Tiger 3 actually has a story besides trendy illogic

Salman Khan in Tiger 3. Photo: Yash Raj Films

Yash Raj Films is clearly hell-bent on spending huge resources on action, VFX and more in their Spy Universe. They got this fillip when their mediocre War became a money-spinner, and Pathaan, in early 2023, added to this predilection.

Out went the story and ‘normal’ (for Hindi cinema) action of Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai, to be replaced by extravagant visual effects and exorbitant (that’s the word) splurging on Hollywood-style action. A threadbare story with minimum emotions fills the gaps between the over-the-top thrills.

Of course, the audience wants to see big-screen fare with high production values in sound and visuals and their favorite stars, so such films do well, and the competition with themselves and similar other fare (like Jawan, for example) further heats up the scenario, literally.

By this superficial yardstick, Tiger 3 ranks far higher than War and Jawan and also higher than Pathaan. There is a story and, for the first time, also a back-story of Zoya, the Pakistani agent who has been the heroine of the Tiger franchise. The suspense, if at all, is caused by whether Zoya is joining the anti-India forces, or whether Tiger is also against his motherland. For Tiger a.k.a. Avinash, this is a matter of stress.

Then there is their son involved, as he is used as a blackmailing tool by the villains, and Zoya’s childhood mentor, Aatish (Emraan Hashmi), born evil, who will not stop at killing even his fellow countrymen if he can fulfill his ambitions.

The usual conspiracy also is there—to destabilize India, but as with the Tiger franchise, even Pakistan is shown as a victim of terrorism. Indo-Pak harmony has been a recurring YRF leitmotif from the time of Veer-Zaara, almost two decades ago, and their Spy Universe has now given this a fillip.

Basically the film revolves around Tiger’s and Zoya’s love for their son, who is used by Aatish for his nefarious ends, and a coterie of Tiger loyalists (Kumud Mishra et al) who are ready to follow his instructions independent of their boss (Revathi) who heads R&AW. The sitting on the fence happens when it is mentioned that in Pakistan, the Army decides things, not the politicians, and at the same time, we see a Pakistani prime minister who wants India and Pakistan to have genuine harmony, with support from most of her Armed Forces, except for a coterie of extremists led by Aatish.

And for Aatish, it is unclear what exactly is the root of his hatred against India, besides his aversion to democracy in his own country.

Salman Khan, looking remarkably young, is in his element. And though the one-liners are few and far-between, his entry or looks are enough to see his fans go wild in the multiplex I watched the film in, and one can imagine the craze in single-screens. Katrina Kaif is more than just the standard heroine: she has a role of substance, and some hands-on action too, as in the brilliantly-shot hand-to-hand combat sequence with another actress, with both wearing only towels in a spa!

The supporting artistes have little pith to speak of, but fulfill their roles competently, Kumud Mishra and Anant Vidhaat shining effortlessly among them. Danish Husain, Simran, Ranvir Shorey, Vishal Jethwa, Ridhi Dogra, Chandrachoor Rai,Shahid Lateef, Danish Bhat, Gavie Chahal, Aamir Bashir, Neeraj Purohit, Sartaaj Kakkar (as Tiger’s and Zoya’s son, Junior) are all good.

Revathi is businesslike. But the wonder is the (compared to Salman!) puny Emraan Hashmi, who essays the malefic Aatish in his usual suave and smiling manner, but this time, the evil intentions are not in love or lust, as is his serial kisser image. In fact, he emerges by default a serial killer here, and excels with his low-key villainy. As for Shah Rukh Khan, his entry is made for mass hysteria, and like Salman’s in Pathaan, it succeeds.

Maneesh Sharma, who has directed movies like Band Baaja Baaraat, has little to do actually, after Aditya Chopra’s story and production, and the brilliant work being done at the technical level (cinematographer Anay Goswami and Sahil Bharadwaj, action by Parvez Shaikh, Abhiraj Minawala and Franz Spilhaus, the VFX and more). The screenplay by Shridhar Raghavan plays to the (spy) gallery and the dialogues (Anckur Chaudhry) are as per the needs of the story.

As in Pathaan and War, music is kept to a minimum, and Pritam’s songs are average. Tanuj Tiku’s background score is a shade overdone, more in its volume than in anything else, so I guess the real culprit is the sound engineer.

Given the trendy needs, the current audience psyche and everything else, I would rate Tiger 3 as much superior to Yash Raj’s recent Spy Universe films, but decidedly not of the caliber of the earlier films in the Tiger franchise.

Rating: ***1/2

Yash Raj Films’ Tiger 3 Produced by: Aditya Chopra  Directed by: Maneesh Sharma  Written by: Aditya Chopra, Shridhar Raghavan & Anckur Chaudhry  Music: Pritam  Starring: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Emraan Hashmi, Revathi, Ranvir Shorey, Kumud Mishra, Vishal Jethwa, Simran Bagga, Ridhi Dogra, Anant Vidhaat, Chandrachoor Rai, Danish Husain, Shahid Lateef, Danish Bhat,  Gavie Chahal, Gurket Kaur, Aamir Bashir, Sartaaj Kakkar, Edward Sonnenblick,  Neeraj Purohit, Abhiraj, Sp. App.: Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan & Ashutosh Rana








Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here