Message is the man

Iss picture mein Bhai, Bhai maafik nahin tha par kya farak padta hai. Bhai ka picture hain hum toh dekhenge na (In this movie, Bhai [Salman Khan] is not like himself but that doesn't matter. If he's in a film, I'll definitely watch it)." M, my faithful box office barometer outside Gaiety Galaxy shares this gyaan after having seen the latest tsunami hit of his favourite, Salman Khan, five times. He goes into raptures describing his favourite hero's antics but reluctantly confesses that the film's climax broke his heart. "Aise kaise Katrina ko plane udaane diya director ne. Bhai udata toh zyaada achcha hota. Bhai, hero hai after all (Why did the director let Katrina fly the plane? It would've been better if Bhai had done it, after all, he's the hero)," he says. In M's book, other than this uncool un-"Bhai maafik" action, Ek Tha Tiger is purrfect.

Since he found his mojo with Prabhudeva's Wanted, Salman is scripting his own brand of Salman-specific movies. Having brought the formula back and with his star power currently at its zenith, he ensures that his film is a slave to the blockbuster. Ek Tha Tiger, however, is not the Bhai film that his fans typically go crazy over.

Ek Tha Tiger lacks that memorable commitment and ehsaan-type dialogue, that chartbuster song and that cool shirtless moment that makes the Salman template. As for the action, it's slick, but when you can spot the stunt double doing the Salman moves well, then it's no fun. This one is for director Kabir Khan though granted cinema is cheating, but it's all about cheating well. That said, my Ek Tha Tiger money shot was when Salman stops a speeding tram with the help of his blazer, which he twirls quite nonchalantly around the wires. He hangs onto the cloth as the tram comes to a stop with not even a hint of a drop of sweat on his forehead. After the mission possible, he puts the blazer-cape back on and walks on casually. Phew. No wonder, the SMS joke goes: Hollywood has Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Ironman while we have Sal'man'.

... contd.

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