Udita Jhunjhunwala’s Review: ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ Has No Roar

This Tiger has no roar. It’s just a bit of a bore.
This Tiger has no roar. It’s just a bit of a bore.

What happens when you mix Scotch with Pepsi, or combine a suit with flip flops? Exactly what happens when Yashraj meets Salman: the champion of pulpy romance with the man who beats everyone to pulp. Nothing. For two and a half hours, nothing, barring a couple of good action scenes and an armchair journey around the world.

The premise of the story, at least at the beginning, sounded promising. A romance between a RAW agent with an ISI operative (no prizes for guessing who is in RAW – dare they make a Bollywood film where the hero is Pakistani? The leading lady, however, can be from Mogadishu and it would not matter). But besides the promising principle of the thought, the rest of the film falls flat.

Salman Khan is James Bond with a scarf and a scowl, who beats up people, blows up places and manages to haul his bulky, ageing frame through some tricky situations. A loner and seeker of adventure, his latest heart racing assignment is to “observe” a bicycling professor in Dublin. However, the assignment is soon forgotten as Tiger wags his tail to professor’s caretaker Zoya (Katrina Kaif) or Zee. This leads to an unconvincing romance culminating with a very Yashraj moment of epiphany while watching a meteor shower, which for some reason is supposed to be romantic.

Anyway, things take a turn when Tiger discovers Zoya’s true identity. Their romance runs into some rough weather, including Tiger’s indecisive boss Shenoy (Girish Karnad) and spineless friend/partner Gopi (Ranvir Shorey) chasing them across continents.

The action sequences are superbly shot and choreographed, and the two stars are provided some competent stunt doubles to perform the stunts with aplomb. The action scenes are clearly the only parts of the film on which money was well-spent.

The cinematography is average, considering the locations are outstanding—like Istanbul, Havana etc. The music tepid and proceedings too slow.

But what kills the film, besides the obviously half-hearted screenplay, is the lead performers. Put Salman Khan in a scarf and you might as well ask Sachin Tendulkar to bat left-handed. Minus his shirtless moments, quirky one-liners and natural charm, which made films like Dabangg and Wanted such sure-shot winners, Salman falls flat. He looks stiff, overweight and tired, stealing the film of its USP.

Katrina Kaif manages a second expression somewhere towards the end of the film, but by then it’s too late. Her erratic make-up, uni-dimensional acting and lack of effort to understand her character denies the audience of any empathy towards Zoya.

This Tiger has no roar. It’s just a bit of a bore.

Rating: **

READ: Subhash K Jha’s ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ Review