While SRK’s Chennai Express has more or less overwhelmed the masses, here’s a Salman loyalist who wrote to Koimoi all the way from across the border about a year after Ek Tha Tiger. It’s quite ironical that on our Independence Day we get a mail, from a Pakistani about how he loves an Indian Superstar. Strange are the ways of cinema to blur the differences politics creates between people!
Today we know Salman Khan as the most popular actor in India. His popularity in the younger generation is phenomenal. The never aging Indore born hunk has made huge strides in a career spanning over 3 decades. He has come a long way since his Maine Pyar Kiya days. From a never giving up lover in Maine Pyar Kiya to a playboy of Saajan and Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai, the charged up Ajay from Karan Arjun or the crazy nutty lover of Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, he has proved his mettle with considerable ease. Those who argue that Salman has not done experimental work must go through films like Khamoshi and Phir Milenge. London Dreamz was another sincere attempt towards the work which is a far cry from the Salman Khan brand of films
Ek Tha Tiger released exactly a year ago, on 15th of August 2012. A Yash Raj production which assembled a star studded cast and crew members. Carrying a screenplay penned by Kabir Khan and Neelesh Mishra, the motion picture was shot in the US, Istanbul, Cuba, Ireland and Delhi. The film will be remembered not only for Salman Khan but also for its breathtaking stunts, superb cinematography (Aseem Mishra), and crisp editing (Rameshwar S. Bhagat.)
Before getting together for Ek Tha Tiger, Salman was yet to enter the celebrated production house of YRF. Salman had been an actor known for working with first timers. Maine Pyar Kiya was made with the then first time director Sooraj Barjatya. Other such films included Khamoshi, Auzaar, Jaan-e-man and Phir Milenge (to name just a few). All in all Ek Tha Tiger was an unventured zone for the Dabanng Khan who by then had established himself as the reborn superstar of Bollywood. Ek Tha Tiger already generated interest right from the time its first photo shoot carrying Salman and Katrina was showcased over the YRF website. A movie boosting directorial credential of Kabir Khan and the YRF Label, had started indicating something new and special.
Ek Tha Tiger released with much fanfare and was very well received by both the critics and audiences alike. I was watching all the happenings over the various website and my Dth Tv from Islamabad, Pakistan where the film was not allowed for a release due to the ISI angle used in the movie. Having said that there would be hardly any Hindi movie viewer in Pakistan who had not watched Ek Tha Tiger (obviously not in the cinema hall). On a personal note I failed to understand why Ek Tha Tiger was not allowed for screening considering that movies like Aandhi or Kisa Kursika went up for an all India release considering the nature of content they bearded.
As already mentioned Ek Tha Tiger was a Salman Special and stands aside from his previous works. It had already been mentioned that it was the first time Salman had joined hands with YRF. Other reasons why I feel Ek Tha Tiger is my best pick from Salman Khan’s filmography and stand aside from his other releases are as under:
1. Ek Tha Tiger was a magnum opus costing over 750 million (Indian rupee) with the highest production values not only for a Salman Khan film but in general as well. None of Salman’s previous films had bourn such credentials.
2. Ek Tha Tiger’s action sequences were directed by the stunt director of The Bourne Identity fame thus viewers were gifted with the best action sequences which carried a variety. From raw street fighting to the car chasing and also using the latest technologies for showcasing the hi fi scientific action sequences, Ek Tha Tiger was a joy to watch for action lovers.
3. Action was aided with some ever mesmerizing breath taking locals from US, Cuba, Istanbul, Delhi and Turkey. Cinematography captured from the lenses of Aseem Bajaj was probably the best ever for a Salman Khan film and one of the best ever showcased by Bollywood. Thus the combo of Action, Locals and Cinematography made Ek Tha Tiger not only worthy but a timeless movie to watch. Editing by Rameshwar S. Bhagat summed up the world of Ek Tha Tiger like never before. Editing was another highlight of the film.
4. Upon its release, Ek Tha Tiger received the then best ever Bollywood opening and was the quickest to the 100 crore mark.
Having described Ek Tha Tiger in such detail I feel that the movie although being the 2nd highest grossing Indian movie had still not received what it deserseved. The movie had the rare quality combo of style, substance, editing, action and locations which is yet to be seen in any other bollywood movie. Kudos to Salman Khan, YRF, Kabir Khan and the team of experts who gifted such an incredible piece of work to the viewers who are now getting used to experiencing such works of high quality every now and then and the bar is continuously being raised by Bollywood film makers every passing year!
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