Saturday, August 18, 2012

Enter Salman, Exit Logic

The Central Board for Film Certification should have, by now, created a category to fit films like Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger. The U, U/A, A aren’t enough to tell what to expect from such a film. It requires a WSD rating. Willing Suspension of Disbelief – which hereby notifies the audience to buy the ticket if and only if they are willing to get popcorn into the cinema halls and not their minds.

The film tells the story of Tiger — a super-human James Bond-like spy who works for the secret agency RAW. Having very superficially shown to be a righteous, sincere, hardcore soldier, who hasn’t taken a break for 12 years, Tiger is sent on a mission to Ireland to find out what a nuclear scientist is up to. There, he falls in love with the part-time caretaker, who, as we would later find out, is an enemy agent. But the plot dwells so much in the romance that you forget that the two love birds are in fact spies.

The two then embark on a journey to abscond from their respective agencies and live together in peace. But this isn’t acceptable to the higher authorities, and the brightest minds within the agency trace the two protagonists in a pursuit that takes them from Istanbul to Kazakhstan to Cuba. But these bright minds, who apparently have nothing else to do but chase rogue agents, appear to act in the most ridiculous ways. They are hasty, unplanned and indefinite in their motives. But at the end of it all, who cares?

Salman Khan, whose aura is supposed to drive the film from start to end, just about manages to do so. He isn’t able to live up to Wanted or Dabanng, but he definitely outdoes himself from his previous two films. The suaveness of a Yash Raj film creeps in and dilutes Salman’s raw charm. Katrina Kaif is unimpressive as usual, but throws up a few surprises in the action scenes, which are mostly performed by identifiable body doubles. Ranvir Shorey and Girish Karnad play important supporting roles in vain.

The second hero of the film, after Salman, is the action. But after an initial classical Prince of Persia-like fight sequence, it is a gradual journey downhill for those who came expecting an adrenaline rush. The dialogues lack the conceit of Chulbul Pandey and the haughtiness of, “Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, phir toh mai apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta,” from Wanted. The music isn’t the kind which you’ll keep humming, and the most anticipated song of the film comes only during the end credits.

Although it is a given that once you have entered the movie theatre to watch this film, you have surrendered the weapon of logical reasoning; but even on the scale of outright entertainment, Ek Tha Tiger falls short in places. The middle seems a little too dragged and you might find yourself occasionally drifting into your own world which is outside the dark room. Watch it if you don’t want to miss a Salman Khan film. If not, there’s a lot happening out there that you can do.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on August 18, 2012

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