Movie Review: Agent Vinod
Story: A series of events that happen across the world have Agent Vinod (Saif Ali Khan), a RAW agent, drawing a connection between them, that is primarily the story of this hugely anticipated flick. While he's after the killer of his friend/colleague Rajan (Ravi Kisen), Agent Vinod discovers the shocking plan of a terrorist group to kill millions with a nuclear suitcase bomb, which is kept under wraps. In the midst of his mission, he happens to meet undercover Pakistani ISI Agent Ruby (Kareena Kapoor), who is also, a doctor by profession. Agent Vinod and Ruby have a common goal, but whether they will be able to crack the mystery and come to the rescue of people forms the rest of the story.
Story Treatment: Agent Vinod sets out to revolutionise filmmaking in India. It draws inspiration from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, the Mission Impossible series, Raj Comic’s Nagraj and Lee Falk & Sy Barry's Phantom stories. The first 40 minutes of the film are intriguing and simultaneously confusing. It is bifurcated into sub-plots, which add adventure to the story. But, the flip side is that some sequences look completely illogical. Like, why would Agent Vinod trust Ruby after being ditched almost twice, is quite amusing! Also, a scene where Ruby recklessly enters the danger zone alone, when she is aware that the enemy is inside and ultimately gets shot in the process, is another one where logic goes for a toss. Like James Bond, Agent Vinod gets away easily, each time he confronts his enemies or vice-versa.
Star Cast: Saif Ali Khan is suave, charming and witty, and slips into the jackets and shoes of a spy quite flawlessly. Ditto for Kareena, who gets into the skin of her character nicely. However, as a couple, they barely get time to flaunt their fabulous chemistry. Adil Hussain as the villain impresses to the hilt. The rest of the cast- including Ram Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Ravi Kissen, Shahbaaz Khan, Maryam Zakaria and Gulshan Grover play small but pivotal roles. Malika Haydon looks promising as the item girl. The man behind the successful CID series, BP Singh is an apt choice to play Agent Vinod's boss and adds immense credibility to the plot.
Direction: Sriram Raghavan repeats the Johnny Gaddar magic and has the audience on the edge of their seats. But, he loses the plot somewhere, as there’s too much of a tangle from the past that confuses the viewer. Post interval, the plot settles down and Agent Vinod finds himself in a more comfortable zone.
Music/ Dialogues/ Cinematography/Editing: The music rings a bell with Pyaar Ki Pungi completely standing out. The remixed mujra song, however, falls flat. The background score surprises as it switches lanes from contemporary to retro. The cinematography, which borrows a frame or two from Hollywood, is definitely impressive and reminds the viewer of movies like Crank 1 and 2. Also Bruce Willis’ Red, particularly that scene in which Agent Vinod holds onto a moving car while shooting his enemies. Sriram’s dialogues are witty and breathe life into the film. The editing is slick and perfect to make the film seem crisp, short and sweet.
3ups and downs: Brilliant performances, dialogues, cinematography and innovative screenplay are the strengths. A slightly confusing direction, misleading music at some points with no relevance to the theme are the weak points.
On the whole, Agent Vinod is not a flawless venture, but if you are hungry for experimental cinema, this one's to die for.