The queen has James Bond, US has Ethan Hunt, Bourn, XXX and India has……… well the hunt for Indian super spy started back in 1967 with Farz (Jeetendra in the lead role). Till 2003 we were still hunting for a Indian super spy. Then Bollywood moved its focus to Love… Sex… Dhoka, while Hollywood kept creating magic with their set of super spies. Are we desperate to have a super spy comparable with James Bond? I think we can live without it.
After making films like EK HASINA THI and JOHNNY GADDAAR, Sriram Raghavan returns with an ambition of creating the sought after Indian super spy, through Agent Vinod. Movie starts with Agent Vinod (Saif Ali Khan), a India intelligence officer, being held prisoner in Afghanistan. Starting sequence of the movie Sounds familiar? … Die Another Day – James Bond held hostage by Chinese Army. Well if you are thinking that the similarity is coincidental, read on. Agent Vinod gets interrogated by a Pakistani Army officer. What is a Pakistani army office doing in Afghanistan? Anyways, Agent Vinod tries to buy his way out in exchange of national secret information. Agent Vinod then starts fighting his way out or should I say Agent Vinod starts bouncing his way out, because all over the screen he is seen bouncing on the enemy. On the way out he rescues his fellow Indian secret agent who was being hanged from his legs. So the camera also turns upside down and continues that was for the nest 2 minutes while Agent Vinod keeps bouncing and firing at the enemy. By the time you really start thinking if something is wrong with the movie projector, the camera turns normal. By this time the on screen high octane fight sequence has reached its prime but there is no way of finding out who is fighting whom: because the camera is also found bouncing on the enemy. Suddenly Agent Vinod is outside in broad daylight shooting at whomever he can see. Didn’t James Bond do the same starting sequence in GoldenEye, The World Is Not Enough, and Quantum of Solace? The starting fight sequence also introduces a damsel in distress wearing only, so called, belly dancing dress. As a perfect gentleman Agent Vinod protects the girl. but this girl is not the heroin of the movie. Karina enters the screen after about 45 mins in to the movie.
Did not Bo Derrick in “Dr. NO” appear on screen after an hour in to the movie? anyways coincidence i guess.
The starting of the movie is just an introduction of Agent Vinod and has no connection to the yet to be started story line except 2 characters. The movie is track based, where a nuclear explosion will happen in Delhi and Agent Vinod, after his walk through 12 countries finally catches the terrorist and disarms the bomb. If you are thinking, if Agent Vinod is globe trekking when does have time to catch the thief? Then please don’t trouble your mind anymore because a bomb blast in Delhi is of-course an international political issue. Moreover chasing a nuclear bomb, made by the Russians, and its one of a kind detonator, in the form of a priceless book of urdu poems indeed requires a lot of travelling.
Hold on: the nuclear bomb was made by the Russians and the detonator is an Urdu Book of love? Since when did the Russian bomb makers started reading Urdu love poems?
Agent Vinod meets Karina during one of the interrogation sessions and the duo sticks together till the end. However probably the first Hindi movie, where on screen pair romance was kept at an all time low and thanks Raghavan for that.
The ending again reminds of the Hollywood movie The Peacemaker; however unlike the western counterpart here Agent Vinod recognizes the terrorist with ease, kills him with one bullet between the eyes and saves the innocent.
What went wrong?
On the first scene the Pakistani army officer getting down from Ford Endeavour starts walking and the right trouser sleeve is seen tucked inside his military boots. However in the next shot when he is walking inside the same trouser sleeve is being pulled out of the boots.
Agent Vinod is more of a video game. It has all the traces of a classic: explosive wall-to-wall action, various levels of globe trekking and hand-to-hand combat. To add, it doesn't end where it should and instead keeps giving Agent Vinod more onscreen time. As a game it would be sensational. As a film, on the other hand, Agent Vinod must be termed a disappointment. Coming from the man who made the brilliant Johnny Gaddaar, Agent Vinod is too depressingly generic.
Despite an ambitious production and foreign locales, weapons of annihilation, designer suits and not-so-painful interrogations don’t collectively justify ‘Agent Vinod’ as a splendid movie-watching experience.
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