Tiger 3 (2023) Movie Review: In the Netflix documentary The Romantics (2023) revolving around the Chopras and Yash Raj Films, Aditya Chopra is hailed as a business genius who reinvented the studio and caused it to occupy the space it does today in the Indian film industry. Indeed, Aditya Chopra can be seen recognizing the changing sociological patterns of its target audience early on, which allows him to experiment with the narratives being told by the studio. He catered to the youth of neoliberalised India that was getting increasingly alienated from the orthodox values of India, particularly the caste Hindu society.

This youth was starved of experiencing the traditional dynamics of heterosexual relationships due to their initial incompatibility with nascent urban values, and hence, Aditya Chopra managed to provide them with a language of love until the orthodox values found a way to permeate the neoliberal experience. Now, Aditya Chopra is about identifying a business model, the factors determining its success, and the attributes that can be adapted to replicate that success in a different context. The latest example of this is his creation of the YRF Spy Universe.

Certainly, the idea of a handful of characters going through their respective, and at times interconnected, narratives under a common umbrella is an exciting one. A shared universe allows easy storytelling, with different stories borrowing elements from each other. To an audience that loves its stars, a shared universe gives stars the opportunity to share screen space and exert their force on the audience. On that note, it was surprising to hear the applause with which Shah Rukh Khan’s cameo in Tiger 3 was met compared to the lukewarm cheering for Salman Khan’s entry, which was well-composed.

Most of this has to do with Salman’s tired appearance. He has refused to put any ounce of effort into his performance and body language. The ego is so overwhelming that it seeps into the way he acts for the camera. Even in Tiger 3‘s sleekest of sequences, Salman shows an annoying casualness. Contrary to his occupation of the screen, Shah Rukh remains extremely lively and boastful. Although his character in YRF Spy Universe is devoid of his trademark charm, Shah Rukh manages to contribute to the dynamism of the screenplay while Salman latches on it like a bloated weight. Honestly, the only urge I had to watch Tiger 3 on the big screen was to see Hritik’s cameo as Kabir, but that never happens.

Tiger 3’s screenplay is dependent on the infantilization and handicapping of the Pakistani state and a reiteration of its failure in modern world history. The Pakistani enemy is not surprising because most mainstream writers are politically challenged and meritwise corrupted. The imaginations of a spy thriller are limited by their design, which they have normalized to the genre’s regression. Global challenges due to imperialist actions or technological abuse do not threaten geopolitical relationships and routines, and there is no will to conceive so either.

It has to be a religio-political fanatic who can kill “any” number of people to reach his goal. He is provided with a token past of personal loss that either justifies his relentless urges, his ethical myopia, or both. To counter this force, you must have a hero figure that actually kills “n” number of people, but these actions have their justification built into them by courtesy of their perpetrator, i.e., a patriot, honest soldier who will die for his duty to the nation (but never actually does).

The plot of Tiger 3 doesn’t warrant much rumination. Tried and tested tropes are inserted in the arc of a suave villain, and India takes the position of a savior, unlike an enemy to Pakistan. A very similar plot was utilized by Farah Khan in her 2004 entertainer Main Hoon Na, albeit in a much better fashion. Emraan Hashmi plays the antagonist, Aatish Rehman, with ease, as if there was nothing in the character to challenge him. The performance itself is very similar to John Abraham’s Jim from Pathaan (2023). I have already talked about Salman Khan, and there is no elaboration for the whole of his performance. To the pleasure of our senses, Katrina Kaif performs her actions with agility and grace. She has also been given better-choreographed sequences than the protagonist, Tiger. No other actor has anything significant to do.

There’s not much gripe with Tiger 3 as a film. It revels in its mediocrity and doesn’t care about finesse. Not a single action sequence stands out, and the dialogues haven’t matured in all these years. It is recommended not to expect anything from Tiger 3 so that when it disappoints you, you are at least not disappointed by yourself for expecting more than it serves. YRF Spy Universe will make up for an interesting case study in the future when it finally ends; the generation will need to be convinced that a set of films with no contribution to the cultural capital was such a rage once. At the same time, they will also stand as a testament to the fascist era of today, wherein compliance is survival and voices in praise of the state ensure unprecedented bounties.

Also, Read: Three of Us (2023) Movie Review – A Tale of Persevering the Present than Preserving the Past

Tiger 3 (2023) Trailer

Tiger 3 (2023) Movie External Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Tiger 3 (2023) Movie Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Emraan Hashmi

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