New Delhi: Indian stars with their larger-than-life persona, have often had demi-god-like status on screen as well as off given their fandoms. They have for long played superheroes, from the Avengers, or vigilantes who take on the morally corrupt, fight against injustice, defend the helpless, and even take on enemies beyond lines of no control.
Ordinary men with extraordinary feats, these superheroes don’t come wearing capes or need superhuman strength or powers, like those in the DC & MCU verse. Quick-witted, they pack a punch, wrestle their strongest adversary with just a flip of the wrist or get the better of you with just a look in their brooding eyes.
The suave double agents of Bollywood screens AKA Tiger, Pathaan, and Kabir have their spy cinematic universe thanks to their creator Yash Raj Films. We first saw the worlds collide as Shahrukh Khan’s Pathan got himself out of a sticky situation with the help of partner in crime Tiger (Salman Khan). As their on-screen bromance was met with thunderous applause, YRF unveiled and dropped its logo of the SPY Universe representing Tiger, Pathaan and War.
The trio will go down as Bollywood’s best-known homegrown spies, as the Universe further expands bringing in more to the fold. The beloved spy of all times, Ian Fleming’s James Bond had spawned many of his avatars in Hindi film narratives. From Dharamendra’s Aankhein, Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod, Akshay Kumar’s Baby, and Alia Bhatt’s Raazi to name a few ,were lapped up by cine-goers for its nail biting thrills.
‘Tiger 3’ saw not only a cameo by Pathaan but as well as one by Kabir (Hrithik Roshan). His entry, gave a sneak peek into the much anticipated sequel to the 2019 blockbuster War.
In the YRF Spy Universe, each one of these spies has a standalone film and franchise. The cameos in Pathaan, Tiger 3 are reminiscent of Marvel’s Civil War and DC’s Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
But the YRF SPY universe is only getting bigger, with rumours of Jr NTR joining War 2, it is no longer going to be the domain of testosterone-driven males. Alia Bhatt has been roped in to lead the eighth film in the franchise, playing a double agent.
So what works for the SPY Universe, apart from it being led by the major superstars, with their loyal fandoms?
The issues they deal with are closer home, keeping in mind the geo-political scenario and the country’s positions. Quick-witted brave hearts they are the best in the business.
Patriots who can sacrifice themselves in the line of duty, they also take slander on the chin, and prove their loyalty by putting their lives on the line.There is no chest-thumping jingoism, rather cheesy one-liners meant to draw in the laughs as well as get the message across loud and clear. Their smooth moves are not just restricted to combat, they can break into a dance effortlessly with pretty damsels around. Romance translates in most cases with a young maiden belonging to enemy lines, here is the message of love thy neighbor as thyself, and expounding peace. After all love knows no boundaries, the spy here is also a global citizen wanting to lead by example.
Bringing their own signature style, moves and wit, these spies as the box office proved are doing a good job of leaving audiences shaken and stirred.