Directed by: Kabir Khan
Starring: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranvir Shorey
All images courtesy of: http://www.glamsham.com
When I go clothes shopping, there are certain shops and sections that I avoid because I know the contents won’t work for me. Of course, with the best will in the world, I could find a way to “make it work” as Tim Gunn would say. But often I’ll go with what I know will suit me, maybe opting for something just a bit different from the last time to justify the purchase. I feel Salman Khan has a similar raison d’etre with his films – he knows what works for him, what to tweak and how to satisfy his fans and the box office with apparent ease. And that is exactly what Ek Tha Tiger does – gorgeous locales, ambitious action sequences, great music and of course, two and a half hours of unadulterated Salman.
Unfortunately, ETT didn’t work its magic on me. The biggest problem in my opinion was the script execution which fails to bring to life what seems like a good idea. What should have been engaging and exciting felt flat and predictable – I certainly saw the twist at the interval coming a mile off (though I will admit the pre interval scene threw a curveball) and any sort of subtext seems hastily added on as an after thought. Whilst I was not expecting anything other than a film which cares a damn for logic and reality, the overwhelming feeling I had watching ETT was one of a lost opportunity.
This is a real shame as Salman and Katrina are on fine form here. Both have a great chemistry and it is their presence rather than the script, which makes us care for Avinash and Zoya. I like how Salman makes so many roles seem deceptively effortless – to exhibit a range in limited circumstances is more difficult than it sounds but Salman can do it with his eyes closed. Katrina puts in a valiant effort trying to match his energy and though she makes a few missteps, like Salman, this is more about knowing what works well for her and this kind of role is precisely that.
Whilst there is no doubt the target and satellite audiences will love ETT, I felt it was a one time watch, with only the songs having repeat value. If I am brutally honest, the film felt too sanitised and more like a money making exercise than made for the love of film. While it is a given that film in general cannot survive without commerce, this doesn’t have to be at the price of creativity and in my opinion, the most successful films critically and commercially get this balance right. Sadly, ETT doesn’t fall into this group. See it to satisfy your curiosity and for that Salman fix to tide you over till December 2012 but for me, if ETT were a piece of clothing, it would end up at the bottom of my wardrobe. Disappointing.