Movie review – Tiger Zinda Hai – does the tiger growl or couch?

Second last week of the year – the makers of Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH) have decided to give a grand and larger than life farewell to 2017 with a movie that begins with a bang and ends with a boom. First day second show of TZH saw me apprehensive about my decision but what an experience did it turn out to be!

Cast – 

  • Salman Khan (Tiger/Avinash Singh Rathod)
  • Katrina Kaif (Zoya)
  • Sajjad Delafrooz (Abu Usman)
  • Angad Bedi (Namit)
  • Girish Karnad (Shenoy)
  • Paresh Rawal (Firdaus)
  • Kumud Mishra (Rakesh)
  • Paresh Pahuja (Azan)
  • Poorna (Anupriya Goenka)

DirectorAli Abbas Zafar

Duration – 2 hrs 40 mins

Genre – Action Thriller

Plot –

Sequel to the 2012 release Ek Tha Tiger, this spy thriller is basically about the life of RAW agent Tiger and ISI agent Zoya after they escape their respective countries intelligence agencies to be together. Eight years later, they are found living in Austria with their son junior. The movie opens with an adrenaline pumping scene of Tiger taking on a pack of wolves who are on a mission to attach his son. Thus begins the action minus any logic  kind of a story that doesn’t change much till the end. While Zoya is seen cooking tinda for Tiger because he loves Indian food, forty nurses (25 Indian and 15 Pakistani) are abducted by Abu Usman in Iraq. RAW doesn’t have any option but to find out Tiger for this mission(because he is still the best). Shenoy gets in touch with Tiger within twenty four hours primarily because Tiger had always been teh one trying to establish contact  with him throughout the years. At Zoya’s behest, Tiger decides to lead the mission but on one condition that he gets to choose his team. So there’s explosive expert Namit, sharpshooter Azaan and tech junkie Rakesh. They are soon joined by ISI men on their side with Zoya leading the pack. This is the first time since independence that India and Pakistan have found a common mission and a common enemy to fight together. The rest of the story is about their plan to rescue the nurses and the process of execution. Whether Tiger and his team succeed or whether they succumb to the situation is for the viewers to figure out by the end of the movie.

TZH - ali abbas zafar.jpg
A still from the movie -pic courtesy Ali Abbas Zafar

Analysis –

Needless to say, this is throughout a Salman Khan movie. Salman , playing the larger than life Tiger is mind-blowing. No one slays it better than him when it comes to action and once again he has proved how effortlessly he can carry a movie on its shoulder even if it is sans any much story or logic. I am disappointed with the director’s portrayal of Zoya. She is reduced to a wife cooking for her husband in the initial half of the movie. However, just when the viewer is about to give up hope, she enters the screen with a bang. Katrina is impressive in the action sequences. The rest of the characters have very little screen time. Paresh Rawal and Kumud Misra provide the comic relief in this action thriller. Angad Bedi and Anupriya Goenka do full justice to their roles, even though I wish they were longer and better defined. However, the actor who deserves full credit for holding his ground strong with a superlative performance is Sajjad Delafrooz.

Music by Vishal Sekhar ranges from the soothing Dil diya gallan to the foot tapping Swag se swagat.

A still from the movie – pic courtesy

What works in favor for the movie –

  1. Salman Khan – This is a movie for the fans of the actor. He occupies the screen for the entire period with the rest of the characters moving in and out as per Tiger’s requirement. He does a fabulous job of a half cooked story. There are quite a few scenes that had the audience in my theater whistling and clapping for him.
  2. Action sequences – They are spectacular, larger than life and makes the audience go wow. While Salman is great as always, I am quite impressed with Katrina pulling them off like a pro.
  3. Pace of the movie – The movie is fast and keeps one at the edge of the seat in certain sequences.
  4. Subtle lighter moments – There’s a scene wherein the RAW chief figures out that Tiger has been hacking their servers for years together. While his colleague is shocked, Shenoy changes the topic instantly to save the embarrassment. The humor was spot on. There are few scenes mostly involving Kumud Misra and Paresh Rawal that provide the lighter moments of this movie.
  5. The new chemistry of India and Pakistan – It is very refreshing to see the countries come together for a common mission instead of the usual and predictable rant and fight against each other.
  6. The message of humanity – There’s a scene in the movie where a thirteen year old  is used as a human bomb to fulfill the terrorist mission. We cannot overlook the fact that this is indeed the sad reality of a majority of children in war struck countries. Without preaching anything much, the movie puts across a very simple point that humanity is above any religion.

What could have been better –

  1. Zoya – While Zoya stood for the empowered woman in the 2012 hit, it is depressing to see the way life has changed for her post marriage. From an equal, she goes on to play the second fiddle to her husband. Katrina definitely deserved a well etched out role here
  2. Duration of the movie – At 2 hrs 40 mins, it really felt stretched. Ideally it should have been trimmed down by twenty minutes or more.


My rating would be

3.5 out of 5

TZH belongs to that category of movies that definitely has no intention to make the audience ponder yet is successful in being hugely entertaining through its dialogues, scenes and actors. So much so that when the movie ends, the feeling of having spent 300 or more bucks on the ticket feels justified. Personally, I can vouch for the fact that I came out of the hall stress-free and that is where the movie scores the point.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An erstwhile banker turned blogger/writer/author. Any qualifications? A Post-Graduate degree in Chemistry followed by a second Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. I completed a one-year MFA in creative writing course from the Writer's Village University, U.S. in Dec 2020. Though I must admit that I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots. Have I done any real work? If two years in market research, six years in banking as a branch head, three-plus years of blogging, writing, and publishing a book can be considered as real work, then yes! Where do I live? After spending life like a nomad for sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Books, coffee, travel, food, and my five-year-old son. What is this blog about? Through Sonia's musings, I intend to explore writing in various genres, create social awareness, spread laughter, and give words to emotions. Anything for readers? You can check out my book 'Deal of Death' on Amazon Kindle. If you like fast-paced thrillers, this Detective fiction introducing the woman sleuth, Raya Ray could turn out to be your perfect weekend read.

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