Movie Review: Tiger Zinda Hai
Producer: Yash Raj Films
Director: Abbas Ali Zafar
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Kumud Mishra, Paresh Rawal, Angad Bedi, Anupriya Goenka and Sajjad Delafroz.
Rating: Three stars
Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH) is Salman Khan’s show all the way. The franchise helmed by Abbas Ali Zafar is bound by expectations after the first installment reached soaring heights and this time what works is Salman Khan, Salman Khan and Salman Khan. The action scenes are not only breath-taking but visually appealing bearing the mark of Tom Struther.
There is bound to be expectations when Ek Tha Tiger exploded on screen like a cracker to be remembered for long. But, what doesn’t work in TZH is the script and screenplay that lacks novelty and doesn’t quite live up to the franchise. All said and done, TZH scores on its slickness, the star power of Salman Khan that carries the film right from the word go on his shoulder and the heart-pounding climax.
The plot is based on a real-life plot when in 2014, Indian nurses were trapped in an Iraqi hospital and in the story, the Indian Government has seven days to save them or the authoritative Uncle Sam is already planning to go on a destruction spree. Tiger (Salman Khan) and Zoya (Katrina Kaif) are married and living a peaceful life with their son Junior when they are hunted in their secret destination to hoodwink ISC, a substitute for ISI. Enter Tiger to save the captured nurses. The rest of the story you know.
The story lacks the edge and tautness that one associated Ek Tha Tiger with and the screenplay tends to drag endlessly in the second half. The length of the 2 hr 40 minutes odd movie is too long and towards the end it gets tedious.
However, it doesn’t take away the fact that TZH is an entertaining flick designed for the Indian mass who will love a Salman Khan in superb form. He simply owns the film and his charisma makes up for the minuses in the concept or storyline. Salman Khan slays it like a King be it the battle with the wolves, saving the nurses from the clutch of the villain Abu Usman played by Sajjad Delafroz who is simply terrific. He is menacing and incarnates fear in a role that fits him hand in gloves. Watch for this bright new menace. Katrina Kaif plays her part decently well and shines partly in the action sequences but there is not much for her to do. She is simply lost in this big ticket flick that belongs entirely to Salman Khan.
There are some light moments in Tiger Zinda Hai that beautifully marries patriotism with the friendship between India and Pakistan which sends a strong message of peace. Credit goes to the director who doesn’t indulge in anti-Pakistan diatribe. The code comes as a breath of fresh air with Tu Tu Tu Tara that borrows from the Rishi Kapoor’s super success hit in the early 90s Bol Radha Bol which provokes laughter.
The actions sequences save the day in this otherwise drab story which is the main culprit. Of course, Bhai Jaan shines throughout Tiger Zinda Hai and the opening scenes as well as the chase scenes when he tries to save a boy playing the suicide bomber or the exhilarating action scenes mounted on a massively stunning scale.
The movie moves at a fast pace, something fans associated brand Salman Khan with and where the slick battles are won. The film intelligently hides the loopholes that creep post interval. Kumud Mishra is effortless and managed to scores through the few lines so is Angad Bedi who plays his part in an effortless manner. A special mention for the dusky beauty, Poorna (Anupriya Goenka) who is a talent to watch and is not lost among the bevy of talents. She will go places if filmmakers can tap her talent and the intensity portrayed in her role. Paresh Rawal plays his part well, is funny in places but it seems he is suffering from his Babu Bhai hangover from another decade.
What doesn’t work in this Abbas Ali Zafar flick is the length of the movie and shortening the film by 10 to 15 minutes would have made it tighter. It’s the main culprit. Glitches there are quite a few, right from the storyline that lacks the intensity of Ek Tha Tiger and one can argue that the markers should have pushed the adrenaline rush through innovative writing.
On the whole, Tiger Zinda Hai provides wholesome entertainment with a Salman Khan in superb form and the production values, action sequences and cinematography are top notch in this slickly made venture. However, there is a tinge of disappointment comparing TZH with the earlier fare where there was no moment to sit back and think. It’s the festive season and Tiger Zinda Hai ends the year with a much-needed fanfare with action written all over the place. As I said, the movie could have been very much better but it’s no reason to skip the movie that deserves to be watched for its action quotient. Of course, Swag se Swagat is a delightfully shot. Go for it.