NewYork Times’ Movie Review – Ek tha Tiger : Love as Espionage, and Vice Versa
Kabir Khan’s “Ek Tha Tiger,” a Bollywood romance dressed in espionage clothes, seems most engaged during its glass- shattering, rooftop-hopping action sequences. Its superagent hero, Tiger (Salman Khan) — his 007 T-shirt is more descriptive than aspirational — can’t help making a mess fighting and chasing in foreign cities.
Dublin, Istanbul and Havana are probably still sweeping up, rewiring and getting their trains back on track after Hurricane Tiger.
Too bad these bursts of action have more wit than the actual story or characters. But to talk about that involves spoilers, so if you don’t want to know the unsurprising surprises, stop reading now. Because after a long windup — the whole first half — the movie becomes a Romeo-and-Juliet tale of lovers from warring houses.
While on a mission in Ireland, Mr. Khan’s lonely Tiger, a R.A.W. agent (India’s C.I.A. — it stands for Research and Analysis Wing), falls for Zoya (Katrina Kaif). And lo and behold, she turns out to be … a Pakistani agent! (She’s ISI, or Inter-Services Intelligence.) What to do?
Tiger and Zoya both make good kung fu street fighters, but as spies they’re unconvincing, and as lovers they’re cookie-cutter bland. Their loyalty to each other is never really in question and only tepidly tested, so the theme of my enemy, myself, remains unexplored Still, it’s there: Indians and Pakistanis, the movie says, look alike, act alike and even spy alike. When they don’t know they’re supposed to hate each other, strange things can happen. Love, for example. And pumped-up fisticuffs in romantic places.