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Salman Khan does Tiger things! Emraan Hashmi delivers a career-saving performance – Beyond Bollywood

Though far-fetched, YRF aims to spread true democracy in the military-ruled Pakistan. Despite its flaws, Tiger 3 is perhaps the most convincing film in the franchise.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 / 5)

By Mayur Lookhar

Following the Balakot air strike of 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the arch-enemy that this is new India. It will strike in the enemy territory. How could the reel then stay behind? Agent Avinash aka Tiger [Salman Khan] is about to wreak havoc inside Pakistan. Hold on, there is no Modi-like dialogue, nor does Tiger 3 [2023] reek of any agenda. Tiger is out to foil the enemy’s plan but he isn’t here to mock the puppet government or the civil population in Pakistan.

Over the years, Yash Raj Films and the Tiger franchise have called out the real evil – Pakistani Armed Forces, Inter-Services Intelligence, terrorism but it’s been mindful of not demonizing the entire civil population of Pakistan. This despite Pakistan spewing anti-India agenda in its schools or certain madrassas. Jeez, the state even had the gumption to produce anti-India propaganda [ Hindi Banega Pakistan] featuring kids. Only the Pakistani ‘establishment’ can do such things and be proud of it. India showed its maturity by replying to the hate-propaganda with its Atithi Devo Bhava message.

Cultural warfare is mastered in Hollywood. YRF though has been sensible in its spy action thrillers. Tiger 3 braves to cross the enemy territory. Tiger [Salman Khan] will wield the gun, but simultaneously the YRF film also aims to send the message of true democracy to Pakistan. It’s a far-fetched idea in the real. Maybe, YRF have gone a bit overboard in their ambitions in Tiger 3. One, however, can’t fault the good intent of YRF, producer-story writer Aditya Chopra, Sridhar Raghavan (screenplay), and director Maneesh Sharma.

He has spread love through films like Band Baaja Baaraat [2010], Fan [2016]. Sharma’s choice as director for Tiger 3 perhaps surprised some, but the filmmaker makes a sincere effort in his maiden attempt at helming a spy-action thriller. He is of course helped by a respected screenplay writer in Raghavan.

Improbable in the real, Sharma, YRF’s Tiger 2 [2023] sees an unlikely peace talk between arch rivals India and Pakistan, set to be held in aa third country. (In 1999, then Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had held similar talks only for the Kargil war to follow). Perhaps only rogue elements inside Pakistani Army or non-state actors [terrorists] are capable of derailing such talks. Atish Rahman’s [Emraan Hashmi] earlier attempt to disrupt these talks ended in a personal blow. He seeks revenge, but Rahman has other ambitions too. It would heal him to see Indian Agent Tiger being hanged inside Pakistan.  It’s nigh impossible to escape from Pakistan, but as Tiger says, “Till he is alive, he will never give up”.


If Atish has a plan, then how can Tiger not have one.  It’s not all over-the-top action. In fact, that is limited here. Instead, Aditya Chopra, Sridhar Raghavan and Maneesh Sharma have carved a great escape. The guns galore, but here YRF is keen to spread the message of democracy and engage with the civil population of Pakistan. The latter efforts might be far-fetched on the screen, but one cannot fault the noble intent.


Salman Khan has found the going tough since Tiger Zinda Hai [2017], his last certified hit.  A Tiger comes natural to Salman. Yes, emotional scenes aren’t Khan’s forte, but his fans like him for daredevilry, swag. Truth be told, that swag is controlled here. Pin that on the family troubles. The action choreography is well thought but the execution is likely to evoke mixed views. The chroma scenes are seldom appealing. One though has to respect Khan, who isn’t spring chicken anymore. The seasoned actor puts up a measured show.


Khan does Tiger things, but it is Emraan Hashmi who delivers a career-saving act. Technology helps to briefly rollback the years for Hashmi. He, however, looks equally fine as the bearded rogue Pakistani army veteran. Director Sharma hasn’t burdened Hashmi with any needless accent, rage.  It’s the same, calm Hashmi but he is in much control of his words and actions.


The leading men do fine. What about the leading woman? Katrina Kaif chips in with another typical dull performance. Like Tiger, Zoya (Kaif), too, isn’t known to throw in the towel. Not even during the catfight in a towel with a Chinese agent in Turkey. Despite her frailties, Kaif has always been an integral part of the Tiger franchise.

Even the supporting cast does a fair job. The talented Riddhi Dogra is good in her brief appearance. The much-publicized starry cameos draw the loudest cheers. Do we even need to mention their names?

Tiger 3 screenplay has its drag moments, few too-good-to-be-true ideas, but Maneesh Sharma is largely in control of his film. Tiger 3 certainly offers a better experience than Pathaan [2023]. There is little space for playback music in a spy action thriller.  The few tracks that we see are pretty average. The BGM, especially in scenes involving Emraan Hashmi is very gripping. YRF spy action thrillers are known for travelling across many regions.  It’s not the exotic locales, but what matters is how the director, technical team make use of the location. Mayur Sharma’s production design and Sahil Bharadwaj-Anay Goswami’s cinematography is impressive.

With Tiger, War, Pathaan, it’s evident that the YRF Spy Universe has global ambitions, but it is not prepared to lose its mass audience. Tiger 3 has adequate ingredients to appeal masses and classes alike.

The last few Eids have been disappointing, but hopefully Diwali will ring in some cheer for Salman Khan.

Watch the video review below.

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