27 March 2012 | ssvikas
Nothing awesome, but you won't regret watching it
If movie-making were to be likened to cookery, how do you best describe the recipe for 'Agent Vinod'? Take 2 cups of 1970's James Bond DVD ready-mix with 1 cup of Jason Bourne and mix them well and let it cook on a bollywood drama flame. Now add finely chopped Pakistan spice and heaps of terror-plot masala with item-songs to taste. Cook it till distributors are pleased. Garnish with glamor. Serves many!
Well, one might say that this is not the first time that Bollywood has drawn inspiration from the West. But the question is: What was the point in making this film? Seems like "Saifeena", err, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor wanted another movie together! Well who knows! After all, it was the Nawab's own Illuminati Films producing it.
'Agent Vinod' packs in too much for a storyline. Predictably, it begins with an Af-Pak plot against India and a portable nuke. When his colleague (Ravi Kishan) dies after transmitting a message about a mysterious '242', Vinod (Saif) is sent in.
Over the next couple of hours, the audience gets sneak peek into international locations as Agent Vinod offers you the cheapest spectator tickets to Russia, Latvia, Morocco and Somalia, erstwhile untouched by Bollywood.
About the movie, never mind the numerous characters and plot twists. All that one can know after watching this movie is that Hindi seems to be the lingua franca of all slime balls around the world, including tiny countries in Europe. Interesting, huh!
While the main plot rolls on, there is Kareena Kapoor who plays doctor to Kazaan (Prem Chopra), one of the baddies. Soon, we learn that she is a Pakistani doctor called Iram who was wrongly implicated in an attack and presumed dead. Obviously, as in any film, Vinod & Iram get romantic and she soon joins him in his mission, which, for some strange reason requires her to perform a Mujra before high-profile baddies!
There is no need to bother about details as long as one knows that it had too many characters. After some time, one stops to care about them and what they are after. And all the while, you know what the climax is going to look like and how it would end.
Coming to the acting department, Saif may have evolved as an actor. But, barring a stunt or two, he offers nothing new. Kareena sleepwalks through her role. But, Adil Hussain stands out as the menacing Colonel. And then you have staple villains Gulshan Grover and Shahbaz Khan. And, Iranian-Swedish actress Maryam Zakaria peps up the oomph quotient. The rest is all about slick action.
Just like in James Bond, there is action, a crazed destructive plot, power mongers, one lone agent to save the world and some pretty faces. While the Bond inspiration is mostly limited to the earlier era or the golden age among 007 flicks, there is one element from the recent flicks, with a reference to a villainous conglomerate 'Zeus Group' not unlike Bond's 'Quantum'. And, no cool gadgetry from Q-department.
What spoils the show for 'Agent Vinod' is that the plot is way too confused. It is as if someone independently shot different segments in varied locations and sat down at the editing table to put them together. A tighter script could have surely helped.
True, 'Agent Vinod' has its flaws and the lead character is no James Bond. But still, it is not a movie you would regret watching. For one, benchmarking this with James Bond or Jason Bourne doesn't make sense these days. After all, Bond has lost the panache and Bourne feels the same, no matter which part of the series you are watching.
So, if you are a huge fan of Kareena or Saif or have nothing to do to kill time, 'Agent Vinod' is not bad for a pastime flick. Just don't expect too much from it!