August 26, 2012

Movie Review: Ek Tha Tiger

I have come to learn that Bollywood films are something of an acquired taste. They are a vastly different beast than Hollywood films. They mostly ignore genre boundaries, usually adding in comedic elements to romances or romantic and comedic elements to action films, not to mention the musical numbers. They will never be my favorite kind of movies, but there is still a lot to like. The latest film I have had the chance to see was Ek Tha Tiger, an action film from the Yash Raj production company.

Ek Tha Tiger is a continent hopping action film in the vein of the James Bond series. Salman Kahn stars as Tiger, a RAW agent (India's equivalent of the CIA). The tale takes the elite agent around the world as he fights to keep top secret information out of the hands of Pakistan's ISI (Pakistan's equivalent of the CIA). Along the way, the career agent learns a little bit about himself that puts him in a situation he has never found himself before.

As the movie opens we find Tiger on Iraq. He is tracking a RAW agent who has been accused of selling information to the enemy. Upon finding his target, there's is a brief interrogation followed by a gunshot, and finishing with an exciting chase/shootout with a horde of enemy agents, which he is able to skillfully elude.

Back in India, Tiger learns his next mission. He is to go to Dublin where an Indian defense system scientist is thought to be sharing information with Pakistan. So, off he goes. The problem is that the scientist is a little crazy and no exactly easy to get any time with. So, Tiger changes tactics and makes friends with the scientist's housekeeper, Zoya (Katria Kaif).

Their friendship becomes something more and Tiger finds himself falling in love with Zoya. This situation is all new for him as his heart is something he had never paid much attention to, always favoring his honor and duty to his country and job over all else.

The further into the story we get, the deeper in Tiger gets. He begins to reconsider his duty but things get complicated when an ISI agent is uncovered. Before long, Tiger finds himself being targeted by both sides.

You know, the movie is not terribly deep and more than a little predictable, but I still found myself having a good time with it. The movie has a slick look and high production values. The performances were fun and the blend of action, comedy, and romance worked very well together. Not to mention the musical numbers.

The action is well executed and rather exciting. The goofy comedic elements are good and Kahn and Kaif have good chemistry together. It is certainly a movie I can recommend, even to those who may not think they like Bollywood films.


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