Of Bond, Bebo and Audience Ki Pungi…
Much awaited Bollywood spy thriller, Agent Vinod, written and directed by Sriram Raghavan released this weekend. Saif Ali Khan has not only acted in the film but also produced it. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor and a series of supporting actors including Prem Chopra, Gulshan Grover, Ravi Kishan and Ram Kapoor amongst others. I was going to review it but then someone sent me this so called secret transcript of telephone conversations between Saif, Sriram and Kareena. It obviously looks like a spoof to me as films are not made like this; but I leave it to you to decide…
Saif Ali Khan (SAK): Hey Sriram! Wanna make a cool thriller? I’ll produce it… Love Aaj Kal made good money.
Sriram Raghavan (SR): I already made two cool thrillers but despite all the good reviews, they don’t earn much at the box office.
SAK: Yeah man! Ek Haseena Thi and Johnny Gaddar were good… maybe you need to make a James Bond style thriller starring me. I mean look at Farhan and Shah Rukh’s Don, it became a hit and now they’re working on a sequel!
SR: Hmm… I think we can do better than them.
SAK: Exactly, and with your credentials, my star power and a lot of style, we can actually make a James Bond style film in India.
SR: Of course, now that the James Bond films also look and feel like Bolly thrillers from the 70s.
SAK: Done deal! So what do we call the film?
SR: I don’t know; let me start writing the film first…
SAK: Umm… Ok but please make me an agent in the film. I’d like to be a secret agent, Bebo loves that kinda stuff.
SR: Ok, let’s call it Agent Vinod then; it was a hit spy thriller in 1977. It’s cool and retro.
SAK: Superb! People will call it a remake and after a while we’ll deny it… think of the double publicity… ok, hold on a minute, Bebo is saying something.
SAK: Sorry, Bebo says she also wants to be in the film and since she’s already done a Helen aunty style cabaret in Don; she wants a Jayshree T style mujra song in the film. Oh, and she also wants to be an agent. She says she liked Eva Green in Casino Royale, so please write something interesting for her.
SR: Hmm… Ok, I’ll do that. I am not sure about Jayshree T style mujra though.
SAK: Listen, I can’t disturb the peace in my household; I’ll ask Pritam to start working on the mujra and a couple of other fancy tunes inspired by music the world over as we must shoot the film in 12 countries at least!
SR: 12 countries! Ok, I’ll incorporate that in my story.
SAK: Yes, please do that. To make it easier for you, Bebo is discussing the countries she wants to visit with Lolo and Babita aunty. She’ll mail you the list.
SR: Uh… Ok! Anything else?
SAK: No I think, this is enough for now… I’ll ask my team to start working on the brand integrations so that you can keep them in mind too.
SR: Ok, bye.
A few days later…
Kareena Kapoor aka Bebo: Hi Sriram, hope you got my list of countries… I included Russia as Saifu keeps talking about Bond movies having Russian villains. But please do not take me there, it’s too cold and I’ll have to wear jackets; that will make me look fat, no? I’d like to shoot in Europe during summer as I’d like to wear a nice sexy gown for a chase sequence. Manish (Malhotra) was over last night for cocktails and we discussed some ideas. He’s the best you know!
SR: Oh, your character is from Pakistan and an agent so I thought you’d like more rugged stuff, like jackets and all… but it is ok, a gown it is for the chase sequence.
Bebo: You’re such a darling… LOL! Accha, talk to Saifu now… I am off to shoot an action sequence for Bodyguard. They have a killer helicopter robot chasing me during the scene today; you also think of something cool like a deadly box of chocolates or something. OK, Ciao!
SR: Ok Kareena, I will. Thanks!
SAK: Hi Sriram. I have seen loads of DVDs now and I want you to include the following… a Bo Derek style swimsuit sequence, where we’ll have a hot model emerging from the sea in a two piece bikini; and don’t think of Bebo doing it! I watched In Bruges, so let’s have some sort of shoot out sequence in middle of an exotic European city square. The opening title sequence should be at par with a Bond film! We definitely need to have a car chase, a bike chase and a helicopter… Of course, the plot should have the villain planning a nuclear war or something that I’ll thwart. Oh! And I have already placed an order for a Savile Row tuxedo, Casino Royale style… so include a sequence where Bebo and I go for a fancy function or something; Manish is doing a slinky dress for her in gold.
SR: Yes, I will. Anything else?
SAK: Oh yeah! Pritam has got some really original inspirations this time… he’s doing something on the lines of Boney M’s Rasputin and a special item song for me based on some Iranian band number he discovered on YouTube. Bebo’s mujra is also shaping up well; she even chose a fuchsia dress. And Pritam says we can give a retro touch by using old Hindi numbers in the back ground score. I think it’s ingenious! Your views?
SR: It’s your film buddy! I am only the writer, director.
SAK: Good! I promise we’ll make money on this one… I have a good feeling about it.
March 26, 2012 – After the first weekend of Agent Vinod’s release
Agent Vinod should have been called Travel Agent Vinod! (Read on Twitter and Facebook)
Agent Vinod ne pungi baja di… I’m never getting my Rs. 250 and three hours back…
Sriram Raghavan what have you done? We fanboys are disappointed…
Film’s budget + promotion: Rs. 50 Crore + 12 Crore = 62 Crore approx
Music & Satellite rights sold: Rs. 30 Crore approx
First weekend worldwide collections: over Rs. 25 Crore approx
We’ll make a profit hopefully…