Review: Agent Vinod

By Arnab Chakraborty/IBNS

Spy Bhai Bye Bye

Saif Ali Khan is back with pumped muscles, headshot ready aim and a taut witty disposition that never falters even in the face of the grim reapers and while that will garner a lot of oohs and aahs for him, I am not sure the same can be said for the film.

The background

The film opens in Afghanistan and greets us with a potpourri of sweat, gore and ass kicking action. Agent Vinod is the man! Saif as the suave spy makes his stance known from roll one and receives cheers from the crowd for some throaty dialogues and some witty action. Bullets fly a lot in the yellow screen space before a stunning display of opening credits prepare you for an apparent thrill ride. After that, well, let’s just imagine locales from half the world smashed and bashed together with a rough edged storyline that seems to talk of an espionage spy game and leave it at that.

The story – 2/5

Yup it’s the usual devil alright! The plot works in parts and when it doesn’t it falls apart but the usual clichéd material isn’t what hurts the film most- that credit goes to characterization.

So you have a Jason Bourne mixed with a James Bond from the oomph era and all of that rolled together in a rather mismatched cocktail (oops I almost forgot about the sordid and toothless back story). This coming from Sriram Raghavan, the man who gave us a sardonic “Johnny Gaddar”, is a mighty disappointment.

If Agent Vinod doesn’t bat an eyelid or displace a strand of hair while fighting mastermind criminals then Kareena as the Pakistani female terrorist cum muse, overdo s everything. What spy doesn’t kill because of moral issues? I don’t know of any and if you do know of any such field agent tell me and I will take back my words.

So you have a superhuman spy and a pretentious one punched together but Wait! That’s not where the fun ends because then comes an endless stream of goofy and unconvincing baddies with inconceivable motives. (You can play the ‘Count and Name the Bad Guys’ game once you are out and see how many you remember)

Having said all that; the idea of the mastermind remains a notch superior to other such concoctions as does some parts of the plot which does not follow the banal India-Pakistan rivalry concept. Three cheers for that!

The direction and technique – 3.5/5

“Agent Vinod” is slick, stylish and visually appealing. It can give a lot of Hollywood movies a run for their money when it comes down to raw cinematography. The film sports some graphic visuals with chiseled out pictorial flamboyance across some splendid locations.

The screen play is racy and when combined with some innovative camerawork doesn’t allow the eyes to avert away from the screen.

The editing is tight and though the film is a tad too long the screen play doesn’t disappoint too much.

However an overdose of action and stunts can leave your mental faculties gasping for some tangible storyline that quite often doesn’t follow all the punching, shooting and driving.

The acting – 3.5/5

The roles are generic and abysmally unrealistic but there was a raw sincerity in playing them out.

Agent Vinod may look closer to a game world hero but Saif plays the part with authority and conviction and so does Kareena.

Ravi Kishan, Adil Hussain, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Ram Kapoor provided solid support in their respective roles.

Rest of the cast too performed a splendid job and added some spice to the blotchy characters.

The music – 3/5

The music by Pritam almost mirrors the film in respect to its unpredictability. A fraction of the infamous Bond theme is mingled with expert care with Bolly music from 70’s to create an innovative signature track for the home brewed spy.

The soundtrack at the opening credits is racy as well but throughout the movie the music often springs to some unconventional action and causes unwanted distractions.

The songs are probably great as standalone tracks but they sometimes seen callously out of place in the scheme of things.

Vinod, Agent Vinod?

Well you may want to ask this spy his name if slick action enthralls you or if you are a fan of watching third person shooter games…

But if you are not a fan of unrealistic spygiri then you can bid this agent goodbye.

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