keep a close eye on one Professor Kidwai (Roshan Seth) who teaches at the Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, who RAW suspects is sharing integral missile information with the enemy. Fellow RAW agent, Gopi (Ranvir Shorey) accompanies Tiger on this mission.
A poster of the film Ek Tha Tiger. Courtesy: Yash Raj Films
Professor Kidwai is batty and Tiger, relentless, in the guise of Manish Chandra, a writer, in befriending the old geezer. Zoya (Katrina Kaif) a student, who is also a part time caretaker of the Professor’s home and dog, Rocket, aids Tiger in the process. This is one Tiger that needs no saving on any mission, until he falls in love with the beautiful Zoya and the song Banjaara visualizes his love-struck state of mind amidst the Irish landscape. Many romantic interludes later, you are smitten by Tiger’s unspoken love for Zoya, where terms of endearment between them are Zee and Doordarshan, which go on to play a bigger role in the scheme of things to unfold post the interval, where the story takes a very surprising turn.
Without giving away what follows the exciting and unpredictable turn in the plot, the film traverses Istanbul in Turkey and goes on to Havana in Cuba with the leading pair of the film lending their beautiful selves to the exotica of the locations, especially in the song, Laapata filmed in Havana. What comes between their love? Do Tiger and Zoya survive the international chase of RAW and ISI heads and agents? Ek Tha Tiger wouldn’t be a thriller romance if I told you anything more!
The action in Ek Tha Tiger is spectacular and every bewildering, unrealistic action sequence is just that much more exciting with Tiger enacting the same! From stopping a train to leaping off a motorbike into a plane already in mid-air, Salman Khan makes it real! The cinematography by Aseem Mishra is seamless and brilliant, not once invading the space of the characters at work in the foreground. The background score attempts to incorporate the local sounds of music when in Havana and Istanbul especially, and it works. The dialogues are “very Salman-esque” like “Main dress de raha hoon, utaar thodi raha hoon!” and only he can carry off these lines with his easy charm and panache on screen.
Salman Khan’s portrayal of the RAW agent, Tiger in the political jungle of life, is forceful and subtle at the same time. In the stylised action scenes, a bruised and wounded Salman exudes a rockstar like cool that’s very, well, cool. But when he plays the love struck Tiger, Salman’s the undisputed Khan of romance with his expressions of love! Ek Tha Tiger feels more a love story set in an action thriller plot line when the Tiger-Zoya love story commences, but the film straddles the divide well in shifting gears from action to romance ably.
Katrina Kaif looks stunning, playing Tiger’s feisty Tigress in the film, but it’s her action scenes that add dimension to her character. She has a hero’s part almost in the film, with a well-written character and her striking presence in literally, every frame of the film. She, too, balances the different shades of Zoya well with her able performance and has gone far beyond her initial days of just being the pretty girl in the film.
Girish Karnad’s performance as the RAW head is mediocre, but doesn’t hamper the film given it revolves primarily around its two main protagonists, Tiger and Zoya. Ranvir Shorey is good in his Gopi act.
The director, who has earlier directed Kabul Express (2006) and New York (2009) has a firm grip on the story and the screen play, without compromising on the entertainment value of the film at all. There’s everything and more in Ek Tha Tiger that you’d want to see in a film – good looking lead cast, story, glamour, an endearing romance, good performances, some laughs, picturesque locations, thrilling and exquisite action, patriotism and most importantly, a good time at the movies!
romantic thriller...first part romance second part thriller ....awesome location shoots .. tiger entry fantastic .. romance part slows down movie ..
kat beautiful as usual...action scenes fantastic! second half remind me of bourne series...chasing scene ..jumping roof to roof salman ..our indian jason ..
Thank you bala
similar look isn;t it ?
umm kind of same basic story ... intelligence chasing a spy .. )
anyway ..action scene shot too good ..kat can be a bond girl too much thrilling in 2nd part .. story kuch khas nahi ..
my rating 4/5
Thank you bala
Super hit ....awesome movie...sallu...
'Power & Money are marvelous sources if they remain in pocket but they are terrible masters once they enter the head."
watched ek tha tiger
sallu's entry was super, so far best performance by sallu & kat
shooting locations, action, story,songs everything was superb
another blockbuster by sallu
my rating 4.5/5
Climax is superb....especially the scene sallu is jumping from bike to hellicopter.. Only Sallu can do it..
i liked the first half only....
History is created! Ek Tha Tiger crosses the coveted club of Rs. 100 cr, which makes it as the fastest movie to reach this level ever in Bollywood.