Agent Vinod gets mixed reviews
Sriram Raghavan’s Agent Vinod is brilliant in bits, and incredibly asinine in others. The film fails to impress in entirety. Saif and Kareena's performance is average. There was little that the supporting cast could do to save the day, feel critics.bollywood Updated: Mar 23, 2012 20:47 IST
Sriram Raghavan’s Saif-Kareena starrer is brilliant in bits, and incredibly asinine in others. Saif and Kareena's performance doesn't impress much, there was little that the supporting cast could do to save the day, feel critics.
Critics feel the film is brilliant in parts, but fails to impress in entirety. "Agent Vinod is Sriram Raghavan’s ode to the spy genre, his continued love affair with ‘70’s Hindi cinema, and a genuine attempt at entertaining in a sensible manner. But it just doesn’t work. It’s not campy enough to be fun, not intelligent enough to be taken seriously, and not entertaining enough to override the first two points. It has flashes of brilliance, yes. Raghavan had the right idea, it seems, and a great choice for the lead role in Saif Ali Khan. But somewhere, there seemes to have been a slip between the script and the film," feels Aniruddha Guha, DNA.
What went wrong
Concurs Raja Sen, Rediff, "If only Agent Vinod were a video game. It has all the hallmarks of a classic: from explosive wall-to-wall action to various levels of globetrotting mayhem, from challenging moments of hand-to-hand combat and clue-hunting to an eclectic slew of fascinating side characters, from a helluva background score to, quite vitally, the fact that it doesn't end where it should and instead keeps giving the protagonist more to do."
"An ambitious script, set in various countries, Agent Vinod is by far the most credible secret agent movie made in Bollywood. This hi-octane thriller has style and substance, both!" feels Adarsh.
"Sriram Raghavan and Arijit Biswas’s story is noting out of the ordinary when you compare to other films of the same genre. Of course, Bollywood has seen very few spy films of late, at least not any memorable ones, but that doesn’t imply that the audience will accept a below-average story. However, it is the screenplay, also by the same writers, is where Agent Vinod really falters. While the writer-director Sriram Raghavan has made sure that the scenes are slickly shot and executed but at times, they hardly make any sense. Although this does gives a feeling of anticipation, the audience soon realizes that there is nothing earth-shattering that is going to be revealed in the plot," writes Mrigank Dhaniwala, Koimoi.com.
"Sriram himself is the vital USP of this endeavor. His method of exemplifying the anecdote is way too varied from the prototypes. Drifting away completely from the Bond movies of swanky cars and cool babes, this one is more about electrifying thrills along with a lot of wit and intelligence and a garnishing of the desi tadka. The nuggets of the quirky humor injected in the plot work incredibly well," says Adarsh.
But Raja Sen differs with Adarsh. "Agent Vinod wants to be funny, and while there is the occasional burst of wit, it's exhaustingly rare. Sriram Raghavan is, first and foremost, a film fanboy, and sure this film has references sprinkled through it? the greatest salutes being to the 1978 Don, with a mention of that immortal character's dislike of a person's shoes, and with inconveniently dead Iftekhaars who are the only ones aware of a protagonist's true allegiance?"
Dhaniwala has a unique perspective. "Director Sriram Raghavan makes a film that sometimes looks like a spoof, sometimes a serious nail-biting spy drama and at other times, is exposed as a half-baked film. His composition of many scenes and action sequences might be unusual and therefore, interesting, but that by itself, means little as the script fails to excite the viewer enough."
"He makes the time honoured mistake of succumbing to the considerable charms of his lead pair and makes it mawkish. So mawkish that it induces sniggers. Which is a pity because he'd been doing fine till then, ticking along nicely, taking Vinod from planes, trains, beaten up Army jeeps, to sailboats, to motorbikes, even to a helicopter," writes Kaveree Bamzai, India Today.
Saif Ali Khan
"After playing a straightforward simpleton in Aarakshan, Saif returns as a spy in Agent Vinod. Saif has a distinct style of dialogue delivery that gels well with the character here. Saif is effectual and charming all through. It's a flawless performance and it's an absolute delight watching Saif get into the groove so magnificently," says Adarsh.
"When the lead cast of the film fails you, it’s like the tail-enders are put to task. But with Saif and Kareena both believing that expressions are injurious to health, there was little that the supporting cast could do to save the day," says Guha.
"Kareena has a pivotal part to play and the fact of the matter is that only a commanding actress could've pulled this role off with elan, flamboyance and vulnerability. The fact that she is superlatively talented only gets reiterated with this awe-inspiring and elaborate act," feels Adarsh.
"On the whole, Agent Vinod is a hi-octane espionage thriller with a heart. It is not just brawny and dynamic, but witty and crazy too. Ultra slick and stylish, this desi Bond movie adheres to the formula and succeeds in meeting the humungous expectations. Agent Vinod has all the potential to develop into a triumphant franchise!" Writes Adarsh.
"Sriram Raghavan’s Agent Vinod is brilliant in bits, and incredibly asinine in others. It’s probably the most inconsistently good film I’ve watched lately, and a massive letdown. Which is a pity. It could have made for a rare, looked-forward-to franchise," concludes Guha.