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Saif takes Pak ban on ‘Agent Vinod’ in royal stride

Friday, March 23, 2012
By Chaitanya Padukone

Movie set to release today, controversies over the film’s story and item song notwithstanding

Undaunted by a few stumbling blocks including the ban on his film ‘Agent Vinod’ by the Pakistani authorities, actor Saif Ali Khan is all set to unleash his charisma in his latest release ‘Agent Vinod’ (AV) on the auspicious ‘Gudi Padwa’ feast.

Saif plays a debonair, chilled-out, yet tough ‘RAW’ agent. Evidently a drastic make-over from his role of an earthy simple Dalit character in his previous maverick movie ‘Aarakshan’, the Khan seems confident of connecting with the masses as also the classes. Speculation was rife that Saif’s movie is a clever rip-off of a yesteryear Bond thriller.  

Refusing to get provoked, the Nawab clarifies. “Although our movie has the class and sophistication of a typical James Bond movie, with all the slick action scenes and breath-taking car chases and smash-ups and exotic foreign locales, it is not a remake of any Bond movie. Nor is it a rehash of ‘Agent Vinod’ a retro movie starring actor Mahendra Sandhu which was a runaway hit way back in 1977. At the same time, I must admit that I was intrigued as a youngster, whilst watching the smart gimmicks in the retro flick ‘Agent Vinod’. Which is why I didn’t even want to change the title and retained the mascot name.

“Our director Sriram Raghavan is highly innovative and has amalgamated the best of whatever he has imbibed over the years, including maybe a few elements from the Tintin comics. It’s commendable that the same Sriram had the courage of his conviction to cast me in a negative-shades lead role in ‘Ek Haseena Thi’ (2004) for which I had been hugely appreciated,” justifies co-producer Khan who, sporting a Hollywood-style smart bow-tie and suit looked a curious cross between a James Bond and an Oscar Awards event invitee, as he interacted with the media.

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