ImageThere are times when you watch the movie first and read the reviews later. I did that for Agent Vinod and realized that all the major reviewers have taken the movie too seriously.

I had no expectations from the movie, but it had some really good sparks. There is a very strict, conventional story arc in any spy movie. Eventually all Jack Bauers of the world save a specific city, country or sometimes mankind from something really fatal. Sriram Raghavan has Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar in his past that does him credit. But when Saif Ali Khan is producing the movie, Raghavan may not have had all the creative liberty, no matter what they talk about in publicity interviews.

Everyone and their uncles have gone overboard by comparing Agent Vinod with Bond and Bourne movies. But this RAW spy doesn’t claim to be original at all. His character works well and with a li’l more thrilling story it would be good fun to watch him in a sequel.

Along with Raghavan’s retro homages to crime novels, old Hindi thrillers and of course those spy movies, there are flashes of Guy Ritchie influence here and some Tarantino there. It is a collage that works for someone who appreciates the genre and doesn’t have the expectations set too high.

I expected some mushy romantic scenes when I heard the Rabata song for the first time given the relationship of the producer and the heroine of Agent Vinod, but that one single long shot song sequence is very refreshing.

We watched the movie sitting with the crowd that included a big bunch of Indians along with people from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, other Middle Eastern countries and some German fans of Bollywood. Wonder what was going on in their minds.

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