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Tiger Zinda Hai  : Alive & Kick Ass
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Friday, December 22, 2017
Ali Abbas Zafar
Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sajjad Delafrooz, Angad Bedi

As an ardent Salman Khan fan said at interval, “Eid mein Tiger ko chhodna chahiye tha.” But Merry Christmas. Salman Khan with Ali Abbas Zafar’s perfectly-calibrated screenplay and Yashraj Films’ unstinted production values, delivers what fans expect from Santa Claus: an year-end blockbuster.


After a brief introduction on 25 Indian and 15 Pakistani nurses who have been held captive in a hospital where dreaded terrorist Abu Usman is holed up, it’s time for Tiger to return to action. Mission must be accomplished before an American drone strike targets the hospital to eliminate Usman.


Premise established, Ali Abbas swiftly moves to an entry befitting Tiger: bonding with his son Junior while fighting a pack of wolves. His Pakistani wife Zoya also hasher action skills intact. Against picturesque snow-covered Austria and the nicely-tuned romantic number Dil diyan gallan, he sketches Tiger and Zoya’s 8-year married bliss.


But when duty calls and Zoya tells Tiger, “We’re not your weakness, we’re your strength,” off he goes on his mission for RAW, with wife and her ISI not too far behind.


Ali Abbas gets his list of sentiments right: there’s Hindu-Muslim-Sikh bonding, light Indo-Pak bantering on a joint mission and heavy patriotism with the Indian flag fluttering. The Indo-Pak romance of Tiger and Zoya is always around the corner. 


It’s sprinkled with well-written characters. There’s Kumud Mishra with his tech savviness and ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’ chant. Paresh Rawal also has an intriguing role as Firdaus on the Syrian side who has ‘Chandni’ as his caller tune.


There’s some wit around too like the secret password being ‘Tu tutu tutu tara’ with Salman adding, ‘Jarahahai Tiger mission dobara.’ With all the finesse of a Hollywood rescue mission, Abbas gives nail-biting tension and twists to the 2 hr 41-minute Salman fiesta.


Emphasising that Salman and Katrina have been man and wife and missing in action for eight years, is a neat way of sayingthat they will look a little more mature than they did in Ek Tha Tiger. The slightly older Katrina Kaif is in fine form. In places, she looks taller than Salman which really speaks for his confidence today. And it is well-placed confidence as Salman Khan lives up to his image, catering to a family audience that wants him caring but daring too.A heart-in-the-mouth sequence with a tender suicide bomber is tailored for Salman’s strong fan base of young kids. But, unlike Tubelight which short-circuited his appeal, Abbas Ali tops it up with plenty of heroics, biceps and yes, the shirtless fight too.


For accomplishing the mission of taking the franchise forward with flair, Tiger Zinda Hai gets a 4* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author

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