Film: Tiger Zinda Hai
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sajjad Delfrooz, Paresh Rawal, Girish Karnad
An Indo-Pak joint venture to fight terrorism! Eye ball catching fiction! Fair enough. Good beginning.
The Khan is back where he legitimately belongs- big time action. Put off the tube light and get straight into the action drama – a sequel to the Kabir Khan global espionage outing. No pretensions. No platitudes. Just entertainment in a defined category.
The Physics defying stunts and the stunning cinematography taking in its sweep dust of the desert and a brief look at the ice of the Alps (after all it is a Yashraj Film presentation!) all add up to constantly remind you: shikar to sab karte hain par Tiger se achha koi nahin. (Every one hunts – but none better than Tiger!) The adrenaline of Kabir Khan project is well maintained. In fact, the film is far more reminiscent of the Kabir-Kabul connect than Ali Abbas Zafar rustic style. No complaints on this count either.
There we go: The ISC bad guy Abu Usman (Sajjad Defruz) is injured in a shootout. His group of terrorists take over the local hospital and also hold to ransom 25 Indian and 15 Pakistan nurses. The RAW chief in India Shenoy (Girish Karnad) at the instance of the local political heavy weight (Siddarth Basu) gets to re-recruiting Tiger (Salman) to save the Indian nurses. Zoya (Katrina) joins in to save her compatriots. It is all action weaved around this premise. Of course, you know that the para medicals will be saved. The interesting twist to the tale (Ali Abbas and Neelesh Misra) is that the operation to save the victims is a joint Indo-Pak effort and this is surely a redeeming feature and an interesting step albeit fictional in the right direction.
Also, interestingly the antagonist Abu Usman at one stage indulges in a soliloquy gives his take on terrorism, a near philosophical interpretative connect between finance, fear and violence. He points out to how the success of terrorism is not anti-systemic but system supported!
Our Stallion-Stallone (Salman) is alive and kicking and is central to the narrative and he gives it all the muscle and flesh it demands. Keeping him good if secondary company in comparision to the prequel is Katrina Kaif – studied and elegant. Never too much never inadequate. There is a huge cast of cameos and most of them deliver when given their time and space in the narrative. There is also Paresh Rawal after a long time. This time he bridges the two extreme roles he has hitherto performed with ease- comedy and villainy. Predictably his presence and performance are faultless.
The film is sure to keep the box office engaged at the year end and erase the sad tale at the cinemas recently. All for the wrong reasons at one level. Yet to be fair, the film is what we understand as a mass entertainer with no holds bar and no efforts spared. Specially for the Salman fans it is a huge X mas gift. He proves he is a Tiger at the box office and not without cause rightly claims: Tiger Zinda Hai.