Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tiger Zinda Hai starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif has released in theatres today. The director did wonders when he presented Salman in a never seen before avatar in Sultan (2016). This time in the sequel to Ek Tha Tiger (2012), he took charge of the reigns from Kabir Khan. Although Tiger Zinda Hai promised all the makings of a masala entertainer, it also boasted of a story inspired by a real life incident. Now, that’s a first for Salman Khan. With a director who has kind of nailed the art of getting the best out of you, Salman was in good hands … and to complement him, there was a fitting foil in Katrina. Does the film turn out to be as amazing as the trailers promised? Or is Tiger’s roar better off ignored? Find out in my review…

What’s it about?
40 nurses, including 25 Indians are taken hostage at a hospital in Ikrit, Iraq by terror group ISC. This is where their head Abu Usman is being treated after being injured in a cross firing between the terrorists and the Iraqi Army. While the US has decided to air strike the hospital and kill the terror mastermind, India wants to bring the nurses back home safely before the strikes happen. But all that they have to accomplish this dangerous and near to impossible feat is 7 days. The first challenge for RAW is to find Tiger (Salman Khan) for RAW chief Shenoy (Girish Karnad) feels that only Tiger can bring this mission to its desired result. Will they be able to find Tiger? Will he, who has been living a reclusive life with his wife and son, be ready to come on board this mission? Will the nurses be freed and able to unite with their loved ones once again? Will this face-off with ISC prove costly to Tiger and Zoya? That’s what the film is all about. ALSO READ: Tiger Zinda Hai Quick Movie Review: Salman Khan – Katrina Kaif’s Film Is A Gritty, Riveting Entertainer That Keeps You On The Edge Of The Seat

What’s hot?
While Tiger Zinda Hai has all the winning ingredients of a typical Salman Khan film, it is more than just that. A strong story, gripping narrative, brilliant cinematography, earnest performances, awe-inspiring action and stunts – all make the film a riveting, entertaining experience. It is not hard to tell that Ali Abbas Zafar is a Salman fan himself and likes to present the superstar in all his glory. What adds wonders to this director-actor duo is that Zafar also knows how to get the best out of Salman. He made us see the actor in him in Sultan and he does once again in TZH. Thankfully, he gives equal focus to Katrina Kaif as well. She is not reduced to a pretty face or just an accomplice to Tiger but stands on her own and is convincing and effortless in her action scenes. In fact, there is one important sequence where she is the hero and its a revelation that she doesn’t let you down even in a single frame.

Zafar also does a fab job in translating the offscreen chemistry between the two lead stars on screen as well. His camera work is flawless and be it capturing the scenic, romantic Tyrol or the wreckage hit war-torn zones of Iraq , he will have you engrossed into the story from the word go. The cast that supports Tiger and Zoya – be it RAW and ISI members or the team that they form for the mission including Paresh Rawal and Angad Bedi, actress Anupriya – who plays one of the nurses who tries to keep the morale high even in such a trying situation, or then the mean, brutal terrorist Abu Usman (Sajjad Delafrooz), all are convincing in their parts.

What’s not?
There are a few bits that seemed stretched in the second half and could have been edited better. Also, the part where India’s RAW and Pakistan’s ISI are shown to have successfully found about Tiger and Zoya’s whereabouts after 8 years of them absconding and declared dead was a little unconvincing.

What to do?
After a disappointing Tubelight, where most of us hated to see Salman in his vulnerable, gullible avatar, the action star is back in his top form in Tiger Zinda Hai. What more? The film is more than just a r regular Salman Khan movie and it is totally worth your while.

India.com verdict: 4 stars