Posted by: kcgadiyar | August 22, 2012

Review: Ek Tha Tiger

(X-post from my other blog)

Towards the end of “Ek Tha Tiger” there is a scene when Salman and Katrina are on a motorbike and they make their way to an airfield in order to escape in a small plane. At that moment i thought to myself “Why does Salman Khan need a plane? He can fly the motorbike itself” (similar to how Chiranjeevi can slide a horse). 10 minutes and a small action sequence later, Salman Khan actually almost flies the motorbike as I had jokingly thought.

That sequence is in a way a distillation of the movie, the most impossible things will happen and you will sit back and go along with it because hey, it IS a Salman Khan movie.

Going into “Ek Tha Tiger”, i expected an action movie kind of like the Bourne series or similar, but it turns out the theatrical trailer was a major bait and switch. There are a total of 3 action sequences in this movie (and 2 minor fights), but the movie is above all a love story, a very serviceable love story but not a very compelling one. In fact, the movie gives us glimpses of Tiger’s old missions, and every time they showed one of the old missions, i was left thinking that i would have rather seen a movie about those missions (the one in China looked particularly interesting, a true spy thriller type)

What is the story? Tiger (Salman Khan) is a RAW agent who is sent to observe a scientist (Roshan Seth) and find out if he is selling nuclear missile deterrent technology to Pakistan. He has a housekeeper Zoya (Katrina Kaif) who Tiger promptly falls in love with, but it turns out that she has a secret of her own. Once her secret is revealed, the whole nuclear missile subplot is dropped (because why would we want a potentially interesting subplot to go anywhere) and the movie focuses solely on the love story.

With Yash Raj producing, this movie has amazing production values. Each scene looks polished. The cast is top notch with all supporting roles being performed by well known character actors, Roshan Seth and Girish Karnad don’t normally pop up in Hindi movies, so it was nice seeing them on screen.

Salman Khan carries the movie, even though his character is not well defined, he rises above the passable script and runs the show. Katrina is passable. There is a complete lack of chemistry among the leads though, probably a side effect of their split. Kabir Khan has directed well. The stunts are, well, shot and performed well, but stretch credibility to its limit. The movie manages to get Salman to take off his shirt for all of 2 seconds, but the audience literally roared in those 2 seconds.

In the end, most of my issues with the movie is that i went in expecting a completely different movie than what unfurled on screen. Beyond that, if you want 2 hours of entertainment without taxing the brain, go and watch it.

2.5/5 – Inoffensive entertainment, doesn’t pretend to be pathbreaking and isn’t. Watch for Salman doing what he does best.

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