Salman 'Tiger' Khan conquers
Tigers don’t hunt in packs, and nor does Bollywood’s ‘Tiger’.
Much like the majestic beast’s glorious lineage, director Kabir Khan’s ‘Tiger’ plays out its animal instincts with aplomb, turning into a one-man army and wiping out the baddies in swift, easy blows.
He remains lonesome, powerful and unshakable.
Like his Bollywood contemporaries, Tiger too is loaded not just with guns, rippling muscles, good looks and ribbed abs, but a drop-dead, gorgeous bombshell as well.
And, together they set out to conquer, among other things, matters of the heart.
While Aditya Chopra’s story touches upon the political indifferences between two warring, neighbouring nations, his lack of diplomatic etiquette and understanding, and eternal obsession with love, makes it impossible to give his ideology any real meaning.
Even, Salman Khan leaves us distracted, with his ineptness at taking on any other character apart from himself.
Although this shortcoming in performance might be baulked upon in normal circumstances, Salman remains the exception to the rule. He’ll continue to flex his muscles and win the money bags without much trouble. And, his debut with YashRaj will prove no different.
Every failing, in treatment, narrative and editing, is discreetly covered up by the suave star’s mesmerizing, flamboyant antics as he sets out accomplishing every impossible mission.
He even pokes fun at his age, bachelorhood and even ridicules his screen name by claiming ‘only dogs are named tiger’.
There are Hollywood influences, with ‘Speed’ and ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ being given a desi twist, but the essence remains purely YashRaj, with the leading lady influenced purely by the stars in heaven.
Kabir and writer Neelesh Misra pitch the story of a globetrotter, Indian intelligence (RAW) agent Tiger, who makes a rare appearance in his humble abode in Delhi, much to the annoyance of his envious male neighbours and pleasure to the female ones.
He’s a hardcore patriot, who is unafraid to go for the kill, even if it means defying the big boss. The reason: he thinks with his head, and not with his heart.
And, trouble kicks in, when he starts letting the heart take over.
His impeccable 12-year career graph is blotched when his latest mission to Dublin, to check if an Indian professor is leaking anti-missile technology to Pakistan’s ISI, goes kaput after he gets sidetracked into passionate, star-gazing jaunts and song-and-dance routines with the scientist’s house-keeper Zoya. And this, despite being warned by his partner Gopi.
Kabir lets his Tiger pack a punch in style, even as cigarette buds fly in slow-motion. Within minutes of raising the curtains, he sets the pace with an exhilarating chase scene, adding fun twists and turns.Alas, the snappy action thrills are cut short by a sluggish mushy, love track that isn’t as deep as most YashRaj productions.
Although Katrina and Salman’s action stunts are far more superior, in treatment and texture, than their romance, they appear to be earnest in giving it their best shot. Yet, their on-screen chemistry falls flat, just like their off-screen link-up.
The casting remains frugal, with veterans Girsh Karnad and Ranvir Shorey given limited screen presence.
In fact, it will take only a true-blue Salman fan to truly appreciate his cinematic worth.
So, while Tiger will have to fight it out with Batman for the top slot in Dubai, we are sure he’ll remain the undisputed box-office king in his home turf.
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