There’s no denying that Salman Khan is one of the biggest superstars in Bollywood and rightfully so. With back-to-back blockbuster hits like Wanted, Ready and Bodyguard, one would expect no less from the Dabangg actor with Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger.
The romantic thriller is about a RAW agent, Tiger (Salman Khan) who is sent to Dublin, Ireland, on a mission to observe a scientist, Professor Kidwai (Roshan Seth) who is suspected of sharing his research findings of missile technology with the Pakistani defence establishment. While on his mission, Tiger attempts and fails to meet the scientist until he comes across Kidwai’s caretaker, Zoya (Katrina Kaif). By getting closer to Zoya, Tiger believes he’ll learn more about the professor and his findings. However, the plan goes slightly haywire when he finds himself starting to fall in love with her. The twist in the story comes when he realises that Zoya is not the simple dancer she said she was, but a secret agent for the ISI. Tiger, notorious for killing anyone who comes in the way of him and his mission, forgoes his habit and lets Zoya go. They part ways, dejected for not only failing their respective missions, but leaving each other heartbroken.
The second half of the film focuses on the love story between the two main protagonists who cross paths on another mission in Istanbul. The two decide to escape their teams to Cuba and are on the run from their respective intelligence agencies, riding bikes, singing songs and living off the wealth Tiger has saved up since he started working at RAW and neglected having a social life. They get caught and escape again. The film finally ends in the two agencies coming to terms with the fact that the couple won’t reveal any of their information, risking the security of the other agents, and file them as ‘missing’, but all after Zoya flies a plane that Tiger tries (and succeeds) to catch from a motorbike despite being shot. In short, a happy ending (surprise surprise!).
1) Salman Khan. Working under one of the biggest banners in Bollywood, namely Yash Raj Films, for the first time can be a lot of pressure, but not for him. He’s funny, he’s charismatic and he’s got a style like no other. He can beat up ten guys with a single punch and will have the entire audience cheering him on.
2) The music. An extremely catchy soundtrack composed by Sohail Sen, which the audience loved and sang along to weeks prior to the film’s release and most of which are beautifully shot in the film. Mashallah by guest composers, Sajid-Wajid, is also a great end to the film.
3) The dialogue. Very cheesy, but can only be pulled off by Salman Khan to make it funny. There are also hilarious takes on his personal romantic life which are easy to pick up.
4) Ranvir Shorey. He plays the serious, yet witty character of Gopi to the core. His indifferent expression throughout the film (hidden behind that thick beard) makes his enactment of Gopi even more convincing.
5) Katrina Kaif. As always, she’s stunning.
1) Katrina Kaif. As great as she looks, the same can’t be said for her acting abilities (or lack thereof). As with her previous work, she’s nothing more than a pretty face used to accessorize the film.
2) The plot. The first half is good with a lot of entertaining moments and dialogues. The second half goes a little downhill with an abundance of songs and lack of momentum. Also, the fact that they’re ‘agents on a mission’ isn’t really embedded well into the plot. There’s too much emphasis on the romance angle. Aditya Chopra is expected to do a lot better in terms of storytelling.
3) The stunts. The action is great, but it’s obvious the two stars don’t kick all that ass themselves. As big of a fan as I am of Salman Khan’s, he’s gotten just as big and no longer has the ability to run as fast as he tries to make you believe.
All things considered, I’d give Ek Tha Tiger a 7 out of 10. Kabir Khan’s direction is as good as his previous films like New York and Kabul Express, but he makes Salman more of a superhero-slash-romantic hero than a hardcore RAW agent. The music is catchy and fits in well with the story. Finally, for all you fangirls, yes, Salman Khan takes his shirt off, albeit only once and very briefly. In short, a must-watch for all Salman Khan fans. It won’t disappoint.