Ek Tha Tiger is a 2012 Bollywood romantic action thriller film starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles. Produced by Aditya Chopra and directed by Kabir Khan, the film marks the third collaboration of Kabir Khan with Yash Raj Films after Kabul Express (2006) and New York (2009). It is also Salman's first film with the company. The music for the film has been composed by Sohail Sen, along with a guest composition by duo Sajid-Wajid.
The pre-production for Ek Tha Tiger started in the second half of 2010, after the script had been completed. The principal photography commenced on September 2011 and ended in June 2012. The film had been shot in as many as five countries across three continents. Initially scheduled for a release on June 2012, the film faced delays and opened up on August 15, 2012, coinciding with the Independence day of India.
In the dark world of intelligence and espionage... all information is guarded in the name of national security... But some stories escape the fiercely guarded classified files... stories that become legends.
This is one such story... a story that shook the very foundation of this dark world.
In a government employees' neighbourhood in New Delhi, there lived a rugged, handsome and mys- terious bachelor about whom his neighbours knew nothing.
That was because he was India's top spy, an officer with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's external intelligence agency. This man was known even in official corridors as TIGER (Salman Khan).
Tiger is sent on a relatively easy and safe mission to Dublin, Ireland to observe a scientist of Indian origin who is suspected of sharing his research findings with the Pakistan defence establishment. Tiger attempts to meet the scientist but is not successful. He tries to befriend the scientist's part time home caretaker, Zoya (Katrina Kaif). As Tiger begins to get closer to Zoya... he begins to discover his human side.
For the first time in his life Tiger falls in love...
What follows is a tumultuous journey that Tiger and Zoya embark upon, battling the dark world of intelligence and espionage that forbids its soldiers from falling in love...
In May 2011, reports claimed that Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif would come together for a film titled Ek Tha Tiger. The script for the film had been completed in November 2010, and underwent changes in February 2012. It was Khan's first venture with Yash Raj Films and marked his fourth film opposite Katrina after Yuvvraj. Before starting the film, he postponed a project titled Sher Khan by his brother Sohail Khan, as he had to allot his dates. His fee for the venture was INR32 crore (US$5.79 million). The film was also one of Katrina's first in the action genre. Ranvir Shorey was signed in for a supporting role. Kabir Khan was announced to be the director. On May 3, a photo shoot was held with the lead actors. Later, Punjabi actor Gavie Chahal signed in for a character named Abrar in Ek Tha Tiger, which happens to be his Bollywood debut.
Initial reports claimed that principal photography would start by June 2011. The first schedule began on September 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. It had previously been postponed for a short time, when Salman set off to USA for a surgery regarding his condition of Trigeminal neuralgia. Filming took place at the Trinity college, and the Ha'penny Bridge. A set of action sequences were also shot in the city. During filming in Dublin, the Irish crew of the film held a demonstration and halted the shooting temporarily, reportedly due to filming conditions and payment. The filming of the second schedule took place in Istanbul for two months. In February 2012, the film’s cast and crew went to Havana, Cuba, to shoot for one month. There, Salman shot a cameo scene for a local tourism company. The sets used in the film were featured in the ad. Following the period, script issues resulted in the postponement of the film’s planned shoot in Hong Kong. Afterwards, a three day schedule was completed in Delhi. The filming ended in June 2012 after the last schedule was shot in Bangkok. Salman had to undergo a fitness programme titled 'Dirty Running' for his action sequences over 30 days. Katrina Kaif played her role without makeup.
Initially, Pritam was signed as the composer of Ek Tha Tiger. The first digital poster of the film credited him as such. However, he opted out of the film later due to date clashes with yet an other Yash Raj projects, Dhoom 3. Chopra, who had worked with Sohail Sen's in their film Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, roped him in to compose for the film. The lyrics were penned by Neelesh Misra. A song titled Jaaniyan which had vocals by Asif Nawaz, a Pakistani artist was reported to have been leaked from the film's soundtrack. However, YRF officials denied the news, saying that the album was not in any danger of being leaked. A single track named "Mashallah" crooned by Wajid Ali and Shreya Ghoshal was released on 12th July 2012.
No. | Title | Singer(s)
1. "Mashallah (Wajid, Shreya Ghoshal)
2. "Lapaata" (K. K., Palak Muchhal)
3. "Banjaara"(Sukhwinder Singh)
4. "Saiyaara"(Mohit Chauhan, Tarannum Mallik)
5. "Tiger's Theme (Instrumental)
6. "Mashallah - remix" (Wajid, Shreya Ghoshal, Remix by: Joshilay)
7. "Laapta - remix" (K. K., Palak Muchhal) - Remix by: Joshilay
8. "Banjaara - remix" (Neelesh Misra) - Remix by: Joshilay
Following the soundtrack's release on July 19, critics unanimously gave positive reviews to the album. Critic Joginder Tuteja felt that none of the songs "puts you off", but still emphasized that "one expected it to have gone all the way further up". He gave it 3.5 stars out of 5. Contrarily, the Indo-Asian News Service rated the album 4 stars and claimed that the audio "offers the listener the romantic and action flavour of the movie", calling it "an entertaining affair with an array of sounds for music lovers." However, the song 'Banjaara' was noted as a "an ordinary composition with overtly simple lyrics." Devesh Sharma of the Filmfare magazine felt that the album had a "situational feel" and was a "tad disappointing" as compared to the "pulsating music" in Khan's previous films. He rated it 4 stars. Purva Desai of the Times of India, while calling the album a "good effort, fresh and new", rated it 4 stars, but still felt that the remixes could have been "skipped".
The first-look poster was released in August 2011, whilst the film's first teaser was released on May 10, 2012 along with the film Ishaqzaade. The theatrical trailer received more than 1 million views upon release within 2 days, making it the largest for a Bollywood film. Promotional tours were carried out in the cities of New Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow. The makers tied up with soft drink company Thumbs up and engaged in a consumer promotion across 10 Indian cities. These were New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Agra, Meerut and Ghaziabad.
As a part of the promotion, an event was held to launch a series of comic books based on the film. Referred to with the term 'Yomics' or 'Ycomics', their sales commenced on July 2012, before the film's release, and would continue until the Diwali festival. The books were 30 pages long and also consisted of characters from the film Hum Tum. The first one was titled 'Ek Tha Tiger - Mahasagar Ki Suraksha'. Post release, the comics failed to generate a positive word-of-mouth. Reviewer Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama commended the design, but explained that the main story failed to meet his expectations of a "deeper" plot, "exciting" narrative and a "tighter" script.
Ek Tha Tiger released worldwide on August 15, the Independence day of India. It was screened in 3300 screens over the country, marking the largest domestic release for a Bollywood film. It did not released in Pakistan on the grounds of its theme being anti-Pakistan. Around 60 percent of the first weekend sales received an advanced booking prior to the release. Selected multiplexes increased the ticket prices of the film above the normal rate.
The film opened to a mixed response from the film critics.
Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times gave it 3 out of 5. She said "In places, Ek Tha Tiger becomes downright silly. So the modus operandi might be to think of it as a fairy tale with spies and guns". Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave movie 2.5 out of 5 saying "Ek Tha Tiger is far from unwatchable." Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars and praised the "smart" script, "sharply focussed" screenplay, visuals and the performances of the cast. However, he felt that the "few and far" romance made the film "slow down a little", concluding that the film could not be termed as "great cinema", but wasn't "just harmless fun." Aniruddha Guha of the Daily News and Analysis rated it with 3.5 stars and claimed that the film was "a full-blown Hindi film, with desh prem, farz and mohabbat as part of the recipe", concluding by calling it an "out-and-out Salman Khan film", which was "smart and stylish." Independent Bollywood rated it with 3 out of 5 stars and wrote "Only for Sallu Bhai Fan's"
Gaurav Malani of the Times of India praised the film saying "Director Kabir Khan commendably balances the love story and the spy drama, with each element taking precedence at different junctures in the film as per the requirement. Chopra's story is credibly crafted into a riveting screenplay by Neelesh Misra and Kabir Khan. Salman Khan carries an urbane charm and looks uber-cool dressed in formals. He is resourcefully restrained sans his customary buffoonery. His acting ability is best exploited in this film after a long long time.Ek Tha Tiger, by far, is Salman Khan's most entertaining and accomplished works in recent times."
Jahanavi Samant of Mid Day gave 2.5 out of 5,and said "Ek Tha Tiger is unable to decide whether it is a spy action film or a soppy love saga." Gayatri Sankar of Zee News gave the movie 2 out of 5 said " Kabir Khan fails to impress; film thoroughly disappointing " Kunal Guha of Yahoo movies gave movie 1 out of 5 stars and said"If you thought Agent Vinod made a Ronald McDonald out of the genre, Ek Tha Tiger takes a mousey tail and sticks it up his nose for Salman to swing from ear to ear." Rohit Vats of CNN-IBN in his tweet review rated it 2 out of 5 and said "Ek tha tiger is especially meant for the audiences who made 'Bodyguard' & 'Ready' hits." Pratim Dutta of Telegraph rated movie 4 out of 10 for script, 5 out of 10 for acting and direction. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama rated the film 4.5 stars out of 5 and termed it as a "high octane" thriller that "works big time", having "style and substance, both, besides dazzling action, stunning international locales and stylish execution." He refers to Salman Khan as the "trump card of this enterprise."
Ek Tha Tiger released positively, with 100% occupancy at both multiplexes and single screens and it has shattered records all over by recording capacity on the widest release ever and collected around INR31.23 crore (US$5.65 million) on its first day. Its a 40% jump from the previous record which was INR22 crore (US$3.98 million) nett approx set by Agneepath (2012). It fell in the single screens across India on its second day and collected around INR14.50 crore (US$2.62 million).
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