So, here comes Saif Ali Khan, after a long break, with his home production Agent Vinod -- directed by ace film-maker Sriram Raghavan. Remember Ek Hasina Thi (Saf and Urmila Matondkar)? it was a real killer movie made by Raghavan. I think, in a sense, Ek Hasina Thi was the 'real' turning point in Saif's then fledgling career. Sriram Raghavan, needless to say, is a master of making thrillers (I liked Johnny Gaddar so much). So, if it's for anything that compels me to take an active interest in Agent Vinod, is no one else but the director himself. But is that enough?
As some one who works in the industry, i get to see things a little before than the junta does. You must be thinking, "oh! how lucky are you", but honestly, sometimes the advantage of knowing from inside out also spoils the fun. And what i see, or gather from different sources in the Industry, Agent Vinod, which carries a whopping sixty crores worth of investment, is unlikely to set the Box office on fire. Why? lets analyze it point by point.
1. Happening music. Two hugely popular chart busters - Pungi and Dil Mera Muft Ka.
2. Real life pair on Reel. For the first time, Bollywood's much talked about couple, Saif and Kareena appear on screen together. Their combined brand appeal makes the pre-release buzz huge.
3. Controversies: Many think that the recent Taj Hotel brawl was actually a PR for the movie. True or NOT, it took Agent Vinod into every Indian drawing room.
4. Sriram Raghavan, the director. As i said earlier, he's a master in making thrillers. So, Agent Viond must be in Safe hands.
1. Saif as Agent Vinod: Well, he's not SRK who can pull off roles like that, neither does he possess the comedy skill to execute like some one as Rowan Atkins. So, the character, itself does not appeal much. It's a confusing mix, and frankly, it's hard to take a middle path in this spy genre. And, the makers obviously are aware of this problem. Noticed that the promos do not offer anything on the movie except for some colage of dance items? The hook is JUST the glamor, but nothing else.
2. Peer pressure: Sounds odd, but the huge success of kahaani may actually put a solid dampener on Agent Viond. Suddenly, there's a clamor for well written scripts in Bollywood. Films like Kahaani, Paan Singh Tomar are changing the way people will consume films. The standard is set pretty high. A masala khichdi movie, solely banking on glamor and peppy numbers, will require Some one like Salman or SRK to pull it off. For others, it's a GONER.
So, that's what it all sums up for Agent Viond. My verdict? It's a 'No Show'. Despite having occasional brilliant twists and turns, it fails to make a mark! Be careful before rushing to theaters!