Cool, suave calculating ‘Agent’
It wants to place a nuclear weapon in the hands of Pakistani militants fighting against India. Vinod’s mission is to investigate and eliminate all threats. The operation takes him to Russia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Latvia, Somalia, London, Pakistan, India and eventually Cape Town in search of the masterminds behind this devious plot. On the way he teams up with Dr Ruby Mendes, personal physician to a key member of the crime network. Ruby and Vinod appear to have a common mission.
Director Raghavan and cowriter Arijit Biswas have developed an interesting screenplay that expects the audience to suspend disbelief.
The film is filled with some wonderfully creative innovations and sheer genius, like the shoot-out in a seedy motel juxtaposed with an intense love song and Vinod’s dry dialogue in scenes filled with sheer tension.
Raghavan is obviously a film buff; the film takes its name from a 1970s Bollywood spy film. He names a character Richard Maibaum, after the screenwriter of many a Bond movie. The suitably rocking music score by Daniel B George and superb cinematography by CK Muraleedharan are also assets.
While individual sequences are edited and directed exceptionally well, the overall proceedings drag on far too long. The climax, especially, could have been reworked to create more tension. It’s a given that the hero is going to save the day, so to prolong the events is unnecessary.
The film features some great characters, all excellently cast. Most of the actors acquit themselves perfectly. Kareena Kapoor as Ruby is, sadly, the weak link, but then, her character is poorly defined.
It’s fun to see some notable SA actors playing the evil members of the Zeus Corporation – they include Graham Clarke, Neels Coetzee, Paul Cowan, Rafaelle Sabatini, Mike Westcott and Hennie Bosman.
In fact, while their scenes are set in various parts of the world, they were all shot on location in Cape Town.
Khan takes top acting honours as he lives and breathes the role of the cool, suave and calculating Agent Vinod and seems set to return in further big screen adventures.