Meow goes the Tiger

What could undercover secret agents from RAW and ISI be doing as a part of official delegations at a fully televised and publicised international diplomat conference? Wouldn't they be recognized by each other? Of course, they would. But how does that matter? Tiger is too cool for all this logic.

Before the review though, I must confess to total and blind fanhood of Salman Khan. The man is too cool for his own good. But how much can cool alone do? As a story, Ek Tha Tiger is unable to decide whether it is a spy action film or a soppy love saga.

Katrina Kaif in Ek Tha Tiger
Katrina Kaif in Ek Tha Tiger.

I mean, hear this plot: Tiger is a top RAW agent, unveiling secret info and busting conspiracies against our country. He can do anything (we have to take the director’s word for it though, since Tiger's not really shown 'doing' anything specifically remarkable.)

This agent has never taken an off in the last so many years, has no family, makes good dal and has saved up Rs 23 lakh from his many years of service. Tiger’s chief hears of a Professor cum scientist Kidwai (Roshan Seth) in Dublin who maybe sending info to Pakistan about a certain missile technology that he is developing that can halt several missiles from India (whatever that means! Or maybe it is the other way round?).

For some reason, instead of the fully active local agent Gopi (Ranveer Shorey), Tiger the action man is dispatched to Dublin to merely 'observe' what Kidwai is upto. Instead, the agent turns into author Manish Chandra and spends all his time observing dance teacher cum Kidwai's part-time househelp Zoya and pataoing her.

He buys her books on stars and takes appointments with meteor showers to impress her. But alas, it turns out that Zoya is a spy herself and is also sending some secret info to Pakistan. Tiger of course is heartbroken and returns to India. It is not clear what happens to the missile info exchange, but what does that matter?

After moping around a bit and guided by a cryptic intelligence message, Tiger asks to accompany the RAW chief on a strange delegation of diplomats mentioned above.

As the sullen Pakistani spies come nose-to-nose with zealous Indian spies, apna Tiger asks Ms Zoya for a dance and proposes on the spot. Both decide that love is more important than duty and ride away into the sunset. No seriously.

Of course planning a secret elopement at a safe date without the world's diplomats watching them would be too tame for Tiger, wouldn't it? So they run with their country's agents close on their heels. (You wonder what they both will eat if they do not have jobs? Well, there is the Rs 23 lakh in savings.) With innovative disguises — like short hair for Katrina and long hair for Salman — the couple is able to fool most immigration officials but not their own colleagues. So they keep playing catch-the-cook repeatedly. 

"Ek ladki ke liye uski izzat aur aabru se jyaada aur kuch bhi nahi," the Sullen Pakistani spy admonishes colleague Zoya after capturing her during the climax. Really? Is that what a spy agency would care about if a colleague was found defecting?

As it is, Zoya is also too cool for such questions. She manages to get into a helicopter, take off, pick up an injured Tiger straight from a bike in motion, and fly the chopper all the while looking backward checking if Tiger’s gotten on or not! Ain't that something?

Salman Khan in Ek Tha Tiger
Salman Khan in Ek Tha Tiger.

Salman mostly sleepwalks through the entire film. The stunt man's omnipresent and the computer graphics to cover him up are really shoddy. What do you think a fan won't be able to tell it isn't Salman's back?

What's also surprising is the complete lack of chemistry between him and Katrina. Strangely, they are almost avuncular and hardly have any intimate scenes or dialogues together. Girish Karnad talks with some indistinguishable accent while Ranvir Shorey manages to draw a few laughs.

While Ek Tha Tiger doesn't stoop to the level of Ready or Bodyguard, this film is definitely not Dabang or Wanted material either. We all know that Salman's persona itself is part of the narrative of his films. His dry wit and one-liners almost always redeem the film. Well, not this one. There's simply not enough of Salman in Ek Tha Tiger. But yes, Salman does have a sexy butt. 

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