Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sudeep, Angad Bedi, Girish Karnad, Anupriya Goenka, Pradeep Rawat, Kumud Mishra, Sajjad Delafrooz
Ali Abbas Zafar
Remember how Tiger (Salman Khan) and Zoya walked away into the sunlight to live happily ever after, away from the violence and hatred to make a new life for themselves? TIGER ZINDA HAI, starts where EK THA TIGER ended. Tiger and Zoya, have built their lives together, their son, their world is perfect. Everything of the past, that lead to their today, has clearly been worth every moment that they are having together. Today Tiger is fighting off wolves with a stick, because despite his affinity for action, his son is against bloodshed. The super spy has been forgotten, as Tiger spends his days being the super-dad instead.
But Shenoy (Girish Karnad) needs Tiger by his side once again. The crisis is so glaring and urgent, that there cannot be anyon else who could manage a task so tricky. Scores of Indian and Pakistani nurses are held hostage in Iraq. Their plight is worsening and the times ticking, that’s when it’s time to wake up the sleeping Tiger from his hibernation.
Never upset a sleeping Tiger, and falsely believe he has forgotten what every ounce of his being is born to do. He is a protector and a demolisher - he can rise like he was never gone. Aiding him is his love and his strength, Zoya. It is very Mr and Mrs Smith meets Lara Croft, when it comes to Zoya in action but Katrina Kaif has given her mind, body and soul to the character. Her hard-work shows, making her stiffness less jarring. The highlight of the film is obviously Salman Khan and his charismatic star presence. When he comes onscreen, he fills it up such that nothing else matters, his punch becomes yours, his anger becomes yours and his love becomes yours. There can be no room for logic or even any rationalization, it is simply that having Salman Khan onscreen is such a grand deal, everything else pales in comparison.
The dialogues written by Ali Abbas and Neelesh Misra augment Salman’s persona and makes it all worth a shrill whistle amongst the audience. However, the film is not about only Salman. Director Ali Abbas makes it a habit to ensure that every character in the film is memorable, of course having fanstastic actors like Paresh Rawal and Sajjad Delafrooz who plays the antagonist Abu Usman, helps the pitch of the film. Sudeep, Angad, Anupriya – all play their part perfectly.
So while, Tiger is all about action and mayhem, the emotions between the characters, their rapport and chemistry, all makes the film a fascinating case-study for a successful Hindi Film venture. Off late, Bhai has made it certain that even his most obviously commercial film will have a message of peace and love, like he did in Banjrangi Bhaijaan, and even TUBELIGHT Salman tries incessantly to bridge the differences between us and our neighboring countries to ensure peace and harmony even if it is only for 2 and a half hours. So it is hardly a surprise that after the Indian flag floats across the screen in the climax, the Pakistani flag also follows suit.
Ali Abbas’ chemistry with his actors and his maneuver of Salman Khan is the best part of the film. It is obvious that the filmmaker and the actor share a great rapport and their work together reflects their camaraderie. However, perhaps it is their rapport that made it impossible for Ali Abbas to cut certain portions of the film to make crisper. After a point, the action albeit exceptional, gets overwhelming and repetitive. The audience started shuffling in their seats, slightly restless in portions because the gravity defying action feels like a deja vu of stuff we have already seen actors do.
Of course, the swag with which Salman delivers his punches is too beyond perfection but there could have been a lil more restraint and a little story, okay perhaps a lot more story in Tiger Zinda Hai!