The tradition of espionage sagas in Hindi film industry dates back to Jeetendra’s Farz (1967), Dev Kumar’s Spy In Rome (1968), Dharmendra’s Yakeen (1969), Mithun Chakraborty’s Surakksha (1979), Jeetendra’s Bond 303 (1985), Akshay Kumar’s Mr. Bond (1992), Shahrukh Khan’s Baadshah (1999), Sunny Deol’s The Hero (2003). But the effort to find out an Indian spy agent equivalent to Bond and Bourne remained unsuccessful. Now with Agent Vinod, the industry seems to have given birth to one.
Sriram Raghavan has retained the title from 1977’s hit movie Agent Vinod, starring Mahendra Sandhu, but he has evolved a brand new plotline of his own. It is an ultra slick and stylish desi Bond movie that takes you on a whirlwind tour across continents. Its elegant narration keeps you tongue-tied throughout the movie. It is really a well packaged secret agent movie.
Saif Ali Khan’s wonderful performance is the major highlight of the film. Sriram Raghavan’s story and narrations are its USP. Pritam Chakraborty’s music, CK Muraleedharan’s cinematography, Peter Heins-Parvez Khan’s stunts, Pooja Ladha Surti’s razor-sharp editing and panoramic locales are the other attraction of the film.
The story begins with a series of seemingly unconnected events, all over the globe. In Uzbekistan, an ex KGB officer is tortured and murdered. In Cape Town, a group of International business tycoons discuss a rumor that the dead KGB officer had a nuclear suitcase bomb hidden away. In Moscow, an Indian secret agent is exposed. The agent is shot dead while trying to send a code red message to India. In India, the head of the raw sees the incomplete message. All it contains is a number 242.
Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) is the kind of agent who first kicks the door open and then finds out what's behind it. His unconventional approach puts him in dangerous situations, but he manages to get the crucial leads. Vinod is sent to Moscow to investigate why his colleague was killed. Vinod finds out that a Russian money launderer Abu Nazar (Ram Kapoor) has sent 50 million dollars to contact in Morocco, for an operation against India.
Vinod leaves for Morocco, where he meets an elderly Mafiosi Kazan (Prem Chopra) and the beautiful but mysterious Dr. Ruby (Kareena Kapoor). A series of twists and turns take agent Vinod across the globe from Marakkesh to Riga, Karachi to Delhi and finally London, where he discovers the ultimate conspiracy.
Saif Ali Khan, who has taken a long time after Aarakshan to get into the skin of a spy, has delivered flawless performance. He has a distinct style of dialogue delivery and he is a treat to watch on screen all through. Kareena Kapoor has a completely different and important role here and she has absolutely lived upto it. But they might surprise the movie goers as they were eager to see their off-screen chemistry in the film.
The baddie of 70 and 80, Prem Chopra makes sure to rock you again as a villain. Dhritiman Chatterjee, Adil Hussain, Gulshan Grover, Zakir Hussain, Shahbaaz Khan, Ram Kapoor, Ravi Kishen have delivered superb performances that really suit a Hollywood spy movie.
In technical front, Pritam Chakraborty’s music is the major highlight. He has composed six wonderful tracks for the film, out of which 'Pyaar Ki Pungi' is a runaway hit. 'Raabta' and mujra 'Dil Mera Muft Ka' are equally catchy. But the placement of the songs seems to be a problem. CK Muraleedharan's camera work is surely a feast to eyes. Peter Heins and Parvez Khan’s stunts, chase and action scenes are truly enticing. Pooja Ladha Surti’s editing is also commendable, but it could have been better if she had trimmed certain sequences.
In a nut shell, Agent Vinod is purely a desi Bond movie made with Hollywood standards. It is truly a Saif and Sriram’s festival treat for the audience. It has the capacity to enthrall even Hollywood audience.
Producer: Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Adil Hussain, Gulshan Grover, Zakir Hussain, Shahbaaz Khan, Ram Kapoor and Ravi Kishen
Music: Pritam Chakraborty
Release Date: March 23, 2012