Film: Tiger 3
Director: Maneesh Sharma
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Emraan Hashmi, Revathi, Simran, Riddhi Dogra, Vishal Jethwa, Kumud Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Aamir Bashir and Gavie Chahal
Mission Time Pass… no, that’s not our two word summary of the film. But, this is what one of Sallu Bhai aka Tiger’s mission is named! Is that a dig or filmmaker’s veiled intent to shell out time pass entertainment? Whatever the case, YRF’s spy-verse offers little room for complexities as action takes precedence over most of the runtime.
In case you have not paid attention to the previous franchises, Zoya is an ISI agent. Here she even gets a suitable backstory, rather the film begins with a prologue. But the idea is not to reiterate merely her Pakistani roots, but to introduce another character in the Tiger franchise — Aatish Rehman (Emraan Hashmi). Hashmi as her mentor makes an impressive entry and moves on to create an impactful presence in the film. No prizes for guessing, he is the vile Pakistani ISI man who would do anything to scuttle the peace process between the two neighbouring nations. Before you suppress that yawn …ah yet another jingoistic film that bashes Pakistan, hold your horses. Don’t you dare forget Pakistan is Tiger’s sasural and he must turn a saviour across the Radcliffe Line for he tells his compatriot Pathaan, ‘sasural khatre mein hai’.
Pathaan? Oh yes, if Tiger had a magnetic part in Pathaan how can King Khan not return the favour? In fact, the chemistry between the two is crackling, easily the most fun part of the film. As they run, jump across cliffs, shoot, take on enemies, their gravity and logic-defying stunts are spectacular. Actually, both the scale and the action are stellar.
Of course, by the time the two hour 36 minutes movie ends action does become relentless and repetitive too. What is refreshing, as was the case with the first outing directed by Kabir Khan, Zoya (Katrina Kaif) gets as much action time. Together, Tiger and she is quite a team. Clearly, Sallu’s swag is not diminishing anytime soon, even if the franchise’s is. And Katrina may not be the young beautiful belle of the first part that came in 2012, but she packs quite a punch.
As for the rest of their team….there is talented actor Kumud Mishra trying to mark his presence amidst the melee that ensues. Veteran Revathy as Maithili Menon, Chief of RAW, is stoic but once again gets to do precious little in the film except pass express instructions over the phone and reprimand a few others of her team in person. Other actors, some carried forward from the second outing, Tiger Zinda Hai, like Gavie Chahal, are adjuncts and hence easily expendable.
A good franchise is always about continuity and surprises, both of which it has in equal measure yet does not measure up to the previous instalments. While it avoids the hate Pakistan pitfall, it invents an equally incongruous premise of Tiger trying to prevent a coup in his wife’s mayaka. However, trite as it may sound, the only heartfelt moment in the film is playing of the National Anthem in Pakistan. As for the rest, well, its action time and action directors, including Hollywood biggie Mark Scizak, do deserve a nod. So does cinematographer Anay Goswamy for capturing the majestic visual signature of the YRF film. Director Maneesh Sharma delivers, but on and off.
For want of more suitable word to describe Tiger 3, indeed it most certainly is time-pass entertainment. For Sallu fans, let it be said Tiger is alive and kicking. And if you are a diehard aficionado of his, you will certainly get a kick.