ravings, rantings and ramblings
When a film is this deplorable, it warms my heart. That means, I will have a field day dissecting it and poking fun at their cost. Now that my not-so-lofty ideal has been revealed, let’s press on with Agent Vinod.
Saif Ali Khan joins the league of Indian actors who perhaps wanted to be Bond or just jump onto the James Bond bandwagon. Jeetendra starred in Farz (1967) and later Mithun Chakraborty as Gunmaster G-9 from Wardaat (1981). Amitabh Bachchan scored perfectly as the suave Don (1978). Akshay Kumar inspired the ‘Khiladi’ series before doing a film, very aptly titled, Mr Bond (1992). Some worked. Most didn’t. I am glad to say that Saif’s latest won’t.
So why is it that a Bollywood take-off, Bond-esque style, doesn’t work? Free advice for the makers here. It is because however much any director wants to go the Holly way, they are far too rooted the Bolly way! They get the locales right. They get the bikini babe from Russia right. But then they add item numbers in the climax. They add more song sequences. They add his mind-boggling scene where Saif, single-handedly beats white-skinned goons with fangs bared while his tuxedo doesn’t get any extra creases around the arms and his hair-do remains perfect. I want that gel, by the way!
I admit the one good thing about the film that it is a slick production. But isn’t that the least that is expected from a film of the spy genre (did I make up that category)? This is exactly what I meant while discussing the film Kahaani that most films excel technically while what remains ignored is a storyline.
Was I looking for a story? Maybe I was. I was expecting the film to grab me by my collars from the start. It didn’t. Saif’s hair gel had more hold than this film on its audience. Unfortunately AV was James Bond meets Jason Bourne meets Arnold Schwarzenegger from True Lies meets Salt meets whole-lot-of-other-Hollywood-cinematic-flotsam! I just hope that I don’t get to see Saif promoting this in some film-festival by the beach where fair-skinned cine-lovers are struck with anything that is Indian!
The director Sriram Raghavan looked promising in his first two attempts in Ek Haseena Thi and then on in Johhny Gaddar. He seems to falter in his third attempt. Neither his writing skills or his direction could salvage this rather lengthy film. I guess Raghavan will have to go back to writing for TV thrillers and may I suggest, not to forget to pick up the latest detective work at the railway station bookstore.
I havent seen a film with such tacky dialogues, in a long time. If the audience breaks into chortles when the hero and heroine are sharing their tender childhood stories, then there is a serious problem in comprehension. Kareena missing her homeland or Saif recounting 8 minutes of his childhood or that dead-pan government of India official, mouthing orders or the ennui-inducing India-Pakistan relationship – it was boring. Am sorry guys, it is back to boot camp for you all. You could watch Agent Vinod on mute!
That brings me to my next point. Acting. What good are you as an actor if you are not believable? What good is your skill if the audience does not emphathise? Kareena’s glycerine-acts were colder than the air-conditioning in the theatre. In fact, while watching her, I was reminded of a plethora of films that are ‘hall of famers’ when it comes to bad acting and incidentally, most of them were Kareena films. For example Ra.One, We Are Family, Main Aur Mrs Khanna, Bodyguard, Tashan, Kurbaan, Kambakkht Ishq, 36 China Town and Fida! Oops, sorry Bebo, that is most of your CV (save a few titles that lets you be in Bollywood)! Kareena should hand up her boots, get married to Saif, get pregnant and start a boutique. I even have a name for her – Bebo Fashions!
Saif Ali Khan, the same holds true for you. It takes much more than a well-trimmed 2-day stubble, designer shirts, well-cut suits, befitting shades and ripped body to be called an actor. Most well-known actors, and I am sure you would agree, are not all that you were in this film. So, Saif, it takes you 3 hours to get your act right – so when do you act? In your next film? I am running out of patience here. By the way, in a particular action scene that involved numerous shooting, Saif looked like he was doing the ‘nagin’ or snake-dance with a gun! SAK, get married to Bebo, start a family, live in your father’s estate, do some cricket commentary, run for elections, or just host film awards shows.
I lost out on 3 hours of my life, when I could have spent it Twittering, watching Batman Series or The Great Gambler, getting my car washed, mailing my friend in Thailand, spending time with my wife and cooking some dinner. Instead, I decided to watch Agent Vinod! Please pass me some poison!