Ek Tha Tiger (2012) *HQ*

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Ek Tha Tiger (2012) revolves around Tiger, a rugged, handsome and mysterious bachelor, played by Salman, who is a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer.He is sent on a safe mission to Dublin, Ireland, to observe an Indian origin scientist who is suspected of sharing his research findings with the Pakistan defence establishment.

He attempts to meet the scientist but is not successful.He then tries to befriend the scientist’s part-time home caretaker, Zoya (Katrina) who is studying at a fictional dance academy located at TCD.As Tiger begins to get closer to Zoya, he discovers his human side and for the first time in his life he falls in love.

What follows is a tumultuous journey that Tiger and Zoya embark upon, battling the dark world of intelligence that forbids its soldiers from falling in love.

Come to think of it, when you saunter into a cineplex to catch EK THA TIGER, what you want, more than anything else, is an adrenaline rush. Director Kabir Khan’s take on a RAW agent is very close to real, but, at the same time, it’s not a docu-drama. Nor is the agent a clone of Jason Bourne or James Bond. Like I pointed out at the outset, it’s desi at heart. Also, clever, amusing and thoroughly entertaining.

Kabir Khan’s direction is thoughtful, focused and never goes off-track. In fact, EK THA TIGER takes the detective genre in Hindi movies to a fresh altitude. Besides, Kabir and co-writer Neelesh Mishra open the cards gradually and the highpoint is the interval point when Salman unravels something shocking. Post interval, the film throws one surprise after another and it reaches its crescendo in the concluding stages, with the climax making a solid impression.

EK THA TIGER travels across the globe to capture some of the most exotic locales in the world and the DoP [Aseem Mishra] captures them with flourish. EK THA TIGER has a pleasant score [Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid]. ‘Mashallah’ is the pick of the lot, followed by ‘Banjara’ and ‘Laapata’. The stunts are truly crackling. In fact, the action sequences are of the heart-in-the-mouth variety and if one may add, such stunts and chases have never ever been witnessed on the Hindi screen before. The dialogue is intelligent and sharp.

When you have Salman in a movie titled EK THA TIGER, the director doesn’t need to convince the audience that he is a tiger. Salman looks the part! Clutching the thriller with his dynamic presence and performance, Salman is, without doubt, the lifeline of this film. He pulls off the part with flamboyance. Also, he brings in so much visceral rousing energy to the film, every time he appears on the screen. Salman and Katrina pair up after a hiatus in EK THA TIGER and their chemistry is electrifying. Though an out-and-out Salman starrer, Katrina is not relegated to the backseat. Neither is she Salman’s arm candy here. She has a meaty part and to her credit, she handles it with aplomb. Also, watch out for her stunts… This is a new Katrina here!

On the whole, EK THA TIGER is a high-octane thriller that works big time. This one has style and substance, both, besides dazzling action, stunning international locales and stylish execution. Most importantly, it has Salman Khan, the trump card of this enterprise. There’s no denying that Salman’s charisma has resulted in a mind-blowing, astounding, never-seen-before start at the ticket window, but the film’s content will sustain it thereafter. The film has long legs to prolong its splendid run. This is, without doubt, Salman’s best. Sure shot Blockbuster!

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