This year has been fascinating. Without getting ahead of myself, I would say that most of the movies have been worth the ticket, pop-corn and petrol.
Then came Agent Vinod!!!
My expectation soared when I heard that Mr. Shriram Raghavan was at the helm of things. In our country obsessed with STARS (not actors), how many would go to watch a movie because of the director, and not because of the star? Afterall, how could a guy, who gave us gems like Ek Hasina Thi & Johnny Gaddar go horribily wrong, you may ask? Well, he did go wrong. So badly, that he lost a fan in me. I'm not ready to give him a second chance, just yet.
The movie was not THAT bad, but I do not buy the "Production valueas were superb" line anymore. Thanks to production houses like Excel Entertainment, Dharma productions, most movies are well shot, superbly produced.
Now, why dont I like our own James Bond? Surely, the movie screams style. That is it. It is like one of those glossy expensive men's magazine (No, I'm not talking about GQ) that have loads of pics, but suck when it comes to content. What makes you averse of the wannabe, super / hyperstylised superhero is that, within a span of a month we have seen two more superheros who are original, non-wannabe, completely desi and loads of charecter. I'am talking about Irfan Khan in Paan Singh Tomar and Vidya Balan in Kahani. These two gave us a temporary sense of happiness and made us believe & hope that all is not last.
This post is not about story of Paan Singh Tomar or Kahani or Vidya Balan though. Enough said and discussed about it!!
This is about Agent Vinod pitted against Agent Bob Biswas and Mr Tomar.
An LIC agent outshot and a Chambal decoit has outrun the smart,sauve RAW agent.
The popularity of Bob Biswas and Pan Singh over Vinod throws up a few points.
1) You do not have be dressed in tuxedos to impress the audience.
2) You do not have to be a globe trotter. (A friend of mine posted this on Facebook - Considering the movie covers 8 locations and our does not do much any way, the movie should have been called TRAVEL AGENT VINOD.) While Agent Vinod goes out and apes James Bond and Bourne films, Bob & Pan Singh just do the opposite.
3) You do not need angrezi with accent. Irfan spoke so convincingly in HIndi with the chambal accent that forced us to rely on subtitles and Bob Biswas did it with a simple "Nomoshkar...ek minute"...
4) You do not need to be in every scene of the movie to get noticed - OK this one does not apply for Mr. Paan Singh. But, Bob Biswas, with barely 10 minutes of screen presence, has become a household name and a social media rage.
5) You do not have to dance to silly and stupid item numers like Pungi, just incase, the audience does not like you in the first place.
6) You do not need silly mannerisms, punch dialogues and a swagger to get the audience hooked. Again, just a simple Namoshkar works...
While, I have already undermined Agent Vinod, I would say it was entertaining in parts at best. Cannot take away the sheer gineus of a way in which Shriram has shot the RAABTA song. Splendid. Cannot take away the "always on it's toes" background score. Cannot take away the frentic camera work. But that is it. Game over. It is not Max Payne. It is a movie.
What makes us fall for Bob & Paan Singh? Well, in Bob's case, it was simple. While, we are use to see burly, tough men play out the charecter of a hitman, Bob surprised us with his commonman and unasumming looks. He could be the most unlikely guy to play a hitman. Yet, he doid it with elan. And Pan Singh? Hehe, It was Irfan Khan. Enough said.
Now, it is not Saif's mistake that he is being pitted against these splendid guys. Just that , we expected better.
I guess, I will just have to accept Agent Vinod as a film that belongs to Saif the producer, than a film that belong to Shriram, the director.
Last heard, they are planning to make a sequel.