Agent Vinod (2012 film)

Agent Vinod is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language action spy film written and directed by Sriram Raghavan produced by Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan. The film borrows its name from the 1977 film of the same name, and stars Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, while Ram Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Shahbaz Khan and Adil Hussain appeared in prominent roles. Ravi Kishan made a special appearance in the film.[4]

Agent Vinod
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySriram Raghavan
Written bySriram Raghavan
Arijit Biswas
Produced bySaif Ali Khan
Dinesh Vijan
StarringSaif Ali Khan
Kareena Kapoor
CinematographyC. K. Muraleedharan
Edited byPooja Ladha Surti
Music bySongs:
Background Score:
Daniel B. George
Release date
  • 23 March 2012 (2012-03-23)[1]
Running time
152 minutes
Budget600 million (equivalent to 1.0 billion or US$13 million in 2023)[2]
Box office730 million (equivalent to 1.2 billion or US$16 million in 2023)[3]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the visuals, acting performances, action sequences, songs, cinematography and production values, but criticized the screenplay and writing.

Plot edit

In the Dasht-E-maadar desert in kotha Afghanistan, inside a Taliban camp, ISI official Col. Huzefa is interrogating a captured man presumed to be a RAW agent. The man gives details of RAW's operations in Afghanistan in exchange for money and safe passage across the border. He betrays his colleague, Major Rajan, who has also infiltrated the camp. This is only a ruse, as both overpower their captors and fight their way out of the camp. Along the way, they rescue a girl called Farah.

In New Delhi, Agent Vinod is show a message from Russia and tasked to find out what '242' is. Vinod travels to St. Petersburg. There he is almost captured, but manages to escape and goes to Tangiers, Morocco. Vinod assumes identity as Freddie and meets mafia boss David Kazan and his personal (Pakistani) doctor, Ruby Mendes. Vinod manages to convince Kazan that he is Freddie Khambatta and hacks Kazan's phone. Vinod gets closer to Ruby to find out what '242' is. Ruby is actually a British-Pakistani working undercover for the ISI. Vinod obtains an invitation card for a private auction and learns that many international terrorist groups are converging at an antiques auction in Marakkesh to purchase '242'.

At the auction, Vinod learns that '242' is actually the detonator for the nuclear device. A bidding war ensues, and Kazan manages to secure the detonator. It turns out that a group of rogue ISI colonels are planning an attack on India. In Morocco, Kazan locks the detonator with a password, and hands it over to Colonel, who has arrived in Morocco. Iram finds out Vinod is a RAW agent, both agree to work together to prevent the nuclear device from falling into the wrong hands. 'Colonel' captures Ruby and asks her to reveal the whereabouts of Agent Vinod. Vinod is attacked and admitted to a hospital. He clears his way out of the hospital to find Iram. 'Colonel', now having the detonator reaches Riga, Latvia to acquire the bomb.

Colonel enlists Iram help his men to transport the bomb out of Latvia and tries to kill her, but fails. Vinod and Iram join hands and try to capture the Colonel and the bomb. Iram and Vinod reach Karachi. There, they learn of plot to smuggle the nuclear device from Karachi into India via the sea route and learn that the target of the bomb is New Delhi. They make it to New Delhi and try to locate the bomb. Iram runs into 'Colonel', and is shot, but points him out to Indian security forces, who kill him. Eventually, Vinod tracks down the bomb and takes the bomb up in a helicopter to detonate it as far away from the city as possible. Iram realises the set password to the detonator and asks Vinod to try the name of Kazan's camel-"Zilleh".

The bomb is defused, but Iram dies of gunshot wounds. Realizing that they have been manipulated into almost starting a war with India, the Lashkar-e-Toiba sends a suicide bomber to assassinate Metla at a function in his honour. Metla is killed, but posthumously feted as a great philanthropist On a beach in Cape Town, the beautiful Russian girl who first acquired the nuclear device is seen sunbathing. She looks up to find Agent Vinod smiling at her. It is apparent Vinod has moved on to his next mission.

Cast edit

Production edit

According to Raghavan, Agent Vinod is not a remake of the 1977 action film of the same name.[5] In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, he described it as "a realistic film ... full of action pieces, thrills and characters."[5] On 30 May 2010, the director reported that the film's shoot had officially begun in Mumbai. Filming later continued in Morocco[6] and Latvia.[7]

A Pakistani film maker Iram Parveen Bilal, whom director Sriram Raghavan met at Indian Film Festival Los Angeles, in 2008 was the inspiration behind Kareena's character name.[8] In the beginning of the movie, Agent Vinod mentioned the name of a mole working as a guard at the Taliban camp in Afghanistan as Mahendra Sandhu, which was a reference to the name of the actor who portrayed Agent Vinod in the 1977 film.

Soundtrack edit

The film's soundtrack has been composed by Pritam Chakraborty. The track I'll Do the Talking Tonight is a partial interpolation of the 1978 song Rasputin, composed by German disco group Boney M which in turn, is interpolated uncredited from Kâtibim, the original Ottoman folk song.[9] According to IBN live, Raabta is the "most beautiful song" of the film.[10] The version of Raabta used in the film is the Night in a Motel version and is incorrectly listed as being sung by Hamsika Iyer when in fact it was Aditi Singh Sharma who sung this song. Moreover, the song Habibi Ya Nour El Ain performed by Alabina, Ishtar was used in a scene background when Agent Vinod and Freddie Khambatta are seen walking out of Morocco Airport. However the song and artist are not credited. The version of Dil Mera Muft Ka used in the film is not available on the soundtrack. Also not available on the soundtrack is the title song seen in the film Govind Bolo Gopal Bolo. Due to "popular demand" it was uploaded on YouTube by T-Series on 29 March 2012.[11]

Agent Vinod
Soundtrack album by
Released24 February 2012
GenreFilm soundtrack
Pritam Chakraborty chronology
Agent Vinod
Jannat 2
Track listing
1."I'll Do The Talking Tonight"Amitabh BhattacharyaNeeraj Shridhar, Shefali Alvares, Aditi Singh Sharma & Barbie Amod4:16
2."Dil Mera Muft Ka"Neelesh MisraNandini Srikar, Malini Awasthi, Muazzam, Rizwan, Shadaab Faridi, Altamash Faridi, Shabab Sabri4:26
3."Raabta" (Siyaah Raatein)Amitabh BhattacharyaHamsika Iyer, Arijit Singh & Joi Barua4:50
4."Pyaar ki Pungi"Amitabh BhattacharyaMika Singh, Nakash Aziz, Amitabh Bhattacharya Pritam Chakraborty & Javed Jaffrey4:10
5."Agent Vinod" (Theme) Instrumental4:37
6."I'll Do The Talking Tonight" (Remix)Amitabh BhattacharyaNeeraj Shridhar, Aditi Singh Sharma & Barbie Amod4:32
7."Raabta" (Night in a Motel)Amitabh BhattacharyaAditi Singh Sharma & Arijit Singh3:32
8."Pungi" (Remix)Amitabh BhattacharyaMika Singh, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Nakash Aziz, Pritam Chakraborty & Javed Jaffrey4:09
9."Raabta"Amitabh BhattacharyaArijit Singh4:04
10."Dil Mera Muft Ka" (Remix)Neelesh MisraMalini Awasthi3:48
11."Raabta" (Kehte Hain Khuda Ne)Amitabh BhattacharyaShreya Ghoshal, Arijit Singh & Joi Barua4:50
12."Habibi Ya Nour El Ain" Alabina, Ishtar4:10
Total length:51:24

Release edit

The film's release was accompanied by an Indiagames strategy mobile video game based on the film.[12]

The film released on 23 March 2012. A few days before release, the film was banned by the Central Board of Film Censors of Pakistan for containing various controversial references to the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence.[13]

Reception edit

Critical reception edit

Kaveree Bamzai of India Today gave the film a mixed review, saying, "If only Sriram Raghavan had not gone weak on his knees at the thought of love, Agent Vinod would have been a smarter, sharper, cooler film."[14] Gaurav Malani of The Times of India called the film "above average" and said "The film is entertaining but not in entirety. Agent Vinod gets the nod though not whole-heartedly!"[15] Blassey Chettiar of Daily News and Analysis rated the film 3 out of 5 stars, saying, "Director Sriram Raghavan (Ek Hasina Thi, Johnny Gaddar) delivers a neat package, a suave lead hero slogging it out in picture-perfect locations, packing punches here and there, zooming off on sexy bikes, sexier cars and finally a copter, all in a day's work."[16] Kunal Guha of Yahoo! rated the film 1 out of 5 stars, saying, "Let's just say foreign locales, weapons to annihilate the world, designer suits and not-so-excruciating interrogations don't cumulatively justify Agent Vinod as a thrilling movie-watching experience."[17] Raja Sen of Rediff gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars and said, "As a film, Agent Vinod must be termed a disappointment, a slick and well-produced throwback to the spy thriller that feels both overlong and under-conceived.".[18]

Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times gave 2.5 out of 5 noted "The result is that Agent Vinod never becomes more than the sum of its parts and even though it picks up speed in the second half, it leaves you both exhausted and unsatisfied".[19] Mrigank Dhaniwala of Koimoi gave the film 2 out of 5 stars as well, commenting, "Agent Vinod is a bold experiment gone wrong; certainly not something that entertains in its entirety ... (and) comes nowhere closer to the Bond or the Bourne series of Hollywood films."[20] Zee News commented that, "Agent Vinod is a genuine attempt at entertaining in a sensible manner. But it somehow falls short of being declared as a brilliant piece of work. Watch it for its stylish presentation, it hasn't got anything else to offer."[21] Khalid Mohammed of Deccan Chronicle rated the film 2 out of 5 stars, commenting, "Suggestion: if you do venture into this at best, average Agent Vinod, carry a huge thermos of coffee to stay awake."[22] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN rating the film 2/5 feels "Agent Vinod with so many varied influences that it never finds its own distinct identity".[23]

Richard Kuipers of Variety commented that "this big-budget exercise bears all the hallmarks of a franchise-in-waiting; with an injection of the elan the real Maibaum brought to the Bond series, such an enterprise could prove successful". Independent Online from South Africa gives 3.5 out of 5 and says "the film is undeniably a cool and entertaining spy thriller".

Box office edit

On its opening day, the movie collected 94.1 million (US$1.2 million) at the box office.[24] The movie showed less growth during the next two days[25][26] ultimately grossing around 180 million (US$2.3 million) in its first weekend.[27] Agent Vinod went on to earn a total of 368 million (US$4.6 million) during its first week and 546 million (equivalent to 1.0 billion or US$13 million in 2023) throughout its run. The movie was declared Flop at box office.[3][28]

Controversies edit

Before release, Agent Vinod ran into trouble when Saif Ali Khan's brawl with businessman Iqbal Meer Sharma was touted as a publicity stunt for the film.[29] However, Khan has strongly denied the brawl to be such, and said, "I don't believe in garnering publicity in such a negative manner. Rather our posters and promos should create the right kind of buzz".[30]

Khan was shown black flags while promoting the film in Bhopal, which was triggered due to changes brought into administration of the Pataudi family properties in Middle-East.[31]

Iranian band Barobax later sued the film's music director Pritam one week before the release, claiming that he lifted the song, Pyaar Ki Pungi from the former's song, Soosan Khanoom. However, two weeks after the film's release, the band publicly apologised to Pritam and stating both the songs were different, withdrew its court-case.[32]

The film was banned in Pakistan as it made references to a section of ISI's involvement in Jihadi groups and terror activities.[33] To this, Khan responded, "This is a realistic kind of a thriller. We have shown that there are some negative elements in Pakistan towards India and their Censor have a problem showing that. We have shown a few most-wanted criminals, those that are harboured in Pakistan, which is a known fact. May be they have taken offence to that. But ultimately we want a RAW agent to win and baddies to lose. If they are uncomfortable with that then they should publicise the fact that they are banning Agent Vinod in Pakistan".[34]

A week after its theatrical release, Agent Vinod again ran into trouble for plagiarism. Reports said that the film featured songs from older films, without acquiring prior permission from the producers. The songs involved were Aasmaan Pe Hai Khuda from Ramesh Saigal's Phir Subah Hogi (1958), Meri Jaan Maine Kaha from Ramesh Behl's The Train (1970) and Rakamma from Mani Ratnam's Thalapathi (1991). The owners of these songs were not credited in the film. Saif Ali Khan however paid for the rights later, and explained this to be a last-minute co-ordination problem.[29]

Awards and nominations edit

Award Category Recipients and nominees Result Ref.
5th Mirchi Music Awards Programmer & Arranger of the Year DJ Phukan & Hyacinth Dsouza – "Dil Mera Muft Ka" Won [35][36]
Song representing Sufi tradition "Raabta" Nominated
14th IIFA Awards IIFA Award for Best Male Playback Singer Mika Singh for "Pyaar ki Pungi" Nominated [37][38]
2013 Zee Cine Awards Zee Cine Award for Best Track of the Year "Pyaar ki Pungi" Nominated [39]

See also edit

  • Bollywood films of 2012

References edit

  1. ^ "Release Dates". Bollywood Hungama. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Agent Vinod Budget". Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Agent Vinod - Movie - Box Office India".
  4. ^ "'Agent Vinod' riddled with woes". Mid-Day. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b ""Agent Vinod is not a remake of Rajshri film" – Sriram Raghavan". Bollywood Hungama. IndiaFM News Bureau. 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 21 May 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  6. ^ Kotwani, Hiren (30 May 2010). "Saif's second home production goes on the floor". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  7. ^ Indo-Asian News Service (2 November 2011). "Language barrier for Agent Vinod crew in Latvia". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 14 February 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Meet the real Iram Parveen Bilal". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Pritam buys Boney M's Rasputin's rights". The Times of India. 3 February 2012. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Raabta: A classic composition". IBN Archived from the original on 14 March 2012.
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
  12. ^ "Agent Vinod". Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  13. ^ "Saif-Kareena spy flick Agent Vinod banned across Pakistan". The Express Tribune. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  14. ^ Bamzai, Kaveree (23 March 2012). "Agent Vinod movie review". India Today. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  15. ^ Malani, Gaurav (23 March 2012). "Agent Vinod: Movie Review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  16. ^ Chettiar, Blassey (23 March 2011). "Blassy Chettiar reviews Agent Vinod". DNA India. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  17. ^ Guha, Kunal (23 March 2012). "Agent Vinod review". Yahoo!Movies. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  18. ^ Sen, Raja (23 March 2011). "Review: Agent Vinod just isn't clever enough". Rediff. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  19. ^ anupama chopra. "Anupama Chopra's review: Agent Vinod". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  20. ^ Dhaniwala, Mrigank (23 March 2011). "Agent Vinod Review". Koimoi. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  21. ^ Zee News Bureau (23 March 2012). "Review: 'Agent Vinod' – All style, no substance". Zee News. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  22. ^ Mohammed, Khalid (23 March 2012). "Agent Vinod review: Now, here's boretainment". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  23. ^ Rajeev Masand. "Masand: 'Agent Vinod' is a boring, disappointing film". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  24. ^ "Agent Vinod First Day Territorial Breakdown". Box Office India. 24 March 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  25. ^ "Agent Vinod Second Day Business". Box Office India. 25 March 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  26. ^ "Agent Vinod Has Limited Growth on Sunday". Box Office India. 26 March 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  27. ^ "Agent Vinod First Weekend Territorial Breakdown". Box Office India. 26 March 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  28. ^ "Agent Vinod". Box Office India. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  29. ^ a b "Saif pays the price for using old songs in Agent Vinod". Hindustan Times. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  30. ^ "Agent Vinod needs no publicity: Saif Ali Khan - Entertainment - Films and Music - Emirates24|7". 24 February 2012.
  31. ^ "Black flags shown to Saif Ali Khan". The Times of India. 10 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  32. ^ "Iranian band Barobax apologizes to Pritam". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 October 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  33. ^ "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  34. ^ "Pakistan's ban on Agent Vinod a shame: Saif". Hindustan Times. 21 March 2012. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  35. ^ "Nominations – Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2012". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  36. ^ "Winners – Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2012". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  37. ^ "IIFA 2013: The complete list of nominations". News18. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  38. ^ Team, Indicine. "IIFA Awards 2013 to be held in Macau". Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  39. ^ SRIVASTAVA, SMITA. "Zee Cine Awards 2013 nominations announced". Active India.

External links edit