In a recent quiz, I had asked this question - The kidnapping of a prominent scientist, Ajay Saxena (Nazir Hussain) prompts the Chief of Secret Services (K.N. Singh) to assign flamboyant X (Mahendra Sandhu) to this case. While on this assignment, X meets with Ajay's daughter, Anju (Asha Sachdev), who insists on assisting him. The duo is further assisted by Chandu aka James Bond (Jagdeep) and his gypsy girlfriend (Jayshree T). The two couples will soon have numerous challenges thrust on them, and will realize that their task is not only very difficult but also life threatening. Which 1977 movie am I talking about? The answer was the 1977 movie Agent Vinod – In service of the nation. I was surprised that a team actually cracked the answer.
The biggest controversy of course leading upto the movie was that involving our very own inspired music director Pritam. The Pyar Ki Pungi Song which was apparently lifted from the Iranian Song “Soosan Khanoom” bears little resemblance to the so called original. I think the Iranian Band Barobax should listen to some of Pritam’s other inspirational numbers to understand where the person can go down to. In fact they should thank Pritam because thanks to him, the hits on their you tube video have crossed a million. Judge for yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE63JoBA6iI. And they should also feel better because almost all songs have been copied. Including inspiration from that great ode to Russia’s Public Enemy #1 from BoneyM – Rasputin (in case you were wondering).
Now that we have got the useless pieces of trivia out of the way, lets get down to the review of the movie. Do not let the detractors tell you that Agent Vinod is a waste of time or torture (as someone said while exiting the theatre). It is in most parts a smartly made espionage movie – with loads of inspiration from our friend from MI5. It is great to see one from our part of the world. If you keep aside the corny one liners that Vinod makes – attempting to be slick like bond, you will breeze through the movie. And hope that you don’t get into a PVR which takes 30 minutes to start the movie and has a 20 minute interval!!! The cinematography is good. The titling is very well done and gives you feeling of a well made movie in the first few minutes only. The disappointing part was the lack of good finishing towards the end but one could overlook that I guess.
Sriram Raghavan (Ek Hasina Thi, Johnny Gaddar), claimed all the way through the build up that the 2012 movie which released today was in no way inspired by the 1977 hit (if I may call it that). I am quite certain there was an inspiration hidden somewhere. While I liked Raghavan’s previous 2 movies – and I wasn’t alone there, Agent Vinod I would guess falls short significantly. The last time Saifeena paired on screen in that famous size zero movie, audiences reportedly left the hall tearing their hair apart – or so I am told. I guess Raghavan had more confidence on them but the chemistry fails miserably. Mostly from Kareena’s side – and it has nothing to do with the absolute bias I have against her. Guess they are one of those couples who have chemistry where it matters to them as a couple.
I must confess that I found myself really enjoying the movie in parts and then Raghavan kind of stretches a point too far and lets the movie wander all over the place before getting it back on track. The good scenes like the fight between AV and Prince of the LTTE have been edited exceptionally by Pooja Ladha Surti (Ragini MMS, Johnny Gaddar). I thought it AV was enjoyable. I leave it to you to decide. 6 on 10. Definitely the movie to watch out for this weekend.
And watch out for the hotties - Maryam Zakaria, Vasilisa Petina, Leeann Roberts, and Malika Haydon
Watch the trailer at http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi929669401/