KATHMANDU, Aug 20: Amidst controversies after the Pakistani Censor Board decided to ban the film’s screening in Pakistan and speculations of a now-on now-off relationship between the two leading actors – Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif –”Ek Tha Tiger” made it to the theaters on Wednesday, August 15, 2012.
The eagerly anticipated movie, a Yash Raj production directed by Kabir Khan, is a mishmash of action, love and suspense, and the trifecta works in its favor by providing the audience with all the imperative ingredients of a full-on Bollywood entertainment.
Kabir Khan, who has earlier directed films like Kabul Express (2006) and New York (2009), is a fantastic storyteller and he has proven it once again with this latest release.
Tiger (Salman Khan) is an officer with Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s intelligence agency. He is sent on a mission to Dublin, Ireland, to keep track of an Indian scientist who is suspected to be sharing his research findings with Pakistan.
In the process, he meets Zoya (Katrina Kaif) who is Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) officer in disguise as the professor’s residence caretaker and falls in love.
From there on, the story morphs from what was supposedly thought by many to be a spy thriller to a love story following the aftermaths of an Indian intelligence officer falling in love with a Pakistani spy.
However clichéd and overdone the storyline may sound, the movie is a breath of fresh air in comparison to other mind-numbing Salman Khan nonsense like “Ready,” “Bodyguard” and “Dabangg.”
The first half of the movie drags on a little but that’s tolerable and forgivable as the palpable on-screen chemistry between the lead pair keeps the audience enraptured.
Post-interval, the film is more compact and fast-paced with brilliant action sequences somewhere along the lines of a James Bond film.
Salman Khan, the embodiment of contrasting characteristics – ultra cool and sizzling hot – entertains the audience with his unfussy acting skills, body language and occasionally witty dialogues.
Katrina Kaif, an epitome of grace and seduction, dazzles in her role of a heartless spy turned romantic and stands her ground next to Khan. To watch her not portraying a damsel in distress is a refreshing change and a sheer pleasure.
Ranvir Shorey is an effortless actor and does his bit well.
The action sequences are some of the best we’ve seen so far with even Katrina Kaif (or her body double) adding to it. Even bits like Salman Khan using his jacket to stop a speeding tram from crashing mid city or jumping onto a plane as it takes off are choreographed sleekly enough to garner hoots and cheers despite gawking at the implausibility.
The editing is crisp and makes the film an on-the-edge-of-the-seat experience at many instances while giving it a consistent feel throughout. The music, however, is nothing to rave about and is quite forgettable.
Thankfully, the humor is lighthearted and clean – something you can enjoy flanked on either side by your parents. The film doesn’t disappoint you. Surprisingly, there’s even a realistic story line which is rarely the case in most Salman Khan flicks.
For what it’s worth, Khan portrays a character instead of coming across as his sloppy and goofy self though he’s in his invincible and larger than life hulk mode as usual.
If you love Salman Khan, you’ll be swooned by Ek Tha Tiger. Catch the film to follow Salman and Katrina on a predictable journey of exotic locales with foreseeable twists before fading into obscurity and walk out with, if nothing much, a delighted smile playing on your lips.