2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
Agent Vinod is style over substance. A little mish-mash and a little rehash.
Mansha Rastogi Thu, 22 Mar 2012
Enough has been written and said about Agent Vinod. There's a lot that's gone behind its making and also has enormous expectations from millions of cinegoers. So much so, that Saif undoubtedly declares this film to be a major bet in his career. So while Agent Vinod finally sees the light of the day, we give you an insight into what this film is all about.
The film opens to an Afghani boot camp that's shown more like Texas with a Texas ranger background score going on. Agent Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) is shown brutally battered by the Pakistani forces for being the RAW Agent. But the super intelligent spy that he is breaks through the clutches, the countless men guarding the boot camp and makes a safe trip to India!
Back in India, he is shown a footage of his friend Rajan (Ravi Kissen) who's also a spy being shot dead by nefarious people. He soon gets a mission, not only to avenge his friend's death but also bust open the plotting of a horrid attack being conceived all over the world.
So the super smart, super intelligent spy goes pirouetting from Russia to Latvia to Morocco to Pakistan etc. picking up clues of a certain nuclear attack being planned in the name of a code word 242. How he succeeds in his mission follows through innumerous jump cuts, series of disjunctive scenes, zillion characters mouthing 242 over and over again until you start exasperating, and one romantic plot running concurrently with half a spy Iram Bilal (Kareena Kapoor), because mind you, she hates shooting people and yearns for a Karan Johar types sugar mush life.
If style could win over substance, then you surely have a super hit in the making. Right from a Quentin Tarantino style of starting credits to the last sequence, that film exudes sleek approach. There are some brilliant stunts and car chase sequence giving AV a very international appeal. But in a bid to achieve style, the filmmaker loses his sight on the plot.
For the entire first half, the audience is taken on a world tour where the Rajinikant of a spy outsmarts people and situations as if he were a superhero. He easily acquires new identities, navigates through countless countries, kills people, gets into fist fights with men double his size and comes out victorious all of it when you are desperately attempting to decipher the storyline.
Filmmaker Sriram Raghavan who has stupendous thrillers like Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar to his credit makes his presence felt in the film only in rare occasions. The intercut between a fight sequence in Russia and the one that happened in the past in Sri Lanka is exceptionally brilliant! There are some scenes that are intelligently connected and show Sriram's prowess as a filmmaker but they are few and far in between.
There appears a desperate attempt to weave songs in the film and it can be seen in its tattered form as the Mujra shapes in the film in a typically Bollywoodish manner.
Both Saif and Kareena put in genuine efforts in acting and it can be seen. Saif especially acts really well. The other two actors who deserve a mention are Ram Kapoor and Ravi Kissen. Both perform brilliantly in the small roles that they get. Prem Chopra however, gets typified as a mafia don and appears funny in parts.
Over all, Agent Vinod is style over substance. A little mish-mash and a little rehash.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)