Ek Tha Tiger Movie Review: Entertaining at times, Waspish the other!

Movie Title – Ek Tha Tiger

Star CastSalman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Girish Karnad, Ranvir Shorey.

Director – Kabir Khan

Producer – Aditya Chopra

Story by – Aditya Chopra

Music Director – Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid

Lyricist – Neelesh Misra, Anvita Dutt, Kaushal Munir

Screenplay by – Kabir Khan and Neelesh Misra

Cinematography– Ravi K. Chandran

Distributed by – Yash Raj Films

Genre – Romantic / Thriller

Film Critic: Nayandeep Rakshit

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

While the other reviews have the typical old story, we thought of being a little innovative, as usual!

Before we get into the verdict for the highly anticipated Salman-Katrina starrer, let’s give you an insight how effective planning can help set records. You heard it right; Yash Raj has played their trump cards with Ek Tha Tiger and used their intellect to squeeze out the best possible way to garner more support for their first tie up with the Dabangg Khan. A Salman film in itself is a huge brand of sorts and is expected to do wonders at the box office. But YRF took no chance. Three years back after a highly public brawl at our desi Chikni chameli’s birthday party, the two reigning Khans and one time buddies Shah Rukh and Salman turned into bitter enemies. From then, who could have imagined Katrina pairing up with her one time beau’s arch rival on screen? Who would have expected the two Khans to get merged into one association?

If you are obnoxiously scratching your heads thinking we are referring to a movie with both Shah rukh and Salman in the leads, you are wrong! Yash Raj, known to be the ultimate marketing gurus in marketing and cutting edge promotional tactics have weaved their magic wand. To make sure their film ‘Ek Tha tiger; opens up to a mammoth response, they coupled their film with an additional trailer cum teaser of Shah Rukh’s next film directed by veteran Yash Chopra in the reels. While Salman fans are eagerly waiting to catch their favorite star back on screen after a year, million Shah Rukh fanatics are queuing up plexes in order to have a glimpse of their beloved King who returns to a territory he owns! Well played, Yash Raj!

Now, coming to the film, Ek Tha Tiger opens up with a brief narration where people are introduced to the character of Tiger, whose story, unlike others isn’t lost beneath the dollops of files lying in the agency. A top spy from Indian agency RAW, Tiger aka our Dabangg Khan is a man who always thinks from his dimaag and executes assignments convincingly until he meets Zoya (Katrina Kaif) and he lets his dil do the thinking job. He meets her on an operation where he is tentatively asked to just ‘observe’ and make sure that no one is killed at the end of the operation. After a round of silly Zee-Doordarshan jokes and the lovely Sukhwinder Singh rendition Banjaara, the two fall in love and Zoya seems to change the world that Tiger fits in! What follows is a convoluted plot of many twists and meanders that lead from one probe to the other. For the rest, you need to watch the film.

Coming to the storyline, the movie starts in Iraq with a power packed entry of Salman amidst the crackle and whistles of the audience and everything floating around in yes-you-got-it-right slow-mo! The film deals with the untold secrets within the two national spy agencies: RAW (from India) and ISI (from Pakistan). A curfew that had prolonged way after Independence, even now Indians consider Pakistanis as their biggest bandits. The main characterizations are indeed done to provide a secular message and what better than Independence Day to do it! The action sequences right at the inception are breath taking and makes sure that the adrenaline level rises to a crescendo. But after a point, everything that happens all around seems to be a page right out of a Counter Strike game! The cat and mouse chases, the brave and scintillating high octane action sequences are the main reasons for this film to do wonders. They take the movie to an exhilarating high. Though the action segments pack in the right punch for the film as well as the protagonists, the body language in the first few scenes seemed a bit loose and not the usual Salman isshtyle that we are recipient of!

The film has an allegory which has quite a resemblance to Saif’s ambitious home production, ‘Agent Vinod’ that released earlier this year and sank without a trace. Kareena’s characterizations look more than similar with Katrina’s here. But the difference is majorly because of the slick treatment, the logical explanation and powerful narrative that the former lacked!

The Writer should be blamed for as that department fails to impress miserably. Occasional PJs and silly tomfoolery is a testament to the lethargy the writer was undergoing during scripting this magnum opus. Unlike other Salman Khan paisa vasool entertainers, the dialogues in ETT lack the effective verve, at times and at times, surprisingly strikes a chord. Though the first half and an interesting premise increased the audience’s hunger for more, a tedious climax and a tad too stretched flat second half can definitely persuade your attention from this else excellently scripted spine chiller! The gibberish second half seriously lacks the brains of the first half and that’s where the plot gets buried. The plot that was built with so much of hooplas fall quite flat in the second half nearing the end. An abrupt ending from nowhere added to the warts in the film body!

The camera work and screenplay is top notch. From capturing lovely moments between the two in-love couple or the gritty action catenations to the picturesque locales, the DOP does an excellent work in capturing the minute details with consummate ease! The songs deserve thumbs up with beautiful melody that croons your tympanum like no other! Be it Saiyyara, Banjaara, or the intoxicating Laapata, the music album is pure orgasmic! Kabir Khan’s creatibve talent is extremely well nurtured and he is the budding underdog who can really cost other film makers a run for their money, pretty soon! Spearheading this mind-boggler must not have been easy for him but the way he finished it off, zeroing in on the minute details, trying way too hard to not conceive a single mistake, he deserves a huge applause! Hats off, sir!

The whole crew on a whole performs to their best. Girish Karnad and Ranvir Shorey provide able support to the protagonists. And for the protagonists, we can only comment that they were simply out of the world! Katrina as the professor’s caretaker sweeps into your heart vacuuming it with her mystic aura. Katrina, encapsulated by her improved diction, expressions and acting capability takes you by awe. Her action sequences, breath- taking stunts and her extensive emoting power take off to anew drive with this chilling thriller, Ek Tha Tiger. Even though Ek Tha Tiger is an out and out Salman Khan entertainer, she sizzles in whatever she does and is undoubtedly the surprise element of the film. While Salman is the tiger, she is the reigning tigress who calculates each of her moves with sensibility and credibility. The command she shows over her character is impeccable. Wouldn’t be wrong if we started calling her Sal-wo-man from now onwards!

Alluring and scorching the screen with their crackling chemistry, the duo will force you to go gaga over them, even if you are not quite a Salman fanatic! Katrina and Salman are electric on screen together and the couple can expect a heap of applause from all and sundry for their at-times-cute-at-times-naughty-and-at-times-fierce love story! Without a doubt, Ek Tha tiger is their best together on screen and the impact is huge enough to make you forget their earlier debacles. Katrina and Salman look ravishing together in the vivacious song sequences as well as in the enduring and energetic doses of stunt mania!

The star of the show, as expected was the Ruler of the Indian Box Office. Truly, if June was the month of Spider-man and July belonged to Bat-man, August is definitely owned by our own self proclaimed super-hero, Sal-‘man’! Yet another time, Salman succeeds in delivering a convincingly appraisable performance and is the true man of the show! For Ek Tha tiger, Salman adorned the right attitude and panache for each frame of the film. He manages to look extremely fetching and in Zoya’s words from the film, ‘Ab tumhari shaadi ki umar ho gayi’! If there’s one person in the industry who can make the unbelievable look extremely believable, it has to be this man. Be it his trademark antics or the abrasive fight streaks, he rocks the screen with his presence and how! The immense success of the film at the box office would be a brave testament to the mighty power that inhabits Sal-man Khan!

Final verdict: Ek Tha Tiger is skimpy at parts, nifty and slick the other. With some major warts in the loop catapulted by some exciting surprises, Ek Tha tiger is a concoction of good and bad and the rest too! What buddy Saif couldn’t achieve with ‘Agent Vinod’, Salman did, and rather he outdid Saif in every aspect of making a spy thriller.  Salman does the extraordinary with so much of conviction that we can’t help but get entrapped in his charm. Truly a superstar of the masses, Salman bedecks a superhero suit every time he makes an appearance on the silver screen. Bollywood has his Rajnikanth ready! With an unusual diversion from his insensible maneuvers to a no-nonsense film, Salman is on way for a perfect metamorphosis!