Tiger 3 Review: A Subpar Sequel Struggling to Roar Beyond Formulaic Tropes and Unexplored Potentials

Karishma Jangid
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Tiger 3 review

Maneesh Sharma's 'Tiger 3' is a mediocre watch that is hyperfixated on establishing that India is better than Pakistan. Eventually, an uninterested Salman Khan sinks the ship.

Like always, Salman Khan is back with his Diwali release, and people are excited to see their favorite actor back in action. But when there is a sequel, it has an added burden to deliver. And Tiger 3 just didn't have the responsibility to be a blockbuster sequel; the film is also an attempt to establish the spy universe that Yash Raj Films is trying to create with Shah Rukh Khan's Pathan and Hrithik Roshan's War. But it seems like Yash Raj Films misunderstood the assignment. Making a cinematic universe does not mean copy-pasting the same elements in all movies. Good movies require innovation and entertainment. If you make movies that look the same, it is not going to work every time. Pathaan and Tiger 3 are mirror copies of each other. The elements of the script, action, dialogues, colors, editing, choreography, and even the wardrobe look exactly the same. However, while the former was a smashing hit, the latter is mediocre at best. Tiger (Salman Khan) and Zoya (Katrina Kaif) are agents from India and Pakistan, respectively, living in hiding with their son Junior (Sartaaj Kakkar). They are forced to come out when Aatish Rehman (Emraan Hashmi) comes back to take revenge. Don't get me wrong though; the film doesn't care about Zoya. The story is mostly about Tiger.

It's an age-old and highly unoriginal story- you hurt my family, I'll hurt your family. Add to this boring story, unfortunately, it seems Khan is not interested in acting. In the entire film, he is seen fighting and uttering dialogue. I remember the scene from Kisi ka Bhai Kisi ki Jaan where Bhagya asks him what he looks like when he is sad, angry, happy, etc., and his reaction is a straight face every time. Nothing has changed. Even when Khan tries to emote, he does it in the most unconvincing manner possible. This is rather unfortunate for an actor who used to be loved for his soft boy 'Prem' avatar. Kaif acts well. However, because most of her scenes are about Tiger, she can only do so much with an unresponsive partner. Her role mostly involves taking care of Junior and acting on Tiger's orders. To underutilize a character like Zoya and an actor like Kaif is a disappointment. She gets a fight scene for herself but in a towel. Sigh! And where Zoya is disrobed to cater to the male gaze deserves a special mention for its sexism. Hashmi plays the villain convincingly but with restraint. However, again, the film forgets to explore Hashmi's potential. 

On the surface, the film is a passable watch, a mostly boring affair. However, beneath the layers is soft but dangerous jingoism. It pretends to humanize Pakistan but constantly reinforces that India is better, stronger, and more ethical. Pakistan is either filled with people who hate India or people who need saving. With their dialogues, clothes, and hatred of India, Tiger 3 stereotypes Islamic nations at every point while claiming to be secular. Pakistan and Afghanistan are just deserts with the sepia filter and typical Arab music. Once or twice every hour, you will be told that some Pakistanis are good. But the entire narrative presses you to believe that Pakistan needs saving from itself and that India is its mighty, holy savior. Maybe YRF would like to believe that this promotes peace and equality, but it doesn't. Tiger 3 has a typical ethnocentric gaze. 

Having said that, I wouldn't be shocked if it becomes a blockbuster. The fans of Salman Khan have that power. And in all sense, it is like his other Diwali releases. 

The film is currently running in theatres.

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