This is the 4th consecutive EID release of Salman Khan. The era that marks not only his resurgence but also that stamps his authority over everything Bollywood. Does he get lucky again this year?
One of the biggest production houses of Bollywood, YRF, a director inclined towards making realistic cinema, mixed in masala (Kabul Express, New York) added with 2 of the best looking and in-demand stars is a very attractive package.
The film starts with a voiceover from the promos (Ranveer Shorey) giving an insight of ISI & RAW, the covert intelligence agencies of the 2 countries celebrating their independence days back to back.
Avinash Singh Rathore a.k.a. Tiger (Salman Khan) is one of the best agents who never leaves his mission incomplete. Post completion of his mission in Iraq to catch a rogue agent, he is assigned to a sensitive case relating to Indias nuclear technology being stolen by ISI agents via the scientist who developed them, Dr. Kidwai (Roshan Seth). There Tiger a.k.a. Manish meets the part time housekeeper Zoya (Katrina Kaif) who helps him befriend the doctor for his research. To say anything more would be a give away of the plot.
Dialogues co-written by Neelesh Misra are funny in places and outrightly silly at the same time to tum ek agent ho. Choreography by Vaibhavi Merchant and Ahmed Khan is purely okay. It is more of Sallu doing his Sallugiri in terms of dance which will appeal to the viewers.
Sound by Debashish Misra and Dwarak Warrior is top rate. Action Consultant Conrad E. Palmisano along with action director Markos Rounthwaite do try and match upto international standards but at the same time do highlight the glitches of working with good looking Indian stars. Quite a few action shots cover the back portions of the stars, since they were obviously body doubles, but such things should have been covered properly. Likewise no one expects Salman to jump across the huts of Iraq and Turkey, and hence the CGI work by Tata Elxsi is very very commendable. They manage to put Salmans face almost perfectly on all the action pieces, be it the Iraq market fight, Dublin bus ride or the Cuba chase.
The killer in this whole film is the screenplay by Kabir Khan and the editing by Rameshwar S. Bhagat. The film is too long in the first half, leaving the viewer tired. Just because of the first halfs sluggishness, one spends the interval thinking about how are they going to sit through in the second half. But better sense does prevail and the second half is far better than the first half, so when you leave the theatre, you wont be disappointed. The cinematography by Aseem Mishra is brilliant, first class, top notch. Hats off to him.
Ranveer Shorey as Gopi, Tigers RAW buddy, is excellent. You sort of yearn for him to be more on screen since, he is the only one at times moving the story forward.
Girish Karnad as Shenoy, the RAW chief is again a treat to watch. But the script doesnt allow much of him to be seen on screen rather than fret and threaten his sub-ordinates. Since Tiger was so crucial to RAW, the writers could have easily fit Shenoy into his hunt for Tiger, which could have presented some interesting chase / dialogues / interactions between mentor and protg. But that opportunity is lost yet again. Roshan Seth is comical in his cameo.
Katrina Kaif as Zoya, the Indian origin Britisher looks divine. Every shot of hers is picture perfect. Be it in the casual Dublin leotards, the traditional Pakistani suits or the short dresses. She also gives a good performance, her comic timing being her forte and one of the saving graces of the first half. She has the maximum screen time post Salman and does not bore you, but yes her characterisation is very weak. It is as if the makers only focused on her make up and outfits and dialogues for the first half!
Bringing us to the star of the day, the reason why EID has gained so much momentum in the last 4 years (2009- Wanted, 2010 Dabangg, 2011 Bodyguard and now ETT), Salman Khan. It seems in his current phase there is nothing the man can do wrong. He lives upto the star persona every bit. He has become the Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikant of the current Bollywood times. From the opening shot amongst falling ash, to the Banjaara dance or the United Nations meet, he looks like a million bucks and that is still an understatement. In an action film, there is hardly scope for acting, and in a current Salman film, even lesser. But who cares. We go to see the film to see what next is Salman going to do and we expect him to be larger than life. The viewers do not want Salman to do a Dhobi Ghat or a My Name is Khan. The viewers want him to throw caution to the winds, save the heroine in distress, teach the choreographers a new step in each film and beat the baddies to pulp... in style. And he does not disappoint, yet again.