How an LIC agent-cum-hitman, Bob Biswas, from Sujoy Ghosh`s Kahaani - with barely five minutes of screen presence - instantly entered cinema folklore and made more impact on viewers than a suave `Indian` James Bond, Agent Vinod - with a full 152 of the 157 minutes of screen time dedicated to no one but him.
The second mystery will be how Paan Singh Tomar from Tigmanshu Dhulia`s eponymous film - despite his inability to speak English and who spoke a Hindi that forced most Indians to depend on poorly-done subtitles to understand it - outshot Agent Vinod`s silencer-fitted pistol with his stolen rifle.
When the year comes to a close and pundits analyse Bollywood, this will be the story everyone will be writing about - how Paan Singh Tomar outran and Bob Biswas outshot Agent Vinod. At sify.com, we travelled into the future to bring you the story now.
Let`s not be critical snobs yet. Instead, let`s begin with what is good with Agent Vinod.
Firstly, this is perhaps Indian`s slickest spy action thriller - with sharp editing and extremely well thought out, though a bit poorly executed, action sequences.
Secondly, with its climax, Agent Vinod does something few films globally have done: point out the connection between business and terrorism.
Anyone who has read Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn, or have used the tool of logic to remove the chaff from the grain of conspiracy theories, realises that both terrorism and war are big business that kill millions but also revive economies of nations.
Thirdly, like Farah Khan who boldly pointed a finger at Hindu extremists in Main Hoon Na, Agent Vinod tries to show that the forces aggravating the enmity between India and Pakistan are not its people, armies or even the government.
Director Sriram Raghavan puts the blame on businesses and tries to show how they profit from acts of terrorism and how religious extremists are pawns in the hands of these powerful people.
In Picture: A scene from the graphic novel based on Agent Vinod (Left) and Saswata Chatterjee, the actor who plays Bob Biswas, in a still from Kahaani
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