After 5 years and 8 films, Salman returns as Tiger…
The successful pairing of Sultan in 2016, obviously has prompted the director / actor pair of Ali Abbas Zafar and Salman to try and repeat their success.
Set in current day Iraq, the film inspired by true events of Indian nurses being held hostage, takes on the fictional route of a team of RAW agents being sent to rescue them.
This journey, gets Shenoy sir (Girish Karnad) and the minister (Siddarth Basu) to re-recruit Tiger out of his supposed hibernation. Then begins the journey of supposed deceits and counter plans, when Shenoy briefs Karan (Anant Vidhaat Sharma) to make sure Tiger doesn’t lose his way, on numerous occasions.
The film as expected was a rescue action flick, surrounding Bhai and his one liners. He is supported adequately by his better half in the film, Katrina as the ISI agent still wanting to salvage her country’s image and a team of specialists, Angad Bedi, debutante Paresh Ahuja, the ever reliable Kumud Mishra, under the suspicious eye of the labor supplier Paresh Rawal (seen in a mainstream film after some time now).
Where the film goes wrong is the fact that the writing is very basic, childlike at times. I mean we don’t need repeated reminders from Tiger that ‘we are RAW agents’. Likewise in an attempt to pool in a lot, the film suffers from the problem of excesses, many a times at the cost of the so called reality which it tries but then gets restricted to only in locations of Morocco and Abu Dhabi, passed off as Iraq.
So when there is a 7 day deadline of a US strike, instead of talking on the phone or using video conferencing, our Indian heads decide to fly down to Langley for a 15 minute discussion and fly back whilst the deadline still remains the same. Only to fly down to Austria to track down the absconding since 8 years Tiger to convince him for the mission. On the contrary Tiger seems more upto speed with the ways of the world, having successfully hacked into the RAW servers while chopping wood in Austria!!
Quite a few similar creative liberties tend to make you feel Zafar only wanted to create complication on screen, for which Tiger could have a simplistic pat solution.
Another thing where the film drags is the unnecessary long sequences. So be it the wolf fight, or the marketplace bombing, the sequences try to pack in so much, the entire impact tends to be lost.
In terms of performances, barring a superbly choreographed fight sequence, Katrina’s Zoya seems to be there only for eye candy and the numerous references to Bhabhi, which at times are funny.
Angad, Nawab are decent but not much to act and have to rely more on brawn. Anant on the other hand is superb yet again, just like he was in Sultan.
Kumud Mishra is first rate, whilst Paresh steals the show.
Salman is good, but in bits and pieces. So whilst his charisma holds you in his bind, there are times when he is looking bloated and out of place. Not to say his swag wont get the better of you, but his character needed some more finesse and better lines.
The film is not bad, but its way too long at 161 minutes. This might make you feel disconnected till the interval, but yes, as a movie, it doesn’t connect at levels as the original did. Guess that’s where Kabir Khan scored.
As I always say, if you are a Salman fan, then it is a must watch, not for anything else, but it is fun to see Bhai do, what he does best.
By: Yusuf Poonawala