There is something about the Salman-Katrina pairing; something that goes deeper than real-life affection. It’s even deeper than that crackling pitch-perfect chemistry that we see among endearing star-pairs, like Rajesh-Mumtaz and Shahrukh-Kajol.
In Ek Tha Tiger, there’s genuine protectiveness in Salman Khan’s eyes every time he looks at co-star Katrina Kaif, and it suits the film’s purpose. The film is a love story of two spies from different sides of the border who, during the course of their sinister cloak-and-dagger work, fall in love.
Salman has quite a few moments with his beautiful co-star. For once, the superstar looks neither bored nor distracted – he isn’t impatient to move forward.
Salman’s character is remarkably restrained and expressive. He handles both the action and the romantic sequences with seamless empathy.
Katrina plays a woman who had a genuinely happy childhood that has been snatched away by the nature of her profession. The Bollywood bombshell manages to convey the pain of her past with her eyes and also manages to kick some butt when the need arises.
The blend of action and romance in this movie is achieved with a fluency that we’ve seldom seen in the action-romance genre. Also, since it is a Salman Khan movie, you can expect lots of humour.
What makes director Kabir Khan’s telling of this routine love story come alive is the presentation and packaging, both unique but never over-punctuated.
It’s not easy to make an intelligent film on intelligence without tripping over the barbed wires of politics and espionage jargon. Kabir Khan strips the love story to its bare necessities without diminishing the density of the drama.
Ek Tha Tiger is more of a passionate love story than an action-thriller. Brilliantly scripted and deftly directed, it’s Salman Khan’s best film in ages.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.