(Published in The Sunday Guardian, on 19 August, 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/the-tigers-whimper)
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Girish Karnad, Ranvir Shorey
Director: Kabir Khan
Rating: ½ star
So, is Ek Tha Tiger really not jingoistic?
Abeyaar, it’s the opposite. Its central theme is: Aren’t ISI and RAW agents human beings too? Shouldn’t they be allowed to fall in love? With each other?
Whaa? How? I mean, like, you gift each other state secrets on birthdays and stuff?
Probably. We’re supposed to find it ironic that RAW and ISI work together on hindering this particular romance. Between Tiger and Zoya. Before you ask, Salman’s Tiger – goes by Manish Chandra, writer. His real name’s Avinash Singh Rathore. Zoya Jung could be either Katrina’s real or fake name. I’m not sure whether she’s a hooker, mistress, maid, dog-trainer or student.
Okay...what sort of accent does Salman have in the film?
It’s poor Kat who’s got the schizophrenic accent. Salman speaks Turkish and Earnest. She knows Spanish, and sounds like a Londoner, New Yorker, Creole and Mumbaiyya at different times.
So the action happens in Turkey?
Well, no one gets any action. The closest is a near lip-lock. Katrina even spends some time in a burqa. She makes up for it in this songMashallah, where she’s thrashing about the ground and arching her back and all that. Housewives letch at Tiger in Delhi. Tiger doodh peeta hai. A milkman pours it into a vessel. No Mother Dairy for him.
I meant, action sequences.
Well, there’s a lot of vehicular damage in Dublin. Tomatoes splatter and pottery breaks in Iraq. Someone looks disgusted when Tiger and Zoya dance in Turkey. Cars crash in Cuba. They fly planes, strangle people, hang people, scare chickens etcetera. Oh, there’s some bhabhi sentiment thrown in.
So, basically, it’s got RAW and ISI abandoning all else to track these two down?
Spending tons of money too. I don’t know why they bother, because Tiger and Zoya are so dumb, they’d probably put up pictures on Facebook and do Foursquare checks-in.
Does Salman take off his shirt?
Duh. He also dresses up as The Afghan Girl, and goes tobogganing on a table.
What’s poor Girish Karnad doing in this film?
Trying to keep a straight face when he says things like, “Only India has the technology to divert missiles Pakistan fires at us right back to Pakistan.”
*Splutter* Any *gulp* hint at a sequel?
Well, there could be a homosexual spinoff starring Ranvir Shorey.
So, what’s the verdict?
There will never again be a film that’s simultaneously offensive to Muslims, Rajputs, South Indians, Cubans, tigers, RAW, ISI, physics, geography, history, doctors and pugs, Alhamdz.