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Katrina Kaif plays a Pakistani spy and 5 more reasons you must watch 'Tiger Zinda Hai'

The Express Tribune 2017-11-08 04:23:59

Watch the traile­r here and decide for yourse­lf...

If you’ve left a Yash Raj film at the cinema theatre howling profusely like the train of your existence has derailed, or teary-eyed with jaunty emotion like your most intimate desire has been fulfilled, or distraught – resembling the terrible-twos your parents warn you about, you’re not alone! The Yash Raj banner has infiltrated our minds with sentiments we didn’t know existed. This production house has built ivory towers in lovers’ cores and made us deliberate in colours that you wouldn’t find even on the Pantone colour palette.

Be it Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan’s undeniable chemistry in Silsila that gave a naïve audience a reality check on the fact that extramarital affairs are taboo BUT they very much exist to introducing the obsessive-maniac of a lover in Darr, shedding light on stalker behaviour and threatening compulsions that Pakistan and India needed to realise and take note of, the YRF banner has always helped lift a curtain, manufacturing eye-openers year after year.

But lets not stop there. Yash Raj films gave us ‘Raj’ and ‘Simran’ in Dilwale Dulhania Lejayenge, cementing a lost soul’s faith in love – and also Chak De!, Band Baaja Baaraat, Hum Tum, Salaam Namaste and Lamhe – movies that shattered stereotypes and showcased women as strong, resilient, sensible and simply badass – to say the least.

With what an audience has experienced vicariously with the Yash Raj banner is a fathomless pit of emotion – and with this outlandish familial bond comes responsibility. An obligation almost – to stir up viewers, make them believe in a cause, invoke sentiment – and before I go all emo on you… lets just say, the list is boundless!

Yash Raj films have made us flinch and cheer since time immemorial so with their next production Tiger Zinda Hai, the stakes run higher than K2 and expectations are soaring like wildfires in a dry acreage. With the official trailer of the film having just blessed the Internet, we get a sense of what the film is offering and it is not a heart-wrenching love tale you didn’t want – sigh of relief. It deals with much more than that. Here are six reasons why you better save the date of its release:

1) Katrina Kaif plays a Pakistani spy

Yes, that’s right! She plays a Pakistani and that too, a badass one. There’s no stereotyping, no preconceived notions as to how Muslim/Pakistani girls are supposed to behave like and lucky for us, Katrina is believable in the character. She’s looking like a regular girl, in a sleeveless black shirt and pants, possessed with a slight accent making its way in her Urdu – which is acceptable and something I completely relate to!

The best part though: she plays heavy-duty strong – and it’s not just about blazing bloodcurdling guns and killer moves. Not that we don’t want our very own version of Lara Croft: tomb raider – but its more the mind-set surrounding Pakistani girls that’s been touched upon.

I think Pakistani women are so often portrayed as victims and weaklings in our TV world, especially in our telly industry, that this fearless avatar comes as a wisp of crisp air. We want our girls brimming with clout, confidence and authority – and to just break away from that helplessness that the world associates them with.

Beneficially, our movie industry is taking strides in the right direction but a lot needs to be done to annihilate that ‘bechari’ image of the Pakistani woman. Because gals are awesome and Pakistanis, as much as Indians, need to stimulate and embed that fact into their citizens’ minds, as much as possible. In a nutshell, Tiger Zinda Hai is totally onto something and I, being a girl, approve of it.


2) There’s a strong sense of diversity

A minute into the trailer and you just know that the plot is not revolving around a contest between unlike ethnicities or a deadly encounter between India and Pakistan. Phew!

The promo, in fact, radiates partnerships, and exudes a union of dissimilar religions and backgrounds – all coming together to combat terrorists – and there’s no underlined, in-your-face-stress on the terrorists being Muslim. Okay one of them is called ‘Usman’ – but Islamic State butchers for instance do have names we’re familiar with. The fact of the matter is that the focus of the flick is on a cluster of divergent folk teaming together in harmony to take down the BAD guys. It’s good against evil – not Muslims versus Hindus or Shias battling Sunnis or Christians against Jews. I repeat, it’s good against evil. You know what I mean? Voila to that!


3) Salman Khan unveils more trend-setting dialogues

Love him or hate him, but it’s humanly impossible to not notice the (gorgeous and timeless) guy – and don’t pretend you’ve never had the urge of reiterating his iconic lines to friends, family and maybe even your boss – think ‘Zindagi mein teen cheezein kabhi underestimate nahi karna – I, ME and MYSELF’ (that wouldn’t sit too well with the boss!).

From ‘Ek baar maine commitment kardi toh phir mein apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta’ to ‘Mujhpe ek ehsaan karna, mujhpe koi ehsaan mat karna,’ you must admit, Salman kick-started a trend of power-packed lines and punches that have left fans, globally, going gaga – aching for more of these mini life lessons. If you didn’t know that already, there are memes dedicated to Sallu’s sharp one-liners! Salman-isms are as real and binge-worthy as Han Solo’s witticisms in Star Wars – yes I made that comparison – and yes, I adore them both!


This movie might just be overflowing with quotable quotes so… just saying!


4) The message yells, ‘We stand for peace’

The message of peace might leave you ranting “been there done that” but lets get real folks – there’s hardly any amity stratums brewing between Modi’s rigid government and Pakistan’s wonky state of affairs so any initiative that encourages the concept of concord between these countries (or may I say brothers that just don’t get along) almost appears like an olive branch. At least to me. And I’m a pacifist, just like many of you reading this. All I’m saying is grab those olives and make some hummus together. It’s delish!


5) The action elements squeal Hollywood

From utilising nifty frames to the employed pragmatism of action sequences – you’re going to get this air of ‘okay this movie looks kinda Hollywood’. The point I’m trying to make here is that the arson you’ll witness or the gunfire you’ll observe, somehow don’t come across as cheesy – not even minutely – which is a rare circumstance!

The scenes in the promo most definitely piqued my interest and intrigued me enough to go watch the movie. Also, the buzz is that a horde of Hollywood trainers and a reputable action-team from the West were chartered to give the movie that additional kick. And it undoubtedly shows.


6) Uday Chopra is producing it

Okay now you might be wondering why this is a reason to watch the movie! But hang in there – because it is. We are familiar with Uday essaying the chiselled eight-pack-boasting ‘Ali’ from the Dhoom series and the toned, super-fit romantic hero in Neal & Nikki and though his career as an actor failed to make an impact, people – or should I say, trolls or ‘mouth breathers’ as Mike and Eleven from Stranger Things would say, were quick to mock the star’s recent weight gain and ‘shocking transformation’ without realising it’s a completely normal aspect of life.

We lose weight and we gain pounds and life goes on. But to limit a person, and judge them solely on their appearance is not just abysmal in any society but also shallow and a half on every level there is – it’s a mind disease if you ask me. With this movie, Uday is already glittering bright – because his diligence and his team’s hustle to make the movie look not only international but so very inclusive is a win-win on its own. I want people to watch Tiger Zinda Hai, keeping in mind that Uday is a force to be reckoned with. And also, haters are going to hate – but we must move past all the disapproval – and we must excel, despite all the odium that might impede our way.


And remember, the way people perceive you doesn’t define you. Like I always assert, ‘Fireworks are inside, not outside.’


And FYI – the film is releasing December 22!

Also, here’s the trailer…