Cool, suave cal­cu­lat­ing ‘Agent’

Cape Times - - FILM -

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.

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