Here is a mixed marriage, not seen since the Jodha/Akbar era; fifty-one-year-old, pneumatic, perennial bachelor Salman Khan (“Tiger”) paired once again with Katrina Kaif (“Zoya”) as East Indian and Pakistani agents sent to battle militants in Tikrit, Iraq; based on an actual event in 2014, terrorists took over a hospital and held 46 nurses (Indian and Pakistani) captive; the rescue operation is thrilling, scintillating and ambushes one’s attention throughout its 165 minutes.
Director Ali Abbas Zafar allows Khan to embellish his heroic elements, actualizing his brimming potential; his best film in years, he stuns from the first scene besting a pack of wolves, salivating for “Junior” (Sartaaj Kakkr), Tiger’s deliciously adorable son, to its breath-palpating conclusion; Tiger is a complication of “Rambo”, “James Bond”, “Jason Bourne”; Zoya, along with glamour and winsomeness could give “Lisbeth Salander”, “G.I. Jane” and “Evelyn Salt” a run for the gold. The riveting performance of Sajjad Delafrooz as the arch villain, “Abu Usman”; devastatingly handsome, compelling, more terrifying because his blackness is masked by fascinating charisma and gift for proselytizing with “forked tongue”; his every scene imbued with creepy, slimy, eerie, charm.
“Tiger Zinda Hai”, gorgeously filmed in Austria, Abu Dhabi, and Greece; exuberantly, genuinely performed, Bollywood successfully bonds both Eastern and Western audiences; leaving, knowing you had been properly, satisfyingly entertained!