ApunKaChoice.com
site  movies  celebs  music  news  showtimes  user  
ApunKaChoice » Article » Agent Vinod Review : Bollywood espionage genre comes of age
 

Agent Vinod Review : Bollywood espionage genre comes of age

'Agent Vinod': Bollywood espionage genre comes of age
By Subhash K. Jha (IANS)
Sat, Mar 24, 2012 14:15:26 GMT
 

Movie review Agent Vinod; Starring: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, Directed by: Sriram Raghavan; Rating: *** 1/2 Believe me, it's really a small world. Even though a film purporting to be as epic in proportion as Agent Vinod travels all across the world to capture some of the most never-seen spots in the world, the plot - an intelligent clever, urbane and wry melange of Bourne and Bond, "Farz" and "Mission Impossible", finally finds its most assured resting-place in apana jahaan Delhi.

The last half hour where an international terrorist outfit attempts to blow up Delhi, gets the grammar of an espionage thriller so riveting and so right, you wonder what took director Sriram Raghavan so long to get there.

"Agent Vinod" is the kind of meticulously crafted spy drama where cerebral considerations mesh into more earthy demands of commercial Hindi cinema, like item songs in smoky bars, shootouts in dust toasted-brown locations that are as treacherous as they are daunting and, wonder of wonders, a clumsily-choreographed Mujra which doesn't quite fit into the smooth storytelling.

Smitten more than we can eschew.

From its opening in a Taliban-infested area, there is no dearth of intrigue in "Agent Vinod". Agents, counter-agents, moles and molls, open-air flea markets and shopping malls jostle for attention in a script that appears to know its John le Carrre as well as its Nick Carter.

Raghavan spins a delicious yarn of guns and growls, but blessedly no gadgets. The action is crackling. The soundtrack is a chirpy mix of cheesy retro (RD and Asha Bhosle "Meri jaan tune kaha" from the film "The Train" pops up unannounced) and contemporary techno sounds.

The plot, perched precariously on the brink of self-indulgence, never spins out of control.

Clearly Sriram and Saif Ali Khan adore the spy genre. We can see the fun they've had in doing this film. But beneath the boys-having-fun mood is an undertone of reverence for all the espionage films from our own "Agent Vinod" in 1977 to Hollywood's Mission Impossible series.

Holding the restless plot in place is Saif Ali Khan's clenched and controlled performance. He desists from playing the spy to the galleries. He is urbane cool, yes. But he doesn't enjoy shooting the enemies for his country and really, patriotic jingoism is left far behind in the race to save civilisation from a nuclear catastrophe. There's a job to be done.And no room for fornication and fun.

Agent Vinod must be the only spy film from India where the Indian flag is not saluted or even mentioned in passing in hushed or shrill tones. This guy with a funny name would rather get along with the job .

Saif's performance is unfussy, no-nonsense and largely humourless. The end-title when he attempts to do a funny song seem so out of character, you wonder why the spy is trying so hard to be comical when we like him Martini-dry .

Ambling from one exotic location to another with the irradiant Kareena Kapoor in tow, Saif is a portrait of restrained heroism. He gets much-needed support from a cast of actors who seem to have been chosen without a second option. Every player knows his job and does it without looking distracted or self-important.

Raghavan's direction is deep-focussed on the inner world of people who live on the edge. There is no room for romance or emotions. In the only meaty sequence that she has, Kareena Kapoor moves us to tears when she tells Saif she wants a normal girl's life. Significantly Saif eats as she weeps.

No, he isn't rude. Just honest. Life doesn't just go on. It goes on uncaring about those moments of tearful stock-taking which moviegoers would like to think of as the essence of life.

For all its sharply-defined interludes of counter-intelligence manoeuvres, "Agent Vinod" tends to get long-winded, though miraculously the narrative never gets out of breath. On the contrary it takes our breath away towards the end when in a climactic bomb-defusion end-game that is reminiscent of Mani Shankar's "16 December".

The globally-shot material is edited by Pooja Ladha Surti with more room for the narrative to sprawl and recline than necessary. Really, how much of the disconnected derring-do can we take before we throw our hands up in unresisting surrender?

The action sequences by Peter Heins and Parvez are sometimes heart-in-the-mouth. Other times they seem to have been put together on the editing table.

Life's like that. You are either swept away in circumstances beyond your control. Or you create situations that you choose to be swept away in.

"Agent Vinod" is not quite the overwhelming experience that you would want a global espionage thriller to be. More thoughtful than thundering, more la Carre and less Bond it nonetheless take the spy genre in Hindi to a new level of finesse. Finally, the cool quotient in Raghavan's chic spin on the espionage thriller is so high that you forget Bond and all his bloody brothers.

Saif Ali Khan imparts a dry devilish dispassion to his spy's part,. He doesn't get time to tell Kareena Kapoor how much he loves her.

That's for the best. We already know that.
Sonam Kapoor mum on film with Dhanush
 
Vidya Balan's 'Kahaani' still strong at box office
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
I respect Suriya; he is tremendously talented: Kareena Kapoor
I respect Suriya; he is tremendously talented: Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor trashes rumour of Tamil item song
Kareena Kapoor trashes rumour of Tamil item song
Kareena Kapoor does an Aishwarya Rai in ‘Gabbar’!
Kareena Kapoor does an Aishwarya Rai in ‘Gabbar’!
Kareena Kapoor breaks ‘no-item-song’ policy for a friend
Kareena Kapoor breaks ‘no-item-song’ policy for a friend
Tags :
,
,
comments powered by Disqus


 
Now Trending : Salman Khan | Shahrukh Khan | Ranbir Kapoor | Aishwarya Rai | Katrina Kaif | Kareena Kapoor | Priyanka Chopra | Poonam Pandey | Sherlyn Chopra | Alia Bhatt | New Hindi Movies

Photo Galleries 

Amitabh Bachchan's 'Bhoothnath Returns' screened at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Sunny Leone, Karisma Kapoor at Mayyur R Girotra Couture launch

Kangana Ranaut, Vir Das promote ‘Revolver Rani’ in Delhi

Alia Bhatt, Arjun Kapoor, Karan Johar visit cinema halls to promote ‘2 States’

Vivek Oberoi campaigns for BJP in Amritsar

Gorgeous Kangana Ranaut promotes 'Revolver Rani'

'2 States' special screening: Alia Bhatt, Arjun Kapoor, Tiger Shroff, Chetan Bhagat and many more celebs

Siddharth Mahadevan celebrates birthday with Sonu Nigam, Gulzar
Wallpapers 

Lucky Kabootar Wallpapers

Shilpa Shetty Wallpapers

Holiday - A Soldier Is Never Off Duty Wallpapers

Salman Khan Wallpapers

The Xpose Wallpapers

Dishkiyaaoon Wallpapers
Hot Celebrities 

Ileana

Esha Gupta

Sushant Singh Rajput
New Movies 

2 States

Lucky Kabootar

Dekh Tamasha Dekh
Videos 

Arjun Kapoor smitten with Alia Bhatt in song ‘Locha-e-Ulfat’

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor sizzle in ‘2 States’ trailer

‘2 States’ song ‘Mast Magan’ featuring Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor

Trailer: Allu Arjun-Shruti Haasan spice up 'Race Gurram'

Amole Gupte’s 'Hawaa Hawaai' trailer is impressive

Dekh Tamasha Dekh trailer


Copyright © ApunKaChoice.com
ApunKaChoice.com : Latest Bollywood News, Bollywood Movies Reviews, Bollywood Wallpapers
privacy policy
Partner Sites : Sports - CricketZone - IndiaExpress.com [ Mobiles Festivals Bikes Cars ] - CardWeaver

photo gallery - new movies - celebs - wallpapers - the celeb A-Z - News & Gossip - Music - Video - Hot Topics
Anushka Sharma - Katrina Kaif - Kareena Kapoor - Priyanka Chopra - Deepika Padukone - Sonakshi Sinha - Aishwarya Rai - Poonam Pandey - Sherlyn Chopra
Salman Khan ( Bigg Boss 6 ) - Shahrukh Khan - Shahid Kapoor - Hrithik Roshan - Aamir Khan - Ranbir Kapoor